Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and like many other couples in Australia, my husband and I headed out for a night of wining and dining.
The night was going well but just before the appetisers arrived, that dreaded conversation came up about how we both spend our money…
- His complaint: “You spend too much on clothes and you already have a wardrobe full that you don’t wear.”
- My complaint: “What about all that fishing gear you buy, you’re just as bad as me!”
While we might sound like the classic nagging old couple, it turns out we aren’t alone, as a recent survey conducted by Mozo of over 1000 Aussies, shows 28% of people think their partner spends too much money.
Thankfully, after that little conversation hiccup, we steered onto more exciting money prospects – e.g overseas holidays and that property we are saving for. But the whole “you spend too much” issue did get me thinking about that dreaded money talk faced by many Aussies.
So if you think a financial convo might be on the cards for you as a couple, here are some tips to consider:
1. Pick a time
Setting up a time that is specifically dedicated to talking through the money areas you would like to work on, will give you both a chance to think about your goals separately and the ways you can bring them together.
2. Consider opening a joint savings account
For many couples the thought of having all of your finances in the one joint bank account may be a little too much. But there is a solution: meet your partner half way by opening a joint savings account that is specifically dedicated to what you’re saving for. If you both set up a direct deposit from your individual bank accounts into the savings account over a short period you could have some considerable coin. Use Mozo’s savings goal calculator to see how long it will take to reach your combined goal here.
3. Work out a budget
If one of your major problems as a couple is how much you’re spending on your own personal items, a good way to solve this issue is by setting up a budget. Once all your everyday expenses like your rent/home loan repayments and bills are taken out then you can decide on an amount you will both use as “splurge money”. So my husband will get his fishing gear and I’ll get to enjoy a shopping spree, every now and again!
4. Get professional advice
While it’s important to work towards goals together, according to Money Smart there are some things you should get professional advice about before you commit, including guaranteeing a loan, signing your name to a loan that is solely for your spouse or becoming a partner in a business. So for those kind of big ticket items, let your partner know you’ll need to speak with a financial planner before you go ahead.
What are your strategies for having a successful “money talk” with your other half? Share with us in the comments below!