Is your marriage in troubled (financial) waters?

By Danielle van Wyk

One of the things people fight about the most in a romantic partnership, is money. This is often because one person tends to handle the finances, or a couple does not provide equally to the household income, or they might even have different spending habits or financial goals.

Financial incompatibility can lead to marital and financial problems, which could threaten the stability of the relationship.

An American study done with more than 4500 couples showed that couples with debt were more likely to break up. And the more debt, the unhappier a relationship.

How can you avoid the money trap and live financially happily ever after?

According to Charles Pitt, private client wealth manager at Alexander Forbes Wealth, there are three key ways :

1. Understand your household finances

In many South African households, one spouse tends to handle all the bills. While this may be born out of convenience it could also lead to misunderstandings and arguments about where the money goes every month.

Pitt encourages that both spouses understand how the monthly household budget is divided up.

  1. Have open dialogue

Many couples start out with aligned money attitudes but as the relationship and the individuals grow they may find themselves out of sync.

Suddenly arguments about whether to repair the car now or continue to save for a Thailand holiday trip arise.

Stressful situations are not the best in which to discover a partner’s spending habits or attitude towards money. It is worth sitting down and regularly discussing financial matters with a partner.

“Find compromises that will allow you to save for the future while still enjoying your present,” Pitt says.

3. Get help

There is no shame in realising and admitting you need help.

Sometimes even after an open conversation and financial transparency you could find that you’re still not able to make ends meet.

If so, it is always advised that you and your partner sit down with a trusted financial advisor to not only help you restructure your finances but also to facilitate dialogue around your financial future.

There are also many online tools, like GoodBudget and 22seven, at your disposal geared towards household budgeting.

Here, automating pre-selected bill payments and regular contributions to retirement and savings accounts for example, can also help you to keep to your monthly budget.

Finances can be a sticky subject, resulting in endless headaches - even in a trusting relationship.
But taking time to have the necessary money conversations can make all the difference.

Recent Articles

Featured Exploring the cost and pasta-bilities of spaghetti bolognaise

Whether smothered in a napolitana sauce with meatballs or laced with pesto cream and chargrilled chicken breast, pasta remains a firm family favourite. Accoladed for its versatility this ‘love-to-hate-hate-to-love’ carb has crept its way into many South Africans’ hearts through the humble but popular spaghetti bolognaise. Justmoney decided to conduct a price comparison between a meat and meat-free option of this traditional dish as adapted from Feasting at home.

Read more

Buying extra annual leave: A win or not?

You’ve almost reached the end of year and you are planning to take that long-awaited and much deserved vacation. But soon after you submit your leave application you find that you have run out of available leave days. However, you do have the option to buy extra leave. What are the rules around this? And is this in fact a legal practice?

Read more

You could be fined up to R500 on Cape Town’s beaches this season

Festive season is also beach season, but with the high influx of beach-goers in recent years, this has become increasingly dangerous. To be safe and sound this year we did a round-up of things you need to know. 

Read more

I drank only water for a month - this is what happened…

There are many different opinions on how much water you should drink daily. The most common advice is 6-8 glasses or 2 litres. Or at least, this is the answer given by beautifully toned women when asked about their secret to a body you’ve only been able to dream of.

Read more

Sign Up

To our weekly newsletter for advice you can bank on

Deals

Free MBA Course

Price: Free
When: Applications close on 31 May
Where: Online

The 41 Winter Special

Price: From R170
When: Weekdays
Where: Cape Town

KFC Burger Day Special

Price: R97
When: Until 28 May
Where: Online