Living with someone can be one of the smartest financial decisions you make. Virtually all fixed expenses can be split and many other daily expenses shared as well. But this can be a double-edged sword. Poor financial decisions have the ability to drive a wedge right between two people, stressing even the best of relationships.
The greatest cause of divorce, according to most therapists, is disagreements over money. So avoiding money mistakes in relationships is critical to relationship success. Here are a few to consider:
Secrecy – In order to avoid secret spending behind someone’s back, keep all shared expenses and income in a joint account, but give each other an allowance to spend as you please. This will allow you some room to be yourself without having to be held accountable for every penny you spend.
No Budget – Make sure you have shared goals for the big picture so your money can be directed towards those goals and be used efficiently. Not having a budget makes money control you instead of you controlling your money. Start a budget and stay on track!
No Will – Everyone should have a will. It’s not if, but when you are going to die, and not having a will can leave behind frustration in addition to heartache. Discussing a will opens up the door for many important financial topics that should be addressed.
No Investment Plan – Investing is critical to future financial stability. When couples are involved, however, it is possible that both individuals will have different investment tolerances. Don’t look at this as a threat, but instead use it as an opportunity to compromise.
Not Talking – Most experts agree that talking at least once a month about your financial big picture is a must. From the moment you get together to the moment you die, communication is the glue that holds everything together, especially finances!
Bottom line, money is something that can bring couples together or tear them apart. Work on addressing the five key issues listed above and watch your relationship grow.