Let’s be honest, money isn’t exactly a sexy topic when you’re in a relationship. But if you’re planning on moving in together, it’s important to discuss finances relatively early on to ensure you’re both on the same page.
By being honest and open about your spending style and financial values and addressing any potential red flags before you sign the lease, you can manage expectations around financial roles and responsibilities. Talking finances as a couple sets clear goals and helps to clarify financial values, future dreams and aspirations.
We caught up with dating and relationship expert, Katia Loisel, and she gave us the lowdown on everything you need to know about sorting your finances when you move in together. Read on for her tips on having those tricky money conversations, managing your joint household expenses and making your saved money go further!
The type of conversations you have will depend on the stage of your relationship and level of commitment. However, think about the following:
If you’re finding it difficult to talk with your partner, try these conversation starters:
When it comes to money, the issue isn’t incompatibility but a lack of commitment towards reaching mutual financial goals. Most financial issues can be talked through, however some potential red flags that you should watch out for include:
When it comes to pooling finances, there is no right or wrong. It often works better for couples with similar spending styles and mutual financial goals. If you do decide to pool, I often recommend agreeing on whether to have at least a little of your own money. This gives independence and means you’re not accountable to your partner for every cent you spend.
Generally, it is cheaper living with your partner and sharing expenses than living on your own. However, just because you save on household expenses, it doesn’t mean that the saving will go towards something worthwhile!
Create a budget and put a savings plan in place. We often spend a lot more than we think, so do a budget together and see where you stand and where your money is supposed to go. Taking your bills, savings, retirement plans and life insurance into account helps you to see exactly how much money is going in and out. Setting some big or small financial savings goals as a couple ensures that you’re working together and gives you something fun to look forward to.
Financial fitness means you manage your money wisely. That means knowing your numbers, having access to money (your money not borrowed) when you need it, living within your means, paying off your debts, and having your life admin including your savings, retirement plan and life insurance in place.
The key to connecting with your partner and creating financial fitness and harmony is planning, communication, kindness and understanding. This can resolve many of the issues that couples have around money. It’s not about one strategy but working together as a couple from a place of kindness and understanding. Making smart financial decisions as a couple now will also help you to create financial harmony and fitness in the long-term.
Katia Loisel is working alongside ANZ on their Love Insurance campaign during the month of April. Love Insurance helps put into perspective that we all want to look after our loved ones and life insurance is a way of showing you’ll be there for your loved ones.