Whether you’re moving in together or getting married, talking about money when taking your relationship to the next level can be daunting. Some people worry about feeling judged or losing their individuality, some just don’t really know what they should talk about.
That’s why we’ve partnered with Relate, the leading relationship support charity, to get their top tips on how to help make those money conversations easier for you to have.
Choosing the right time and place to talk about money can make all the difference. Pick a time when there will be no distractions and you’re both most likely to be calm. Have things like bills and bank statements to hand. Choose a neutral spot if it’s likely to be a difficult conversation. Sitting next to each other rather than opposite each other can reduce anxiety and encourage you to talk more freely.
Acknowledge and accept where you are financially. Perhaps one of you earns less than the other or has different demands on their budget, such as travel or child maintenance? Look at the whole picture and decide what feels fair and works for you both.
You may not always agree on what’s important to spend money on. Explaining why you think they are important helps you understand each other better. If you do end up disagreeing, it may help to have individual pots of money for yourselves, in addition to a shared pot.
Some couples decide to have a joint account for household bills, while keeping separate accounts too; some choose to share everything; and others prefer to keep everything separate. There is no right or wrong way. Talk to your partner about what would work best for you and revisit the conversation later if it’s no longer working.
It’s important to talk about your financial goals. A shared goal helps you prioritise spending and work out how to achieve this together e.g. putting aside a certain amount towards a holiday each month. Where you don’t have common goals, don’t give up. It may help to approach the conversation in a different way, another time.
Having regular conversations about money is really helpful for your finances and your relationship.
Make this a habit – not just a conversation you have when things are difficult. Decide how often you should chat about money - monthly, weekly or less frequently. Change the frequency, location and approach if you need to.
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