Great Britain

Quarter of couples don’t feel comfortable discussing money with their other half

A QUARTER of couples don’t feel comfortable talking about money with their other half.

Research polling 2,000 adults in a relationship found just 17 per cent regularly talk about finances with their partner.

More than one in 10 are apprehensive about discussing debts with their other half, while 18 per cent have never discussed money they owe one another.

It also emerged 10 per cent haven’t shared how much they earn with their significant other, and an equal percentage don’t know what their partner earns.

Commissioned by M&S Bank, the study also revealed never finding a good time, feeling a little embarrassed and wondering how their other half might respond are among the reasons people avoid the subject of money in their relationships.

In fact, people will typically utter the words “I love you” five months before broaching the topic of money – which they won’t talk about until nine months into their relationship.

Psychologist Emma Kenny said: “At this time of year, a lot of people are looking for love or taking relationships to the next level, perhaps even with a romantic Valentine’s proposal.

“It’s interesting to see that people would say ‘I love you’ five months into a relationship, but wouldn’t talk about money until nine months – and many are simply uncomfortable talking about money with their other half.”

The research also found 18 per cent are more likely to move in together before they talk about money.

As many as one in 10 even expect to get married before they bring up the topic of finances with their significant other.

However, a handful those polled - five per cent – will choose to discuss finances within less than two weeks of knowing each other.

The research revealed being good with your finances is a more attractive attribute than being a good cook and is also more appealing than being outgoing or sociable, or successful in their career.

As many as four in five also said it is important for their partner to have the same financial goals as they do.

And nine in 10 choose to discuss the aspirational side of finances with one another.

Although more than half of those who don’t currently have a joint bank account together said they would rather not open one with their significant other.

A fifth of these said they’d prefer not to because they enjoy managing their own finances independently, and 24 per cent value their financial independence, while a quarter don’t feel they need one.

If they did choose to open a joint bank account with one another, this is most likely to occur one year and two months into a relationship.

Of the couples that do have a joint bank account, they find it most useful to pay for bills, the rent or mortgage and saving money together.

Emma Kenny added: “The findings show that money can be a taboo subject in some relationships.

“However, it’s healthy for couples to discuss their finances and it’s important that they engage in open and honest conversations about financial goals and ambitions from the start.

“In fact, this is often the key to a successful relationship.

“While how much a person feels comfortable disclosing is down to the individual, we would encourage people to talk more about money with their loved ones and make finance the language of love this Valentine’s Day.”

Emma Kenny's top tips for discussing finances with your partner:

1. Communicate openly, from the get go

Great relationships are often transparent ones.

When you do start to discuss your financial health – and I would argue the sooner the better – it is important that you both understand the good, the bad and the ugly regarding your financial affairs, so that you can communicate openly and work towards a common goal and help each other.

2. History matters

While you are likely to know which school your other half attended, what their favourite food is, and details of their relationship history, chances are you won’t have the low down on their credit history.

Knowing about your partner’s financial history – and present situation – is important, because if affects you too.

And if you’re planning to embark on a financial relationship, it’s worth looking at something like a free credit score site, so you can both understand the way lenders see you as a couple.

3. Get practical

Money needs to be dealt with using more of a practical mindset.

So sit down with your partner and arrange an almost ‘business-like’ meeting – by that I mean be planned and agree what financial matters you need to discuss and make sure you cover them.

Remember, it’s important to leave your emotions at the door and the earlier these types of conversations happen, the better!

4. Talk about what it means to make a financial connection

When you are in a committed relationship, joint accounts can be a great tool to help you save, spend and budget together.

But it’s also worth taking a little time to understand the implications of connecting your finances before committing.

For example, did you know that both parties on a joint account are liable for any debt on the account.

5. Real talk

Have a money armistice where you bring all your financial facts and figures together so that you can both take an honest view of what’s working, what you’d like to change, and how you can each support one another on your financial journey

6. Money M.O.T.

Just as you visit your dentist regularly, your finances would benefit from regular check-ups too.

Agree to sit down - perhaps once a month - to review your finances, as a couple.

Here you can discuss any big purchases you may wish to make, or look at how you can cut back on those take away coffees so you can save for that weekend break you both want to make happen.

Taking the time to talk these things through will ensure there are no nasty surprises which could cause problems down the line.

7.  Separate, but together

Even if you both want to retain financial independence, many couples find it beneficial to keep some of your finances in one place so that you can both contribute towards things like holidays, spontaneous weekend breaks and the more fun parts of your relationship.

This means that you can both contribute to saving and ensure that you have a happy and harmonious financial life.

8. Set goals

Research evidences that people who set themselves goals are happier and healthier than those who do not.

As a couple, agree on some activities or purchases that you want to work towards as these will act as a motivator, and will also mean you both feel rewarded when you achieve your target.

9. Have fun

While saving together is a positive exercise, you should also make sure that you get to enjoy your hard work.

When you achieve any financial milestones, agree on how you’ll celebrate the effort you have both made.

It doesn’t need to be big or expensive but it’s important to recognise your effort and achievements.

10. Don't play the blame game

If you, or your partner have made some bad choices that have affected your finances, try not to be judgemental.

Life is a learning curve and past mistakes can be the key to future success, as long as they are acknowledged and learnt from.

Football news:

Lopetegui to Bayern: Sevilla are filled with desire. Preparing for the match with great hope
Spartak-2 coach Pilipchuk about 1:2 with Alania: sorry for the boys who fall under the arbitrariness of the judges
Havertz scored the 26th (18+8) point in 2020. Only Levandovsky, Messi and Ronaldo have more players in the top 5 leagues
Joau mariou is Interesting to Betis and Galatasaray. Inter are ready to sell the midfielder
Real Madrid defender Nacho is Interesting for Milan, Napoli and Roma
Dest will arrive in Barcelona today. Blaugrana has agreed a contract with him and will pay Ajax 20+5 million euros
Suarez leaving Barcelona for Atletico Madrid. Luiz was called by Simeone, their Union should be 🔥