Of all the things that couples fight about, money can be one of the worst.
Financial troubles are often cited as one of the main reasons that marriages break up, and new research from the Commission for Financial Capability found that one in six New Zealanders did not even discuss how much they earned with their partner.
Problems often arise when two people have very different money management styles; for example, one might be a spender and the other a saver. So how can you find common ground when you have a different approach? We have sourced some expert tips for you.
First, talk frankly
It’s important to be honest. At the beginning of many relationships, people try to present their best selves. But as things get serious, it’s vital that you open up fully about your relationship with your finances.
Before you move in together, talk about your current situation. What you earn, what you owe, what your expectations are for the future, how you feel about debt, and how you would feel about changing your money management style to help your partner.
Work out between you what your goals are, as an individual and as a couple. What do you want to achieve in the short term and what is important in the long run?
What do you need to change to get there? Is anything required of each of you to support the other – and how feasible is that?
It is vital to talk about outside commitments. If there are reasons that you can’t just combine your finances to work for your goals as one unit – perhaps one of you has children to a former relationship – you need to work out how you will factor this in, and how you each feel about that.
Plus, if you decide to change your behaviour to achieve your goals together, make sure to check in every so often to ensure you’re staying on track.
If you’re really different, consider keeping things separate
Some people see a joint account as the sign of a healthy relationship, but it doesn’t need to be.
If you have different (and irreconcilable) views on money, you may decide to keep things as separate as possible, perhaps only paying into a joint account for joint bills and expenses such as holidays and outings together.
This ensures that a saver isn’t putting all of their disposable income into keeping the household afloat while the spender has a great time at the shops.
Like to discuss your options?
Planning for your financial goals together can help you get where you want to be faster. And while you do that, the right loan can save you money and offer you flexibility.
Call the team at AA Finance on 0800 500 555 to talk about your car loan options – you can reach us seven days a week between 9 am and 5 pm.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure the content is correct, the information provided is subject to continuous change. Please use your discretion and seek independent guidance before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.