STIs are bad enough, but as Melissa Browne says, money prob­lems can be even more painful – and just as con­ta­gious.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - YOUR LIFE, YOUR RULES! -

We know the drill to avoid STIs: Use pro­tec­tion. But flu­ids aren’t the only thing shared in re­la­tion­ships. We can also be reck­less about the F-word (fi­nances) – ex­pos­ing our­selves to that painful STD (sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted debt). You might think, “My part­ner knows what they’re do­ing with money, so I don’t have to worry.” How­ever, STDs can af­fect ev­ery­one. Here’s how to avoid fi­nan­cial her­pes and cre­ate a re­la­tion­ship where money isn’t a dirty word, but an­other thing you talk about. 1 Al­ways use pro­tec­tion Clare Boothe Luce, the late Amer­i­can writer said, “Some­times the best pro­tec­tion is a lit­tle money of her own”, and I think this is true in any re­la­tion­ship. It’s vi­tal to pro­tect your as­sets, in­clud­ing your in­come. But STD-pro­tec­tion isn’t about your con­tra­cep­tives. It’s about not open­ing joint bank ac­counts or credit cards, co-sign­ing car loans, mov­ing in to­gether or sign­ing up for phone plans. At least, not ’ til you care­fully fol­low Steps Two, Three and Four. 2 Sit down and have The Talk Be­fore you get se­ri­ous and def­i­nitely be­fore you share ac­counts and car loans, have a con­ver­sa­tion about money. Th­ese kinds of chats are tra­di­tion­ally awk­ward, but it’s im­por­tant to sort out who owns what, air any debts and dis­cuss your hopes for your fi­nances. Hav­ing the chat will mean fewer sur­prises later, and if there are any fi­nan­cial skele­tons lurk­ing in ei­ther of your clos­ets (or bank state­ments), you can both cre­ate a plan to deal with them ahead of time. 3 In­sist on trans­parency I’m a firm be­liever in talk­ing be­ing the first step, but it’s just as im­por­tant to see what’s go­ing on with your own eyes. Make it hard for each other to fi­nan­cially cheat by shar­ing what you have and what you owe. I’m talk­ing re­veal­ing bank state­ments. You don’t need to spill your lo­gin de­tails (par­tic­u­larly at the be­gin­ning of the re­la­tion­ship), but ar­range to have reg­u­lar chats about how you’re go­ing fi­nan­cially, where you show bank state­ments to each other. 4 Ask the pro­fes­sion­als Be­fore tak­ing the gi­ant step of join­ing funds, mov­ing in to­gether or ap­ply­ing for loans, see a pro­fes­sional. It’s key to un­der­stand worstcase sce­nar­ios and what this com­mit­ment means. Whether it’s mov­ing in to­gether or sign­ing doc­u­ments to­gether, you have to re­alise that a fall­out may re­sult in the au­thor­i­ties has­sling the eas­i­est one to lo­cate (which could be you). The ram­i­fi­ca­tions, if your part­ner can’t step up, can be life-chang­ing.

Well planned pro­tec­tion keeps the STD away!

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