Making better choices
is not always this easy


Newsletter Archive

Don’t let Money Ruin Your Relationship

Posted On: Thursday, June 1, 2023

Don’t let Money Ruin Your Relationship

“I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.” (The Beatles)

For many couples, money is a regular source of tension. And, unfortunately, this can have serious consequences.

In a study by researchers from Utah State University and Kansas State University published in 2012, the researchers found that financial arguments in a marriage are stronger predictors of divorce than any other common disagreements. And when you consider how much financial stress many people are under at the moment, this is a significant finding.

But money need not be a risk to your relationship. Couples can develop healthy ways to navigate this minefield. And that starts with having a shared approach to dealing with your finances.

Talk openly

Honest communication is a crucial first step. As soon as partners decide to start living together or begin to share any significant aspect of their lives, they should also start having conversations about their finances.

This might sound crude, but if two people are going to commit to living together, they should know what each of them earns, how much debt they have, and what their wealth goals are.

This is not about judgement or comparison. It is necessary to understand what each one is bringing to the relationship.

Being honest about this from the start means there is less chance of ugly financial surprises later. Having a clear understanding of each other's financial situation is also the first step in building a solid foundation for financial planning.

Gender roles

Couples should also recognise that historical gender roles can be a challenge. Unfortunately, there is still a widespread assumption that men are better at managing money than women.

This can negatively affect male partners who might feel like they have to take on this responsibility even if they don’t have the necessary skills to do so. Female partners might also think that they are being supportive by not questioning anything money related. The result is that neither really has a handle on the couple’s finances and that causes mistrust.

Same sex couples can also encounter problems since a lack of defined roles might result in neither partner taking responsibility, or both wanting to be in control and coming into conflict.

There is, however, no inherent reason why either men or women should be better at managing finances. And it is in any case far better for partners to work together to develop a shared understanding of their financial situation.

Shared budgeting

At a basic level, couples should budget together. Even in cases where partners keep separate budgets, there should still be agreement on who pays what when it comes to shared expenses like groceries or insurance. There should also be an understanding around how much it is appropriate to spend on non-essentials like streaming services.

Nobody wants to feel like they are paying too much or that their partner is not contributing their fair share. That is a guaranteed source of conflict.

To avoid it, partners could commit to paying a share of expenses in line with their incomes. That way fairness is established, and they both have a similar amount of disposable income each month.

A simple way to manage this practically is to set up a joint bank account into which each partner pays their share at the start of the month. All shared expenses are then paid from there. 

Reward yourselves

Managing your finances should not just be a slog. Couples shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that their money should be an enabler that helps them to live the life they want to live together, rather than a burden.

It is important to have regular check-ins to make sure your financial situation is being managed, but to make this more fun and engaging it could double as a date night. This can also be linked to developing rewards to make financial goals more tangible.

To celebrate reaching a savings goal, or staying within budget, for example, a monthly date night could be upgraded to a weekend away. This creates a more positive atmosphere around financial planning, making it less of a chore and more of a shared goal.

Rewards don’t have to be big things. They could be a nice dinner or a something special for the home. Just the acknowledgement of a real reward can be a positive motivation for partners to stick to a budget and stay on track to reach their goals.

Ultimately, the key to successfully managing finances within a relationship is a willingness to work together. Having a shared understanding and appreciation that both partners have an important role to play, and that goals should be agreed on together will go a long way to reducing the risk of money ruining a relationship.

To discuss putting together a joint financial plan, speak to a professional.

Please Register Below Or Login To Continue Reading.

