TALKING MONEY WITH YOUR PARTNER
“When financial difficulty walks in the front door, relationships and marriages go out the back door.”
Although this is an old adage, Fourie says he has seen it happen often over the years. For this reason, his firm and most other financial planners prefer to deal with couples together.
“It is important for both partners in a relationship or marriage to fully understand their financial plan. Too often we see a husband die and the wife has no idea where the investments are or how to manage the household finances,” he says.
It’s not enough for both of you to be aware of your long-term financial plan. Couples need to agree on how they manage their daily money too.
Follow these steps to help you address money as a couple and avoid conflict:
Agree on a “maximum spend” amount that must be discussed with the other partner before a purchase is made. For example, a maximum discretionary spend of R2 000. Any purchases over this amount have to be agreed on by both partners. It might be annoying but will avoid conflict when you bring home that expensive set of golf clubs.
Align your financial goals and decide what you want to achieve in the short, medium and long term.
Decide if you are going to have one joint account or separate accounts with a joint account. Maybe you want to split all expenses 50-50 or on a different split based on how much each partner earns. You might choose to have one partner handle “big finances”, such as the bond instalment or rent and investments, while the other handles “small finances”, such as the weekly groceries and running the household. Whatever you decide, make sure you are both happy with the split.