One in five Brits (19%) think couples should wait between one and two years before having ‘the money talk’, according to new research by Wonga, with a similar amount (18%) of men waiting until an engagement. With this in mind, we asked relationship coach Lynn Smith to highlight the importance of the money talk when you're in a relationship. 

To build up trust

To build up trust

To avoid arguments, break-ups and even a divorce over money it’s important to find out how to manage your joint finances.

To maintain intimacy - so finding areas where you can agree and then working through possible solutions in the areas where you may disagree – bodes well for a harmonious relationship going forwards.

Because there’s no one rule that suits everyone there needs to be flexibility and a good understanding of each other’s attitudes to finances. For example it’s helpful to know if one of you is a saver and the other a spender.

In order to have agreements about what areas of responsibility you’re each willing to own and what areas you need to share the responsibility or reach some sort of compromise.

Because it’s not usually the lack of finances that causes a break up, but the lack of openness, trust and compatibility in the financial area.

Everything from different spending habits and financial goals to one partner earning considerably more money than the other, can cause a power struggle and put stress on a relationship.

Happiness: Although it may initially seem unromantic, dealing with this crucial issue at source, can save you having relationship-threatening challenges later.

Trust: Being totally transparent about such a key issue like money, eradicates any doubts about a partners’ possible hidden financial agenda.

Communication: If you can’t talk as a couple, there is no relationship – if you can overcome the big Money Talk hurdle, collective harmony and confidence can only develop on a deeper level.

Goal-setting: Part-and-parcel of being in a healthy, mutually-beneficial relationship, is about making financial plans for individual and collective growth.

Surprises: These could be good or bad; either way, be prepared to deal with the situation together.

Single or Joint: Whether couples choose to manage their finances separately or together, is not the issue – there needs to be agreement.

Emotional: Like it or not, the topic is usually very emotional – even for people that state ‘money doesn’t matter’ – so be aware of its potential for a major fall-out.

Accountability: To have someone that might – just might – stop the other over-spending; thereby keeping the finances in-line and on track.

Teaching: Sharing your knowledge around money, can only help the partnership.

Security: It helps each other to feel secure in the relationship; knowing that both parties are being considered – not just one.

Just by way of a humorous conclusion – if ever your partner asks you ‘Would you put money on us staying together?’ why not simply respond: ‘As long as we can discuss the finances first’!

Lyn Smith

The Queen of HEARTS

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