Why You Need To Talk To Your Partner About Money
Without raising your voice or storming out of the room.
It's one of the most difficult convos to have -- the dreaded "money chat".
Is it just us, or does everyone get the fear when a big bill comes in and you need to speak to your other half?
"In research released recently by St George bank, it turns out that one in four of us say money is a source of conflict, and Relationships Australia say it's in the top five reasons why people break up," Effie Zahos from Money Magazine told ten daily.
Phew, so it's not just us, but boo, because... well it's not just us.
"It's a real hot spot," she agreed. "The biggest conflicts out there now seem to be meeting everyday living expenses -- some research also came out from ANZ which said that the two things people want to feel better about are being able to pay bills and living expenses, and have savings -- they're the biggest things that affect us. And it's no surprise really, we are feeling the cost of living. And this causes relationship problems."
So what do we need to do to stop this being a "thing"?
"Everyone's situations is different -- but have a conversation with your partner. If financial stress is happening in your house you have to address it, you can't put your head in the sand," she warned.
Pardon us as we clear the sand out of our ears and try this. What do we need to discuss exactly?
"I know it does sound boring but it's the old question -- where is your money going? There's an old saying -- it's not what you earn that counts, it's what you spend -- you and your partner need to say, 'where is our money going and what can we do better?' Set aside what I call a 'fiscal date night' and have a chat about what is happening and where you're going."
OK so that makes sense.
Effie told ten daily you also need to look at your personal spending habits. and "behavioural economics". Ask yourself why is it you do what you do when it comes to money? If you have a credit card, have a look at how you use it, do you pay it down and then spend back up again? Are you using it as your own money? Because, according to Effie, "that's really that's not what the card is there for."
You should also work towards some kind of financial independence. According to Effie, that's a big one."I think it's important to have financial independence -- especially for women. To understand where their money goes and what they've got -- in fact, both partners need that."
And if you need help? Don't stress about it. "There is lots of help and good information out there," Effie told us. "There are financial counsellors you can turn to, and also a lot of information available online as well -- the government site, moneysmart.gov.au, is a great place to start."
Then, of course, once you've initiated that convo and started the process as grown ups -- heads well and truly out of the sand -- Effie says you just need to keep on keeping on.
"Do a budget and see where your money is going. If you have debts, knuckle down and pay them off. It's not easy -- getting rich overnight isn't going to happen so you have to get rid of that debt because that's weighing you down -- and then start saving."
Feature Image: Getty