Financial troubles are stressful enough for those living by themselves, but things can get even worse when you're in a relationship. A national study conducted by the American Institute of CPAs or AICPA in 2012 found that financial issues were the most common source of arguments among married couples in the United States. It was estimated that financial problems prompted an average of three arguments per month among couples.
Money problems are stressful for everybody, and they have been known to destroy otherwise perfectly healthy relationships. However, it's not usually the strain of being broke or in debt that breaks up these couples. Most of the time, the problem can be traced to a lack of communication. Roughly 55 percent of adults who are married or living with partners state that they don't set aside time to talk about finances on a regular basis, and this often means that serious financial issues aren't discussed until they come to a head.
Whether you've been happily married for several years or you've just moved in with your partner, there are things you should be doing to make sure that any financial issues you may have doesn't ruin your relationship. Here are just a few to keep in mind.
1. Get Full Disclosure Before Making Any Decisions
One of the worst things you can do with regards to money and relationships is to get married or start cohabitating with a partner without talking about your finances. Get full disclosure before you move in with your partner or get married. This means discuss any financial issues you or your partner may have, and come up with a plan or meeting with a financial advisor to take care of them before things get out of hand.
2. Make a Money Date
Since most serious financial issues are ongoing, set a regular date with your partner to discuss financial matters. Go over your bank and credit card accounts and revise your budget, especially if you have a joint account. Meeting with a financial planning company can help you better manage your money. This will help you and your partner stay on top of your finances and ensure that nobody is being deceptive with their spending.
3. Split Your Financial Obligations
It's common in relationships for one person to become the chief financial officer. This person is the one who makes sure that all bills are paid and that financial planning for the future has occurred. This might work out for some people, but it could also create unnecessary stress. It's important that everyone in a relationship be fully aware of how much money is being spent, and the best way to do that is for everyone to split financial duties. This reduces the stress on the "financial officer" and puts a system of checks-and-balances in place to make sure that nobody is spending more than they should.
For financial planning and asset management services, please contact Lighthouse Financial Planning and arrange a meeting with a financial advisor today.