First Name
Last Name


December 4 - Stock Markets Break Three-Month Losing Streak
December 3 - The Differences Between Life and Living Annuities
December 2 - Should you be an Optimist or a Pessimist With Your Money?
December 1 - How to Give Meaningful Gifts This Festive Season
November 4 - Market Update: The Effects of War, Higher Interest Rates and China on Equities
November 3 - Why do People Invest in Property?
November 2 - Retirement Planning: The ins and Outs of Nominating Beneficiaries
November 1 - Retiring Well is About More Than Money
October 4 - Why Your Marital Contract Really Matters
October 3 - How to Avoid Being Scammed by Email Fraudsters
October 2 - The Stock Market Indices to Watch When Monitoring Equity Performance
October 1 - Why do Some People Have a Problem Spending Money?
September 4 - The Difference Between Being Rich and Being Wealthy
September 3 - The Ins and Outs of Buying Offshore Property
September 2 - A Good Budget Doesn’t Limit Spending, it Prioritises it
September 1 - Should you pay off your home loan?
August 4 - How to Take Advantage of the Donations Tax Allowance
August 3 - Five Reasons why a Financial Windfall Must be Managed Carefully
August 2 - What’s Cooking with the Three-Pot System?
August 1 - Make Sure Your Family is Financially Prepared for When You Pass Away
July 4 - A Must-Have for Couples who Choose not to Tie the Knot
July 3 - Can Gratitude Make you Feel Better About Your Money?
July 2 - Four Ways to Make the Most of Retirement
July 1 - How to Invest When There’s So Much Bad News
June 4 - The Ins and Outs of Compulsory Annuities
June 3 - Who is Influencing Your Financial Decisions?
June 2 - R is for Rebalancing
June 1 - Don’t let Money Ruin Your Relationship
May 4 - Five Ways to Teach Kids About Money
May 3 - Much Ado About Risk
May 2 - Living Wills: A Must Have, Despite the Grey Areas
May 1 - What is True Wealth?
April 4 - How the 2023 Budget Will Impact Your Pocket
April 3 - Three Financial Imperatives for Women in Divorce
April 2 - Should You Ask ChatGPT for Financial Advice?
April 1 - Compound Interest: The Eighth Wonder of the World
March 4 - How a ‘Safe’ Fixed Deposit Might Still be Risky
March 3 - Thinking of moving to Australia? Bear these numbers in mind
March 2 - Avoid These 6 Barriers to Wealth Creation
March 1 - How Good do You Think You Are at Investing?
February 4 - Is Money Stress Taking a Toll on You?
February 3 - Why an Endowment is One of the Best Ways to Invest Offshore
February 2 - Why too Much of a Good Thing Can be a Bad Thing
February 1 - Invest With FIRE and Never Look Back
January 4 - Why Lottery Winners End up Broke: The Importance of Your Financial Context
January 3 - Discover the Freedom of a Tidy Portfolio
January 2 - Why You Absolutely Should be Investing in Education
January 1 - Four Simple Steps to Start the Year on the Right Financial Foot


December 4 - What is This Volatility Risk People are Always Talking About?
December 3 - Why You Need to Watch Out for The Butterfly Effect
December 2 - 6 Ways to Achieve Financial Freedom
December 1 - Three Books for the Holidays
November 4 - The Question of Loyalty
November 3 - Why do we Even Have Bull and Bear Markets?
November 2 - Should I Buy a Holiday House?
November 1 - Put Stocks, Rather Than Socks, Under the Tree This Christmas
October 4 - Can You Take Out Life Insurance on Someone Else?
October 3 - Loss Aversion and Lifestyle Creep – How Behaviour Influences Saving
October 2 - Why Timing Might be Everything in Retirement – Especially in a Bear Market
October 1 - Get Rich - Stay Rich Eight Mistakes Wealthy People Never Make
September 4 - Capital Gains Tax: 10 Common Questions Answered
September 3 - The Risk That Many Investors Don’t Think About
September 2 - Much Ado About Regulation 28 and the Private Investor
September 1 - The “Two Bucket” Retirement Savings System: What is it and Why is it Important?
August 4 - Retirement Planning for Age-Gap Couples
August 3 - A Simple “50-15-5” Budget Hack for Women (and Men!)
August 2 - Does Your Family Need a Constitution?
August 1 - Women’s Month: Three Ways You Can Improve Your Money Health
July 4 - Five Things to Check When a Loved One Passes Away
July 3 - Rules of Financial Planning For a Special-Needs Child
July 2 - Why Your Financial Plan Should Cater For Possible Dementia
July 1 - Why Inflation is the Most Important Investment Benchmark
June 4 - How Relevant Is The 4% Rule of Thumb These Days?
June 3 - Why You Should Treat Your Finances Like Your Health
June 2 - Is Your Business Good Retirement Capital?
June 1 - With the Limits Raised, How Much Should You Invest Offshore?
May 5 - Quote of the Month: Challenging the Rejection of an Insurance Claim
May 4 - Financial Products: The Less You Understand, the More You Pay
May 3 - The Miracle of Investment Debit Orders
May 2 - Five Things to Think About as Interest Rates Rise
May 1 - Stay Calm When the Bear Prowls
April 5 - Quotes of the Month – The War in Ukraine
April 4 - Smart Ways to Give: During and After Your Lifetime
April 3 - Take These Three Steps to Break the Money Shame Spiral
April 2 - When Things Don’t Go According To (The Financial) Plan
April 1 - What Amazon and Ford Can Tell Us About Diversification
March 4 - Quotes of the month – What the NFT?
March 3 - How to Avoid Losing Your Life’s Savings to a “Tinder Swindler”
March 2 - The Different Ways to Invest: What Does It All Mean?
March 1 - Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Talk to Your Kids About Money
February 6 - Quote of the Month – Don’t Cash In Your Retirement Savings
February 5 - Should You Top Up Your Retirement Annuities Now?
February 4 - Don’t Let Delays in the Master’s Office Leave Your Family in Financial Distress
February 3 - Don’t Let Delays in the Master’s Office Leave Your Family in Financial Distress
February 2 - Three Reasons an Insurer Could Cancel Your Policy
February 1 - Investing: Men and Women See Things Differently
January 4 - Quote of the month – Stay invested!
January 3 - What SARS Says About Crypto Assets and Tax
January 2 - Three Ways to Leave a Legacy, And Not Just an Estate
January 1 - Red-Carding the Myth of The Rational Investor