Don’t let money be root of evil in your relationship

Johannesburg – Money can cause stress when you’re single, but possibly even more woes when you’re in a relationship.

Do you combine everything into a single joint checking account or keep things separate?

Who pays for what?


Money-related issues are frequently cited as the reason for divorce or breakups.

Some of the reasons relationships turn sour include mismatched financial priorities, unexpected major expenses, and discovering a partner’s secret spending.

Daryl Coker, the advisory partner at wealth management from Citadel, said the subject of finances may seem as though it is the antithesis of romance.

“But working to manage your finances electively together is often vital to building and maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with your significant other, and can even bring couples closer together,” said Coker.

Coker has some simple tips on how couples can handle their finances together.

Some couple prefer to keep seperate bank accounts. PICTURE: PEXELS

HONESTY

It’s important to be honest with each other about your respective financial situations, whether you are in a new relationship or an existing relationship.

COMMUNICATION

Finances don’t typically form part of discussions when you are dating.

One simple way to ensure that you are keeping the communication line open is to make a simple date with each other once a month to talk about your finances.

BUDGETING

A budget is the starting point of any nancial plan. But it’s one thing to have a budget, and another for both partners to stick to it. It’s o‚en useful for couples to work on building a budget together at the same time, so that both parties feel that the budget is fair.

JOINT FINANCIAL GOALS

Whether you are saving for your retirement, a house, creating general savings or even an overseas holiday, it’s crucial to have joint financial goals in order to ensure that you both keep rowing in the same direction.

Misaligned financial goals can act as a source of angst and tension in a relationship, but working in tandem to accomplish the same goals can o‚en bring partners even closer together.

BANK ACCOUNTS

There’s no right or wrong answer to the question of how to best manage your bank account and everyday finances.

What is more important is to understand and agree on a plan that works best for you as a couple.

This may include keeping separate bank accounts, having a joint account, or a combination of the two. Each method has its pros and cons, which you and your partner should discuss.

A joint account is often useful for budgeting purposes so that all major debit orders go off one account and you are able to see how much money you may have left over to treat yourselves at the end of the month.

However, a joint account can be problematic in instances in which one partner is a saver and the other a spender.

Communication is again critical. Some couples prefer to keep their accounts entirely separate, splitting expenses and paying for these separately.

This allows each individual a bit more freedom to spoil themselves or spend as they choose, but can become complex in terms of negotiating expenses fairly, especially as the relationship grows over time.

INVESTING

If you are in a long-term committed relationship, whether you have formalised it through marriage or not, it may be wise to consider examining your investment plan together as a unit in order to optimise your investment strategy.

By having an overall view of your collective investments and understanding what you are each invested in, you will be able to detect any areas in which you may not be as well-diversified as you believed, and can implement a far more effective investment strategy.

ESTATE PLANNING

Ensuring that your partner will be cared for in the event of your death is one of the most important acts of love among couples.

A common mistake is again a lack of communication, or making sure that your partner knows exactly what will happen should you die in order to remove any unnecessary anxiety.

For example, when there is a second marriage, it is important that your spouse understands whether you may be leaving some assets to children from a previous marriage, as this is important from a risk planning and estate planning perspective.

Equally, it is essential that your partner is able to find the details of any life policies and retirement funds and to know who the beneficiaries appointed in the life policy will be.

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