When we talk about the reasons that relationships break up, one theme keeps cropping up: Money.
It's very common for people to split over money stress. Whether that's just worries about a financial situation taking the fun out of the relationship, or a fundamental difference of opinion, those digits in your bank account can have a huge impact on your love life.
Here are some things to think about to stop your relationship becoming a casualty.
Do you have the same money style as your partner? Whether they know it or not, everyone approaches their money in a slightly different way. Sometimes it's quite dramatic — one of you might be a profligate spender while the other is a frugal saver. For others, it's more subtle. It's helpful to identify how each of you relate to your finances so you can understand and pre-empt how you might respond to changing circumstances.
If not, can you find ways around that? If you're really different, you'll need to find a way to navigate those differences if you're going to work together for common goals. It may be too much to ask to completely change someone's habits of a lifetime but drawing up a budget for your joint expenses and setting some mutual goals and agreed rules around spending can be helpful. If it sounds a bit draconian to talk about rules, you could consider agreeing that you'll check in with each other before you make a purchase over a set amount.
Do you have to have a joint account? Sometimes, if your approaches are too different, or you each have separate financial obligations, an all-in joint bank account structure isn't the best way forward. You can set up one joint account for the things you do together, including any bills, and agree that you'll each put some money aside.
Are you talking? Try to make your money just another thing you talk about in your relationship, not something to fear and hide away from. Getting ahead of problems before they happen is a good way to stop things becoming a bigger issue.
Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.