Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings is our guest blogger, discussing money and relationships.
We’re talking about wallet size here. And not really the actual size of the wallet itself or exactly how much cash it contains. But how honest you are about how much money you have, how you like to spend it and whether you’re on the same page as your partner about how you choose to spend it as a couple, rather than as a single person.
Often at the beginning of a relationship, we are so smitten by our partner, that the dizziness of chemistry and anticipation diverts us from whether they have the same approach to spending as ourselves.
And while, as a relationship coach, I definitely wouldn’t want to rain on that honeymoon parade, a little further down the line your mutual relationship with money will have an impact on almost every purchase that you consider making together. Whether it’s planning for your first weekend away or a longer holiday, buying a car, a home or having children – financial compatibility becomes key.
It’s not only your approach to money; it’s also being brave enough to be candid about each other’s financial history. A survey by Experian found 16% of you have discovered your partner has kept financial secrets from you – something a successful relationship needs to steer away from! If one or other of you have had more than a few hiccups in the past – whether it’s forgetting to pay off a credit card or being unable to pay back a loan – this may impact on future financial decisions together, however secure you may feel now.
Financial compatibility is one of the core values we should look for in any long-term relationship – indeed it’s often top of the list of arguments that couples have due to having different approaches and attitudes to how their joint income should be spent.
Trust is another essential element of any fulfilling and successful long-term relationship, and while the occasional secret splurge is perfectly acceptable and enjoyable, the key to avoiding those rows and working together, is to be candid about your attitude and approach to money. Does your partner daydream about earning a fortune to blow it on a round-the-world–cruise, while you would rather save for a special occasion or a home improvement? Or are they careful about knowing what’s coming in and out on a monthly basis, while payday burns an aching hole in your pocket?
Unromantic it maybe, but a frank discussion about what you have and how you would like to spend it – as well as knowing each other’s credit history – can quietly cement a strong relationship as well as avoiding a lot of aggravation, upset and disappointment further down the line!
© Jo Hemmings November 2014
You can visit Jo Hemmings’ website here.