Money Mistakes Couples Make

Money Mistakes Couples Make

Here are money mistakes counsellors see couples make, to help ensure that money doesn’t sour the atmosphere.

Discussing finances with your partner can often feel uncomfortable, awkward, and even scary, amplifying the vulnerability in such conversations. Being in a relationship inevitably involves making mistakes, but allowing financial matters to fall by the wayside shouldn’t be one of them.

Lack of Money Communication

When did you last broach the topic of finances with your partner? Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, couples might neglect these crucial discussions. However, it’s vital for both parties to synchronise their understanding of their financial situation, both joint and individual, to avoid surprises later on. Establishing a structured approach to these conversations can help. Set aside dedicated time and space for discussions and agree on the topics to cover regularly. The goal is to transform these conversations into constructive exchanges rather than burdensome tasks. Our counsellors recommend scheduling a “money date” to alleviate tension, foster mutual learning, and infuse enjoyment into managing finances once more.

Failure to Collaborate as a Team

In a committed relationship, it’s imperative to unite financially. This entails making joint decisions and ensuring both partners are fully involved in financial matters. No one should unilaterally make financial choices without consulting the other, nor should one person bear sole responsibility for managing finances. Both individuals should possess a comprehensive grasp of their financial inflows and outflows, bill due dates, passwords, organisational systems, and so forth. Consider the worst-case scenario: if something were to happen to one partner, the other must be informed and capable of managing the situation seamlessly.

Overlooking Money Personalities

Are you familiar with your and your partner’s money personalities? Various money personas exist, such as spenders, savers, risk-takers, security seekers, and more. Understanding these dynamics is pivotal for financial comprehension. Identify stress triggers and seek equilibrium. Each personality boasts strengths and weaknesses, presenting an opportunity for mutual growth within your partnership.

Neglecting Budget Construction

Prior to merging finances, crafting a collaborative budget is imperative. View each other as equals in this process, irrespective of individual incomes, ensuring both voices are heard. Utilise your next “money date” to assess income and expenses (maintaining a money diary aids in this), debt management, savings, and discretionary spending. Determine how to divvy up financial responsibilities—whether pooling funds, splitting 50/50, proportionate payments, etc.—and formulate a budget accordingly. Continuously seek opportunities to optimise and adjust the budget as circumstances evolve; budgets are dynamic and should reflect changes in income, lifestyle, or situations.

Failing to Adapt to Single-Income Living

Life’s unforeseen events can disrupt finances, such as job loss or illness impacting household income. Therefore, maintaining financial resilience is crucial. Avoid overextending finances to ensure the ability to sustain living expenses on a single income for an extended period. Make prudent financial decisions toward this objective — opting for more affordable housing, purchasing generic or bulk items, prioritising durability over trends, exploring thrift stores, and curbing recurring subscriptions, among other strategies.

Failing to Establish Financial Boundaries in Dating

How often have you and your partner indulged in extravagant date nights on a whim? How frequently have you exceeded your budget limits for the sake of trying a new restaurant or planning a weekend getaway? Once you’ve established a budget, ensure mutual agreement regarding date nights or shared experiences. It’s easy to surpass allotted funds when seeking to foster romance. Before scheduling a date or getaway, scrutinise your budget rigorously to verify affordability. Remember, maintaining the spark doesn’t necessitate monthly splurges; sometimes, the most cherished moments involve nature exploration, cosy evenings at home, or tapping into your creative side.

Lack of Honesty

Transparency is vital in every aspect of your relationship, including finances. Don’t hesitate to inquire about your partner’s financial background. Are there undisclosed debts? How’s their credit health? Do their habits—such as smoking, gambling, excessive shopping, drinking, or drug use—affect your financial well-being? Equally important is being honest with yourself. Address any concerns or red flags regarding your relationship and finances. Avoid secrecy from the outset; delaying honesty only complicates matters. If transparency is needed, schedule a “money date” for an open, non-judgmental discussion.

Neglecting Shared Financial Objectives

As a team, it’s imperative to establish common financial aspirations. Envision your future together and outline SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) short- and long-term goals. Hold each other accountable and celebrate milestones, fostering mutual encouragement even during challenging times. Pursuing shared objectives strengthens your relationship in the long run.

Delaying Action on Your Finances

Who hasn’t succumbed to procrastination at some point? Yet, when the persistent refrain of “Let’s start next month” impedes your financial progress, it’s time to discard those excuses and dive in wholeheartedly. Monthly distractions may always arise, tempting you to overspend or neglect your financial responsibilities. Consider this a cue to stand firm, reject costly temptations, and refocus on your financial objectives.

Failing to Seek Assistance

Have you ever deferred seeking help until it’s too late? Avoid repeating that error with your finances. If uncertainties about your budget, lack of trust, difficulty expressing concerns, or navigating joint finances leave you feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek guidance. Even the most financially astute individuals require assistance occasionally. Schedule a free appointment with one of our accessible, impartial counsellors to guide you through this financial journey. It only takes one person to initiate action, so don’t hesitate to book an appointment independently and involve your partner when they’re ready.

DISCLAIMER:  This article is for informational purposes only and not meant as official financial advice. 2 Ezi has no relationships with any organisation mentioned. Please consult a financial advisor and relationship counsellor.

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