Happy couples talk about money
Happy couples identify themselves as a team, it’s us against the problem. When dealing with money treat each other as business partners, remove emotions and sensitivities. Have trust and respect each other’s feelings, knowledge and values. Be upfront about your weaknesses and offer your strengths and abilities.
1. Write down the kind of life you want to live and what makes you the happiest. Ask your partner to do the same.
Define them, discuss them, prioritise, negotiate and support each other’s goals. It might feel a bit awkward at first if you’re not used to talk about money. That’s ok. Talking about goals can give you a better understanding of what you both want and how to get there. Remember that it is normal for some of your goals not to completely align. If you ask your partner to compromise be willing to do the same for them.
2. Decide on a fair and reasonable weekly amount for fun money for items like restaurants, coffees and clothes
Generally, female’s expenses are a little more because beauty doesn’t come for free! Either take the cash out each week or have individual accounts just for fun money. Use a joint account to pay for weekly groceries, bills and other necessities. Agree to contribute a fair amount each.
3.Set up join ‘goal accounts’ for any big joint goals you have together
Your big joint goals could be either holidays or a house deposit. Set up a direct debit into these accounts each pay. Keep your assets separate where possible.
4. If you have joint credit cards and loans you are both responsible for the debt, irrespective of who racked it up.
Get rid of the credit cards and stick to your weekly personal spending.
5. If one partner earns an income & the other partner keeps the house running consider splitting superannuation.
6. Decide together on what purchase items should be discussed before being bought.
Are you hiding purchases, investments or debt? If you are, it’s a no-no. It could put you on the road to Splitsville. One in five couples says they have spent over $500 and not told their partner and one in ten women keep secret credit cards or bank accounts. If you like to spend privately then keep your personal spending separate. Agree on what is joint spending & what is personal.
7. If one partner earns a significant amount more than the other come up with a fair and reasonable split, perhaps the partner on the lower income contributes in other ways.
Remember to communicate gratitude for all types of value each partner brings and make sure that both partners are treated as equals.