CityPress - - Business -

“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.

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