Besides infidelity, the fastest way to end a relationship is to avoid communicating about money. Monetary choices reflect a person’s values, like trust or greed, and relationships can only survive if values are aligned.
According to Capital One Canada and Credit Canada, eight in 10 couples fight about money, and 48 per cent feel their partner’s attitude toward money is different from their own .
Financial incompatibility breaks up the majority of Canadian marriages, so stop your relationship from hitting the rocks and start talking about money.
Take the team approach. Set aside 20 minutes per week, turn off your phone, be respectful, stick to the facts and avoid finger pointing. Your money talks should focus on building your net worth and coming up with solutions.
Start by learning your partner’s financial philosophy. Then, sharpen your money savvy together by reading and discussing financial books like Rich by 40, Smart Couples Finish Rich, and Millionaire Next Door. Visit personal finance sites like www.moneyville.ca and www.finance.yahoo.com.
Create and stick to an agreed-upon budget. This will allow you to spend less time worrying about money, and more time on your relationship. It’s a tool to track income and expenses, set boundaries, and support your financial goals. And, rather than being restrictive, incorporate affordable fun. Stick to tried-and-true budget principles - spend less than you make and before you pay bills, save at least 10 per cent for yourself.
Swap financial ‘chores’ and take on new ones each week like paying the bills online, negotiating interest rates, monitoring the budget or collecting receipts to track your spending.
Next, draft a joint financial plan which details goals and strategies for saving, spending, income and asset growth, debt reduction, insurance, estate planning and taxes. Start talking about your dreams for children, homes, retirement, etc; then break your dreams into realistic steps. Always get a second opinion from a reputable financial planner.
Though you may not like to deal with financial matters, it’s irresponsible to ignore them. You don’t want to find yourself in a bad financial position you weren’t aware you were creating.