Did you know that money is one of the top causes of arguments in relationships? And, what’s more, studies have even shown that finance related tensions can increase the risk of divorce!
This may sound dramatic but there’s no getting away from the fact that money and financial issues can put an extra strain on any relationship – and let’s face it, they can be difficult at the best of times!
The good news is that Mrs Moneypenny from Channel 4’s Superscrimpers has some great tips about how you can get your relationships financially sorted.
Here are some of her top tips…
When you finally take the plunge and move in together, you need to decide between you which costs you are going to share. Of course, there are the obvious ones such as gas, electricity, council tax, and food, but there are also some less obvious ones that might pop up unexpectedly just when you think you’ve got everything on track.
If only one of you uses those extra TV channels, should you both have to pay for the package each month? If you share a car but only one of you drives to work each day, should you both pay equal amounts for the fuel?
There are no right or wrong answers, and each couple will impose different boundaries. But it’s important that you decide what is shared and what isn’t shared, before it becomes an issue and a negative force in your relationship.
However you do decide to split your bills, find out how you can get more for your money with Mrs Moneypenny.
Further down the line, you might decide it’s time to buy a house together or tie the knot. Whatever you need finance for, you will usually need to undergo a credit check. To avoid any nasty surprises when the time comes, Mrs Moneypenny suggests that you both check your credit reports as early as possible. This will allow you to identify any areas you need to improve on, and give you a more realistic idea of timelines when it comes to funding larger projects.
You should also bear in mind that, as soon as you link your bank accounts or take on debts together, your credit reports will automatically link, meaning you will both feel the impact if one of your reports isn’t quite up to scratch.
Although a lot of couples opt for joint accounts for convenience when it comes to bills etc, you don’t have to go down this route if you don’t feel comfortable or if you and your partner agree that it is not the best option for you. After all, it’s important to remember that, as with all of the decisions you make in your relationship, your financial decisions should work for you.
If you do decide to open a joint account, Mrs Moneypenny suggests that you should keep your own accounts and set up a standing order each month to transfer an agreed amount of money into the joint account to cover bills, food, and so on. This way your relationship should last longer than your paycheck!