Have the money conversation with you partner
If it looks like your relationship is getting serious, have the money talk as early as possible. Whilst it might not seem romantic at the time, it may help ensure the romance lasts. Money is one of the most common causes of tension in Australian relationships.
- Talk to your partner about future expectations and be reasonable. If you are not willing to enter an equitable financial arrangement with your partner where both parties are in control, a serious relationship might not be for you.
- Discuss what actions you will take at ‘life change points’. For example, you may find that financial independence is appropriate if you have no dependants and both work full time. However, when you have children or a partner that requires more support, shared finance may become appropriate.
- Pay each partner the same amount of weekly pocket money to which they can spend as they please. This removes confusion and singular control.
- Discuss larger financial decisions as a couple and make democratic decisions.
- Know what unpaid labour is worth. Working this out can be especially useful when one partner is earning more than the other. We often take unpaid labour for granted assuming we have more right to exert control over the money because we earn it directly.
- Discuss financial expectations in the event of a break-up. Reassess at each stage of your relationship. Clear understandings and agreement before a relationship sours can save a lot of money in lawyer fees should a break-up occur.