How to avoid fighting about money with your partner

Couples can have a smoother path to relationship bliss if they talk about their finances and avoid disagreements around finances.

The worst is when couples do not operate as one unit. If one person makes his/her plans independently, this is no different from a “tug of war” game, says Liberty Senior Specialist for Business Development, Sindi Mondi.

“There is one who will fall and one who is likely to come out victorious. Coupling is all about synchronising your lives, your plans, and seeking common goals.

If one then does not contribute to building the oneness, there could be no common interest from the inception of the union,” she says.

She adds that the fact that couples hold hands symbolises how life needs to be dealt with in unison.

To avoid financial pitfalls, Sindi recommends:
  • Transparency is key. First communicate each other’s dreams, needs, desires, ambitions, goals, finances, etc. Then from that, we find commonalities, negotiate where there’s more significant differences, compromise where necessary.  For married couples, there is that line that is commonly used, “You two are now one.” That should pull through to every aspect of a couple’s lives, particularly money objectives. Money is finite, and life’s needs and wants are infinite thus ought to be treated with due care and diligence and should somewhat serve both parties.
  • Each party should disclose their earnings. The couple should jointly draw up a budget. It is easier to see red flags, at least when you have a budget. It’s the same as seeing opportunities for other things when there is a surplus.
  • Finances should not be left for one partner to plan. The couple can also seek assistance for other financial matters beyond the budget – issues like retirement planning, estate planning, investment planning, etc.
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However, Sindi does not recommend seeking advice only when you are in ‘trouble.’

“Seek advice when times are still good. There is ample assistance available from financial experts like Financial Advisers. In the event that you find yourself as a couple in trouble, there is also help out there from debt counselling experts,” she says.

“It is, however, important not to let challenges stew for too long. Seek help. Accept that you may not be the expert in the field of money management, therefore seek assistance as a couple.”