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Spend Carefully

Money in Relationships: Tips to manage money as a couple

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2022-12-19 00:00

Estimated reading time
5 min

In this article

  • Learn tips on how to broach the topic
  • 3 topics to have at the top of your list
  • Get a checklist on how to save money in a relationship

Did you know, chatting about your finances (and making sure you're open and aligned) is one of the most caring and considerate things you can do in a relationship.

And depending on how long you've been together, and what milestone you're at in your dating life or how serious you are, it's important to have the conversation at some point. So why not strike up the conversation with your other half?

Here are some tips on how you can broach the topic, including three points you should have at the top of your list of things to talk about.

Tips for talking about money in a relationship:

Understand money can be a sensitive topic

Depending on your situation, and that of your partner, money can be a sensitive subject. For some people, money can be a source of anxiety or stress, which means it's a good idea to be cautious and understanding when bringing up the topic. You might try prefacing the conversation with some words of support or by talking about your own vulnerabilities first, so your partner knows this is a safe space where they can speak about their finances.

Listen to what they have to say

When you and your partner are happy to talk about your money, it's important to listen to what each other has to say. Listen to their goals or concerns – even if you don't agree – before voicing your own. You might find you're aligned on lots of things, or that one of you has some helpful habits you can both implement.

Communicate how you feel

Once you've successfully broached the topic of money, it's time to communicate how you feel about your money situation as a couple, and as individuals. Do your habits and goals align? Or are there things you may need to work on? It's ok if you're not entirely on the same page – but it's a good idea to make sure you and your partner understand each other when it comes to your money.  

3 topics to cover when talking money with your partner: 

1. Decide on how you'll split costs 

There are many ways to manage your money in a relationship – and depending on how serious you are, and what you consider to be fair or reasonable, this may vary. 

For example, if you live together, when paying for things like bills or the rent or mortgage you may choose to split costs in half, or by a percentage based on wage. There’s no right or wrong way – just do what works best for you and your relationship.

2. Talk about whether you'll combine savings

It’s a big move, deciding to merge your savings. But it may make sense to do this if, for example, you've been in a committed relationship for a while , and you're sharing the cost of things. But remember, only combine your savings if you can retain access to them and have a mutual understanding with your partner about your savings goals and how and when your savings will be spent. 

3. Determine your savings goals (long and short term)

Having an open discussion about your financial future is an important step – as is setting out some goals you can achieve together (and separately!). Do you want to go on a holiday? Buy a house? Or undertake some further study? Whatever your goals, voicing them, and planning for how much they will cost, is a smart move to ensure your savings stay on track.

How to save money in a relationship:

Your checklist  

  • Make a joint budget 
  • Talk about your money goals
  • Decide on if and how you’ll split costs 
  • Discuss whether you’ll combine savings (based on how long you've been together and how serious you are) 
  • Determine a way to manage your money that works for you as a couple
  • Start saving for your goals

Remember, there's no hard and fast rule about managing money in a relationship – but it's important to talk about your finances so you and your significant other understand one another's goals and habits. Not only will this keep your relationship open and honest, but help set you up for success in the future, too.

Money in Relationships: Tips to manage money as a couple
Financial Wellbeing Coach

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.