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Valentine's day special - golden money rules for couples

Feb 08, 2011

Money can't buy you happiness but it can certainly cause plenty of relationship problems.

According to Relationships Australia it's not the mother-in-law or the other woman, but money that is the main reason for relationship break-ups. 

If you experience love at first sight here are a few tips to avoid being blinded by love.

WHAT WORKS WELL

Good communication

No matter who you are, communication is the key factor to a great relationship.  Particularly with money matters.  There should be no secret purchases or silent credit cards and loans.  All finance decisions should be consulted jointly before they are made.  Failure to communicate openly and in a timely manner is like a hand grenade ... it will blow up in your face.

Set goals

Just like I would recommend to singles, I encouraged couples to write down their financial goals.  You need to have something to work towards and it's important to know what each other wants.  Ranking them gives them importance and will give you a master plan to work towards for years to come.     

Budgeting

Always make sure that you have your bills paid before you do anything else.  Use Excel to do a budget and work out the amount that you need to put aside each month for your expenses.  Open 4 online bank accounts for different savings – such as house deposit, holidays, “rainy days” and perhaps a wedding! 

Pre-nupital agreements

Some may say that this defeats the purpose of marrying based on the values of love and trust but a pre-nup is a good preventative measure against a bag egg.  Love hurts but divorce can cost.

Counselling

If you are having difficulties in your relationship, go and see a counsellor to help try and resolve your issues.  They may be able to identify a simple solution & save a lot of angst.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Avoid being financially wrecked

There are alot of men out there that are rats.  Don't leave yourself financially vulnerable by having any of his debts in your name only (such as mobile phone accounts, car loans and rent leases).  There is no joy in being left with years of debts, parking fines and bad credit ratings long after the tears have gone.  Fall for him but not his bad luck stories. 

Don't start too fast

When you find the right guy don't rush straight away into open joint bank accounts and joint investments.  Slow down Charlie!  Keep your independence before going too fast.  It may put him off. 

Think hard before committing

Financial commitments, such as buying a house, are big decisions to make.  Don't commit if the relationship is rocky because there are lots of costs and hassles should the relationship end.

Get involved 

Don't leave it all to one partner to look after all the financial responsibilities.  This is particularly important in long-term relationships.  I have seen many widows who do not have a clue when it comes to finances and they have to fend for themselves.

Tags: Financial Planning

Author: Mr Taxman

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