Why financial compatibility should be on your Valentine’s wish list this year

By Tara McCabe ·

Forget star signs and horoscopes, according to specialist credit repairs lawyer MyCRA, if you and your Valentine aren’t financially compatible then you could find yourselves in troubled water.

“If a miser marries a shopaholic then I am pretty sure they are going to end up seeing a lawyer like me. People don’t realise once you’re married you’re stuck with the financial decisions your partner makes so you both need to be on the same page. Just as you get to split the assets when you get divorced you get to split the debts as well,” said family lawyer Patrick Earl of ADS Law.

Now this may all seem like a complete downer to the romantic evening you have planned for Friday, but in this case making sure you’re on the same page when it comes to finances could save you a lot of heartache in the future.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Valentine's Day a waste of money? Aussies divided

To avoid straining your relationship over money worries, CEO of MyCRA Graham Doessel suggests comparing credit ratings. Credit files will pretty much list all of you and your loved one’s financial misdemeanours, from late repayments to bankruptcy declarations, so there really is nowhere to hide.

Of course sharing your credit history might be a good start to a more financially honest relationship, but there are a few other questions to ask to make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to money.

What are your financial priorities?

One important thing to consider is you and your partner’s financial priorities. Do you think it’s important to save money for a lavish wedding while your partner is more inclined to stash money away for a home loan

Knowing what matters most to one another and what your shared savings goals are, is a great place to start when it comes to financial honesty. So it might be a good idea to sit down and have a serious conversation about saving for your wedding day, your first home together and even your first child.

Are you on the same page when it comes to credit cards?

Credit cards can be a pretty controversial topic. While some would argue that they’re a great safety net to have when it comes to finances, others wouldn’t go near them with a ten foot barge pole. 

So first thing's first, find out where your partner stands. Then, if one or both of you have a credit card, make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to using them and paying them off. 

RELATED ARTICLE: How to avoid 7 of the most common credit card mistakes

Having all the tips when it comes to the smart way to use a credit card, such as knowing how to make the most of interest free days, could make things a lot more smooth sailing and help to avoid future problems.

When is it okay to borrow money?

There are a number of reasons to take out a personal loan - buying a new car, paying for renovations or covering medical expenses being just a few of them.

So just like credit cards, you may want to share your personal feelings on personal loans and what line you draw when it comes to getting one. For instance, although you might be up to getting a little help from a lender when it comes to paying for a much-needed home renovation, you may not be prepared to get into debt for a two week trip to The Bahamas. On the other hand, your partner might consider a personal loan an effective way to spread out the cost of that once in a lifetime holiday.

How much would you spend on a wedding?

According to a survey in Bride to Be magazine, the average cost of a wedding in Australia is $65,482. Did that figure make you gasp?

As Doessel pointed out, weddings can be the first indication you get of how your partner handles money on a large scale. So discussing how big or small you want your day to be, whether you would consider taking out a personal loan for it, or even what kind of budget you think you should have for a honeymoon is important.

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 money-saving secrets wedding planners don’t want you to know

And if that conversation leads to wedding bells and you do decide a personal loan is the way to go, why not take a look at the personal loans on offer below or head to our personal loans comparison page for more options. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Tara McCabe
Money writer

Tara McCabe writes across all areas of personal finance here at Mozo from banking through to insurance. Tara is expert at practical money tips, showing readers ways to live richer and be socially conscious while doing it. She earned a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Canterbury Christ Church University.