Money is a touchy subject for many of us to discuss. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just started dating, begun planning your wedding, or have been married for years, speaking about financial matters with your partner can be awkward and stressful. This is especially true if you’re dealing with money worries or have done so in the past. However, avoiding this topic isn’t going to make it go away. In fact, it could make matters a lot worse, putting a strain on your relationship and bank account. With that in mind, here are ten money mistakes that couples tend to make.
- Avoiding The Money Talk
Far too many couples completely avoid discussing the topic of money, especially where debts are concerned. This could be for a few reasons, ranging from lack of interest in the subject to fear of judgement. Either way, you can’t afford to put this talk off any longer. You need to learn about your partner’s financial past, as well as their current spending habits and attitudes towards money. This allows you to tackle any problems together and make solid plans for the future.
- Having No Budget Plan
When couples begin living together, they tend to split bills between them. This could mean paying half for every expense or paying several different bills each. However you choose to go about it, you need to have a plan. Make sure that you have enough cash between you to cover non-negotiable household costs, like the rent and insurance, and agree on spending levels for variable expenses, like groceries. You needn’t pay exactly the same, but you should both agree.
- Failing To Work Together
One of the best parts about being in a committed relationship is that you gain a teammate with which to take on the world. Unfortunately, when it comes to money, teamwork can start to break down, leaving one person handling the finances on their own. This can lead to resentment and frustrations on either side. For this reason, even if you’re not good with money or disinterested in the topic, you should still set aside some time to go over your finances as a couple.
- Keeping Your Finances Separate
After you and your partner get married, there are very few valid reasons to keep your finances separate. After all, you’ll have some bills in both of your names, as well as many others that you share between you. This means that, if you or your partner decide you don’t want to combine accounts, it can be a sign that one of you is hiding something. If one of you has had money issues in the past, opening a joint bank account can help to build up trust between you both.
- Rushing To Combine Accounts
While it makes sense to combine your bank accounts after getting married, you should think twice about doing so before your big day. Laws are designed to protect married couples alone, which means that you could find yourself in trouble if you decide to take on each other’s debt or buy a home together. Because of this, it’s generally a better idea to do such things after you’ve tied the knot. For paying the bills, you can open a separate account just for household expenses.
- Lying To Your Partner
People often joke about hiding new purchases before their partner gets home, but you shouldn’t make a habit out of lying to your significant other, particularly when it comes to finances. This can lead to some serious money trouble, as well as issues within your relationship. You need to make sure that you both remain upfront about your spending and are completely open about your financial situations. Secrets tend to come out in the end, so there’s nothing to gain from lying.
- Ignoring The Warning Signs
Even if you’re completely honest about your finances, there’s nothing saying that your partner is too. Of course, trust is important within a relationship, but, if something seems off when you’re talking about money, then you can’t just ignore it. Whether they look uncomfortable discussing finances or try to avoid the topic completely, you should take this as a warning sign. Instead of dropping the subject, you should try to get them to open up and be honest.
- Taking Out Unnecessary Loans
There comes a time for every couple when they need to borrow some money. This could be to start a business or put a deposit on a house. However, just because there are good reasons to borrow cash, it doesn’t mean that you can do so whenever you like. You shouldn’t take out instant loans to buy the latest games console, for example, or go for a fancy meal. If you’re going to take out a short-term loan, it should be for an emergency or unexpected expense.
- Not Preparing For Emergencies
No matter how your life is looking right now, there is always the chance that something could go wrong. You could lose your job, get into a car accident, have your home burgled, or another unexpected and costly situation. Of course, it’s always possible to borrow money to deal with any expenses, but this should be a last resort. Instead of putting yourself in debt, you should prepare for these costs by building an emergency fund and investing in insurance coverage.
- Assuming You’ll Live Forever
Living forever simply isn’t possible, which means that, at some point, you aren’t going to be around anymore to take care of your family. Rather than leave them to deal with unexpected costs and money worries alone, you should consider investing in life insurance. You should also write a will to ensure that everyone you love is left a little something when you’re gone. Doing this at a young age can feel strange, but it’s important to be prepared for anything.
Money can be a difficult topic to discuss, even with your partner, but for a healthy and open relationship, it’s one that you can’t afford to avoid.