Rising Tide Blog

‘til debt do us part

Posted by Matt Hale

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How much stress does money management (& lack thereof) have on relationships?

I read this article on news.com.au yesterday, about a young couple whose post Euro trip money blues were a key factor in their relationships demise.

I wasn’t surprised, but intrigued none the less.

According to psychologytoday.com.au, the 10th most likely reason your relationship will fail is money issues. That seems pretty low down the order at number 10. Above ‘money issues’ sits;

  • Trust issues (number 1)
  • Different expectations (number 2)
  • Communication issues (number 5)

My question – does ‘money issues’ come in at number 10 or do the rest occur in part because of number 10?

Now I am certainly not in the business of relationship counselling (although Annie & I have been able to manage a relationship between a Carlton & Essendon supporter for nearly 10 years), but what I do know is that a stable money foundation between couples will give you a better chance to thrive (not just survive!).

A few of the common themes I’ve noticed where things get strained in relationships;

  • Rationalizing decisions by love & excitement – like taking that Euro trip when you can’t really afford it
  • Letting ‘future you’ look after the issues ‘now you’ causes – think afterpay & credit cards
  • Avoiding having a chat about what you both want – often one partner ‘gets their way’

How to avoid the stress – here’s my take on things?

  • Understand what you both have financially, & put all your cards on the table (loans / cash / super & everything else)
  • Do a budget
  • Make a plan on what the future looks like together (even if it’s high level)
  • Make a joint budget and chip in (a joint bank account can come next)

Finally, make sure you put aside some time aside (over a bottle of red or a coffee) & discuss your money more often – normalize the conversation & it will get easier each time.