Money talk is just about as personal as you can get.  It can be a difficult talking point for many of us because it can feel highly personal, inappropriate and if you’re having money troubles – downright painful. What can be even more painful is when you and your partner aren’t on the same page when it comes to managing your money.

Red flags are intended to warn us about potential danger. But picking up on a red flag can be difficult especially if it is concerning with some we love.

Here are some potential financial red flags that if ignored could lead to relationship troubles:

Financial habits:
When it comes to love, the saying ‘opposites attract’ isn’t always great when it comes to the money-side of a relationship. If, for example, one partner takes their savings and retirement plan very seriously and the other partner spends recklessly; then their differing money personalities can create serious tensions in the relationship.

Some couples cope with different money personalities by having separate bank accounts, even budgeting for some monthly ‘mad money’ that can be spent without consulting the other person. It’s important to reflect on both you and your partner’s spending habits and analyse how you or they would feel if the family finances were affected by the other’s spending.

Ask yourself: Do we share the same saving goals? Do we have the same attitude to spending?

If you do not like the answers to these questions then it’s important to talk about your differences and aim to understand each other’s points of view and come up with a strategy that suits you both. The ability to address issues and voice your concerns is half the battle, communication is king in relationships especially when it comes to money troubles.

Keeping financial secrets:
Being unfaithful to your partner can also extend to making financial decisions and keeping your partner in the dark. Once trust is broken it can be incredibly difficult to repair.  Think about the level of mistrust if it is related to achieving a financial goal together.

Inability to save an emergency fund:
The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines financial stress as not being able to raise $2000 within a week, and a worrying number of people can’t.  Having an emergency fund is important. Can you deal with an international family emergency, or your car suddenly dying, experiencing damage that isn’t covered by your insurance or suddenly losing your job?  How would you and your partner cope?

Going through emergencies are demanding enough but having to bicker and stress over how you will manage the finances can place enormous stress on a couple at a time when resilience is low. Having some sort of emergency fund is important; you can start small and slowly put away some money each week. A couple of hundred dollars during an emergency is better than absolutely nothing.

If you would like to find out more about money personalities look at https://www.actonadvice.com.au/pretty-rich

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Even though it’s still early in the year, 2019 is already causing quite a shake up within the financial community. With the recent Royal Commission into Financial Services and the overall tightening of lending conditions the most important factor (after the size of your deposit and your income) when applying for a loan are your living expenses. Keep in mind that these living expenses are both discretionary and non-discretionary.

 

If you’re in any doubt that your income is your most important financial asset, just ask yourself two questions: