Money Matters: Finance and Your Relationship
So your other half finally got down on one knee and you said yes. Now it’s full-steam ahead with the hectic process of planning the big day. With so much to think about, it’s often easy to get caught up in the excitement of your wedding and forget to consider the decisions you will need to make as you embark on married life together.
We don’t want to take away from the romance but before you even think about stepping foot down the aisle, it’s really important that both you and your partner have had a thorough and honest discussion about your finances and approaches to money matters.
Based on some great money advice from Mrs Moneypenny, here are some of the things you need to consider before entering a financial relationship with your future husband or wife.
What Are Your Financial Personalities?
You might agree on your favourite TV show, your dream holiday destination, and even your hopes for the future. But that doesn’t mean you both have the same outlook when it comes to regular spending habits.
This is where you both need to be honest with yourselves and each other and answer another big question – are you scrimpers or savers?
This is the first step you need to take to get your relationships financially sorted. Once you understand each other’s attitudes to money, you’ll be in a much better position to tackle any problems that may arise in the future.
Be Honest and Open
Yes, it’s true that financial worries and pressures can put a strain on relationships but it’s better to be completely honest with each other and face these issues head on as a team.
If you’re hoping to secure any credit or finance together in the future, such as a mortgage, then the lender will take both of your credit reports into account.
So it’s important to know where you both stand and make sure that both of your credit reports are in the best shape possible before applying to the bank. This will give you the best chance of being approved.
Even if you aren’t applying for credit together, you will have formed a formal financial link and, as such, your credit worthiness will be impacted by your partners.
You should also be aware that the financial link doesn’t automatically end if the relationship does – this means that you or your partner might be affected by a previous link with someone else. Don’t worry though, if this is the case, Credit Reference Agencies such as Experian can help you put it right.
Every couple has a different opinion on joint bank accounts and it’s very much a personal decision to be made between the two of you.
A joint account can be convenient, especially when you are renting or buying a property together. Mrs Moneypenny suggests that if you do decide to open a joint account, you also retain your own individual accounts and set up standing orders to pay an agreed amount of money into the joint account in order to cover bills etc.
If you have decided to open a joint account, your credit reports will be linked together, which means that your partner’s credit score may be taken into account if you make an individual application for credit.
Although you may both have individual accounts, whatever you spend ultimately impacts upon the other one. We all get tempted to indulge every now and again but once you tie the knot it’s not all about you anymore.
To avoid any potential arguments and disagreements it’s a good idea to sit down and agree a limit that you can spend alone without running it past your partner. Anything that comes in over this amount, will need to be agreed on by both of you before spending.
Whether you’re saving for your big day, a mortgage deposit, or the holiday of a lifetime, work out between you how much you need to save each month and budget around this. It might also be worthwhile opening a joint savings account so you can set the money aside each month and track your progress.
It’s Not All Scrimping and Saving
Although it’s important to get your finances in order and save money for your future together, remember that it’s important to treat yourself and each other to keep a happy and balanced life together.
Image Credits: I Said Yes – Brit, Personal Planner – Strange Charmed, Holding Hands -Bilancia Designs, Honeymoon Jar -Etsy.