What makes a couple compatible?
Factors such as shared hobbies and interests, complimentary personalities and trust are usually the first things to come to mind.
What about money?
Financial incompatibility may be one of the main reasons for the deterioration of relationships. According to research from Scottish Widows:
- A lack of shared goals has put a strain on 17% of relationships
- 17% wish they had discussed finances earlier in a relationship
- 20% think their partner could save more for the future
- 27% of people who don’t live together say that their ability to save is impacted by their partners spending
- 34% cite financial worries as the cause of their divorce
What are the causes?
It could be, in part, due to a lack of communication between couples where finances are involved, as 11% of people do not even tell their partner how much they earn, while:
- 57% do not disclose how much they have in their personal bank account
- 25% of those with separate accounts say they have a secret stash of money
Another issue is the potential divide between generations. Millennials (18-34-year olds) are less likely (8%) to talk about finances at the start of a new relationship than over-55s (34%).
Is it a deal breaker?
Of course not.
Like many relationship issues, your financial compatibility can be improved. Though it will take communication and a commitment to change to do so.
There are several steps you can take to ensure that your financial priorities are more aligned and that you can work together to achieve a joint ideal, rather than struggling to meet unidentified aims independently.
1. Defining your financial goals, both individually and together
The first step is to know what you are working toward. Knowing what you both want, will help you set clear goals, which you can work toward both as a couple and individually. This will form the basis of all your financial decisions, so it’s important to keep them realistic.
Having both joint and individual goals is healthy as it gives both parties something to work toward. It allows you to maintain an element of independence, without leading to secret-keeping and a lack of communication with one another. It also provides a personal focus for both people to get into the habit of being smart with their finances.
2. Being open about your current financial position
As difficult as it might be to own up to debts or a bad credit history, eventually it will affect your ability to move forward as a couple and could delay financial plans, such as buying a house significantly. Alternatively, by being upfront about any difficulties you have faced now or in the past, or are still dealing with, you can both incorporate that into your strategy and work together to overcome it.
Your financial plan will factor in both long-term and short-term goals and issues, so be honest about your financial position from the start, so that you can work together to improve your outlook as a couple. By staying silent on these issues, you run the risk of putting both of you in financial difficulty, as well as damaging the trust between you.
3. Making a plan together
Making a financial plan will give you an outline of how to manage your money, both individually and as a couple, to achieve your short and long-term goals.
The plan should take your income and outgoings into account, as well as having provisions for savings and working toward big life events such as buying a house, getting married and having children, if those are things that you want to do.
The best way to make a sustainable plan, which is going to last and stand up to life’s challenges, is to get advice from a professional.
The importance of talking to an adviser
A financial adviser will be able to help you to determine your goals in more detail and may even suggest practical goals that you have overlooked. Furthermore, they will be able to give you information and offer solutions that you may not have heard of before your consultation.
Advisers can help you to combine your finances and protect you against future challenges, whilst making sure that your money is used in ways which will work toward your goals and provide you and your partner with financial security through the ups and downs of life.
For more information, or to talk to us about your finances, contact Sarah or Bev on 0115 9338433.