esbs podcast blog – episode three – Couple Finances

This time on Paul’s Podcast we’re diving into a topic close to many hearts: managing finances in a relationship.

Money matters are deeply personal, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Whether you’re considering merging finances or maintaining separate accounts, discussing financial strategies is crucial for fostering understanding and alignment within a partnership.

The traditional notion of merging all finances is no longer the default. Today, couples have various options, from pooling resources entirely to maintaining separate accounts, and discussing your financial expectations before cohabiting can prevent misunderstandings down the road.

Many couples opt for a hybrid approach, where they maintain individual accounts for personal expenses while contributing to a joint account for shared costs like bills and household expenses. However, determining each person’s contribution to the joint account requires open communication and mutual understanding, considering factors like income and spending habits. From determining who pays for what to setting aside funds for vacations and savings, each decision reflects the values and priorities of the relationship.

Even seemingly mundane issues like water usage can become contentious if not addressed openly. Resentment over financial matters can strain even the strongest relationships, underscoring the importance of proactive communication and compromise.

As someone who’s been married for several decades, I know the significance of effective communication in handling finances as a team. Sometimes before discussing financial matters with your partner, it’s helpful to take a moment for introspection. The water bill increasing from your partner’s love of baths might not bother you so much when you consider your own household splurges. Understanding your partner’s spending habits and finding common ground can help.

Beyond day-to-day expenses, it’s crucial to discuss long-term financial goals and hypothetical scenarios. Whether it’s planning for children or drafting wills, these conversations provide insight into your partner’s values and priorities.

Here are some questions that might help you discuss your financial values and priorities with your partner. There are no right answers here, but if you’d like to share your responses we’ll be starting a social media thread you can hop on.

1. If you win the lottery, where would the money go – in your own account, or a joint one? Similarly, if one of you received an inheritance, would you consider that your own, or joint money?
2. If that lottery win was one million pounds, what would the money be spent on? Would that answer change if it was £10,000, or £10 million?
3. If your partner’s sibling or other relatives fell on hard times and needed money, would you help them? And how much would you be willing to give? Or would you rather offer another form of support?
4. What’s something you’d like that lack of money prohibits you from doing at the moment – eg renovating an old house, starting a business,
5. If you want kids, would one of you become a stay at home parent, and how would you adjust to that financially?

On the topic of thinking further ahead, definitely discuss wills and inheritances. Especially with more complex and blended families, it’s increasingly important to have those conversations and decisions made early and discuss your options with a financial advisor and solicitor.

While these discussions may not always be light-hearted, they are essential for building a strong financial foundation for your relationship. Remember, navigating financial waters together requires patience, understanding, and above all, open communication. Until next time, stay financially savvy, and keep those conversations flowing!

Would you like to share your experiences or thoughts on managing finances in a relationship? Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @earlshiltonbs.