Have you discussed these four financial topics with your partner?
If the statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce is accurate, it means that South African couples need to pay close attention to the way they manage their finances.
Whether you're just starting out or already in a steady relationship, you and your “better” half must manage your finances effectively so that it doesn't destroy your relationship.
To help you succeed, I've found four of the most common financial topics you must discuss with your partner. Get to know what they are so that you and your partner never make the same mistakes with your money.
Four financial topics you must discuss with your partner toady
1. Speak about your money before you commit
The best way to avoid problems in your relationship because of money is to have an open and forthright discussion about your finances. Clarify your feelings about shared bank accounts, credit card debt, home loans and personal loans.
If it has the potential to impact your relationship in the future, you need to talk about it now. Your partner may not have the same views as you, so make sure you’re on the same financial management page before you commit anything.
2. Do you want a joint or a separate financial plan?
Once you have a clear understanding of all your financial obligations, you need to discuss your financial planning. You could decide to keep your finances 100% separate from each other or you could decide to play open cards and share everything. Whatever you decide to do, you and your partner need to agree on the decision you make.
A balanced financial plan will include the spending habits and financial needs of both partners and clearly define each person’s financial obligations.
3. Who pays for what when you’re living together...
I think you’ll agree that once you move in with your partner, you’re pretty much committed to the other person. It’s important to discuss the division of financial duties around your home. Who buys the groceries? Who pays for the entertainment?
Finding the answer to these small questions will eliminate any future animosity that may arise because one partner feels that the other isn’t pulling the weight.
4. Do you want a separate savings account?
Mitigate risks. That’s the secret to solid financial planning. Speak to your partner about preparing for the worst case scenario. You might be deliriously blinded by love but it’s important that both partners have a backup plan in case the relationship goes bust.
Consider setting up a separate savings or investment account for each partner. In the unlikely event that your relationship goes in the wrong direction, you and your partner can be financially prepared for any unexpected event.