Five ways to stop cash niggles from harming your relationship

Couples who save together are more likely to stay together, if new research is anything to go by. Research commissioned by investment company Bestinvest found 95 per cent of couples who save together say they’re happy in their relationship, compared with 88 per cent of couples who save independently. Couples who make equal financial contributions are also more likely to report being happier, the survey of more than 2,000 people suggests. Again, 95 per cent of couples who contribute equally to household finances and spending say they’re happy in their relationship, compared with 89 per cent who don’t make equal contributions.

Talking about what you want to accomplish, and by when, can give a focus to your saving plans. Photograph: PA

But while many couples are living in financial harmony, more than half (58 per cent) will lie to their partner about where their money goes, with a quarter (27 per cent) admitting they don’t tell their partner because they feel guilty about their secret purchases. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of women are likely to make a purchase without telling their other half, compared with 62 per cent of men.

Relationship expert Jo Hemmings, who is working with Bestinvest to shed light on couples’ spending and saving habits, has these tips to avoid money becoming a burden on your relationship.

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Have regular discussions about your saving goals

One of the factors that often prevents couples from saving together is the lack of clarity on what you are saving for. These goals may change over time – from saving for a deposit on a home, to buying a car or going on holiday. Talking about what you want to accomplish, and by when, gives a focus to your saving plans.

Talk openly about what you’re spending on or what you plan to spend

Money can be an emotional topic, often relating back to how much money you had as a child, or how your parents handled their income and savings. Reduce the emotion by having “business” meetings about money. Take the conversations out of the house and schedule times and dates in a public space, like a coffee shop.

Celebrate achievements

Most of us have money worries because we feel that we don’t have enough of the stuff coming in, while too much is going out. When you do save up a bit together, check in to see how you’re doing and go out for a meal in recognition of how well you’re doing.

Make decisions together

Even if you’re in a long-standing relationship, where one of you is responsible for some outgoings or savings, while the other is responsible for something else, it’s never too late to shake it up a bit and decide that all the outgoings and the savings will be discussed together. Once a plan is in place for joint decision-making, it can often take the pressure off the one who may have felt that they were carrying the heavier load or who, conversely, didn’t have enough input into the decision-making.

Review your joint outgoings

There are many comparison tools and online tips and advice that can help you get the best prices on expenditures like utility bills, credit card spending and insurance policies. This sort of economising that has no impact on your everyday lives, can make a big impact on your savings together.