How to talk about money with your partner

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Money is big part of our lives and when you share your life with someone else, it will play a part in your future. Learning about each other’s money habits can help you make plans that suit you both and reach your financial goals.

Why is talking about money important?

Understanding different spending styles

We all have different attitudes to money and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Knowing how you both feel can help you make a realistic budget that you can both stick to.

You might be able to learn tips from each other too. If one of you loves to save but finds it hard to spend on fun – but the other never saves and doesn’t know where to start – you can share advice to get the best of both.

Buying a home

Buying a home together is an exciting step in a relationship. When you apply for a mortgage, the mortgage provider will run a credit check on both of you.

If one of you has a poor credit score, it can affect whether you can get a mortgage and how much you might be able to borrow. Talking about your financial history could help avoid any surprises when you apply.
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Save for milestones together

As you make plans for your future together, it’s likely that a lot of them will require savings!

Saving together and having a clear savings goal of how much to put aside each month can help you reach your goals sooner – whether that’s a new home, a new car or getting married.

Setting financial responsibilities

When you share your lives, you share a lot of bills too. You need to decide between you who will pay for what.

If you have different incomes, a straight 50/50 split may not be the ‘fairest’ way, so you’ll need to talk this through to make sure you’re both happy.
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Joint accounts

It could be easier to manage your money with joint accounts. This way you both have access to the account and can keep an eye on it. You could use a:
  • Joint current account to pay your day-to-day bills.
  • Joint savings account for bigger purchases.
If your partner has a poor credit score, you may want to avoid taking out joint financial products with them. Credit agencies will look at who you are financially linked to and this could bring your credit score down.

How to discuss money with your partner

Be honest

Being honest with your partner builds trust. Talk openly about your salary, debts and what you’re saving for.

It can be hard to admit you struggle with money. But facing up to this and sharing it with your partner means you can work together to make a plan, clear debt and get in a better position for your future.

Consider different money situations

Most couples will want to feel like things are fair. But fair doesn’t always mean the same. If you earn very different amounts or if one of you has a lot of debt to pay off, paying the same amount on bills may not work for you. Understanding each other’s situation can help you reach a compromise together.

Discuss responsibilities

Check in with each other to make sure you’re still comfortable with how you’re splitting the financial responsibilities. The sooner you talk about any tensions the better.

Talk often

Keep the conversation going. You could put aside a regular time once a week or month to talk about money. It’s a chance to celebrate what’s gone well, make sure you’re still on track and make any changes if you need to.

Discuss changes in circumstances

Change is inevitable. It can be helpful to chat about potential changes, good and bad so you’re more prepared if it happens.

For example, what would you do if you got your dream promotion or won the lottery? What if one of you lost your job or became ill? When something does change, talk to each other about how this affects your finances so you can adapt to the situation.

Keep it positive

Money can be a tricky topic for some but try to keep it positive. You’re both on the same team, working together to find solutions to any issues and build a happy future together.
The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute financial advice.
For impartial financial advice, try MoneyHelper