Good communication is important in any relationship and one of the most vital subjects to discuss is money.
It is surprising how many couples get together without having a frank and open discussion on how money will be managed in the relationship, only to find that fundamental differences in this area become a significant cause of friction. It is not uncommon for different attitudes towards money to lead to a complete breakdown in a relationship. To avoid potential conflict, here's how to get talking about money:
Before you talk to your partner, you should each have a clear understanding of what money means to you and the purpose of money in your life so you can share these thoughts with each other.
Set a time, not just for one meeting, but for a series of regular (such as monthly) meetings to discuss your financial situation. Meet at a time when feelings are neutral rather than angry or stressed, when it is quiet and you have the energy to focus on the discussion.
In your discussion, be prepared to see things from your partner's point of view and show a willingness to compromise so each of you can have your needs met.
Don't be critical or judgmental of your partner's views. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to managing money. The most important thing is to make decisions based on a full understanding of the consequences of those decisions.
Set shared goals and priorities for your money and hold each other accountable to achieving them.
Make it a team effort to manage your money rather than relying on one person to manage everything.
If you have conflict over money, your relationship will struggle to survive. Use good communication to maintain harmony.
Liz Koh is an authorised financial adviser. The advice given here is general and doesn't constitute specific advice to any person. A free disclosure statement can be obtained by calling 0800 273 847.