How to manage finances as a couple – without the arguments
We’ve been married for a long time – 22 years in fact – so we know discussing financial stuff with your partner is hard. But it just has to be done. Otherwise, it only leads to arguments.
According to Relationships Australia research, financial stress is the number one cause of relationship breakdown.
To avoid becoming a statistic, we’ve put together 7 financial planning tips for couples to ensure you’re both on the same page.
1. Set a budget date
Although it’s not exactly romantic, putting aside time to discuss financial matters calmly and without disruptions is important.
Ensure you’re both in a positive headspace and open for discussion. In other words, you can’t be mid-argument over something or stressing about your child’s recent naughty behaviour.
2. Look at the numbers
Review your current sources of income and expenses. Ask yourself things like:
- How much are we both earning?
- Is there potential to bring more money in? (ie. promotions)
- Is there potential to lose money? (ie. maternity leave)
- What are our monthly expenses?
Then discuss your goals:
- Where do we want to be in the next 12 months?
- Next few years?
- In 10 years?
Consider desirable home upgrades or moves and family holidays. How much money do you need to budget for these?
3. Agree on payment arrangements
Whether you pool your money together in a joint account or split the bills, it’s up to you. You might put one person in charge of paying the bills online and the other person manages the big picture budget.
Decide upon an arrangement that you’re both happy with.
4. Reassess your bills
Pull together a pile of your regular bills. This should include utilities and subscriptions such as electricity, water, gas, council and strata rates, insurances, Netflix, phone, and internet.
- Do we really need this subscription/service?
- Is it possible to find a cheaper provider?
- Are there opportunities to cut down costs?
5. Discuss pleasure money
No, we don’t mean that kind of pleasure. We’re talking about cafes, coffees, and dinners out.
If you’re reaching for a big financial goal, you can’t have the best of both worlds. You need to cut some things out.
Limit your date nights to not-too-expensive restaurants. Agree to have a main meal with no dessert. And avoid shouting rounds of drinks when out with friends.
Keep the end goal in mind. Decide if the short-term pain is worth the long term gain.
6. Stay in your lane
Make an agreement to keep your financial situation close to your chests.
Don’t compare yourself to others. And don’t worry what your friends say about your new, tighter socialising budget. If they aren’t supportive, it might be time to find new friends…
We’ve never spoken to someone who’s given their full financial details to anyone on a whim. Chances are, your friends, colleagues, or family members are experiencing circumstances completely different to yours.
7. Get help
If you’re finding it tricky to stick to a budget, there are plenty of apps to help you out. Check out Moneysoft and Money Brilliant or see if your bank has their own app.
At Creo Wealth, we have an app as well – called MyProsperity.
MyProsperity can help you:
- Keep your finances organised
- Invite family members and professionals to collaborate
- Track spending and create new habits
- Stay on target with monthly reports
- Reach your financial goals
Find out more on our Wealth Portal.
Alternatively, feel free to reach out to a financial advisor at Creo Wealth. We’ll help you see the bigger picture and set budgets that will provide you and your family financial stability for years to come.
Important Information: This is general information and does not consider your circumstances. Before acting on such information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.
Creo Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 96 605 894 415 is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 1236172) of ClearView Financial Advice Pty Limited ABN 89 133 593 012 AFS Licence No. 331367 GPO Box 4232, Sydney NSW 2001