Almost every day of our lives, we talk about things like what we bought, what we do for a living, where we went to school, and what car we drive.
Why are we so happy talking about what money can do – but we can’t talk about money itself?
Our inability to talk about money, especially in our relationships, is the leading cause of financial stress.
And according to Relationships Australia, financial stress and pressure is the number one cause of relationship breakdowns in this country.
Rather than communicate with each other about money, too many couples turn to ‘fad budgets’ that have been recommended by their friends or espoused online – because they see it as a quick and easy fix to managing their money and creating wealth.
But as a finance expert, I urge caution over the fad budget offerings like the ‘bucket budget’, ‘no spend days’ budgeting technique, the ’50, 30, 20′ and the ’80, 20′ budgets.
While these budgets do work for some people, for many couples they’re like a fad diet – they may lead to some short-term gains, but in time you’ll be binge-spending again.
In addition, much like a diet, your tastes are unlikely to be exactly the same – so even if a fad budget works for one of you, it is unlikely to suit the other person in exactly the same way.
I stress to couples that they must identify shared goals and lifestyle aspirations if they are to map out a sustainable long-term budget for themselves.
Couples bring to their relationship different upbringings, different attitudes to money and finances, and different spending priorities.
Learning how to make joint decisions is an important part of any long-term relationship.
Couples who take a team approach to their finances are more likely to achieve their goals.
Have the money conversation with your partner, establish your values and rules on money, appoint a chief financial officer in the relationship to lead the money discussions, and set up regular money date nights to discuss your finances.
The reason decisions like these are so rare amongst the couples I talk to is because we’re in need of a cultural shift.
Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject in Australia – that’s the first step to saving our finances and our relationships!
Kylie Sultana is the owner of Creo Wealth. She holds a Diploma in Financial Planning.