Do you talk about money with your partner or spouse? Openly? Honestly? Truthfully!?
You’ve probably seen those Lloyds adverts lately – the ones about the ‘M Word’. And annoying as they might be, it’s undoubtedly true that many of us don’t find it easy to talk about money.
With our clients, we see both sides. Women who love talking about money. And those who hate it, avoid financial conversations at all costs and have NO idea about the real position of their family’s finances.
I deeply and passionately believe that all women – even in the happiest relationships – need to take full responsibility for our money and know-how our finances work.
- Women are living longer than ever before. It’s a sad fact of life now, that we often outlive our partners.
- Many women never marry.
- And of those who do, 1/3 to 1/2 are now likely to end in divorce (cheerful stuff, I know!).
Knowledge is power. Sadly, we see too many women who come to us in the most difficult of times, only realising their true financial position when it’s too late. When you know, you can proactively manage your money, plan for the future and protect yourself.
So in most cases, having a joint account in some form or other makes sense (whether you’re married or living together).
We’ll talk about the different options for joint accounts in a second.
But if you DO decide to go down that route, make sure you both have full access to every element of the account and that you check it regularly.
If you share financial commitments – like a mortgage – you are BOTH liable for the full amount of the payment.
So it goes without saying that a joint account needs you both to take responsibility, make sure the bills are paid on time and that no direct debits bounce, causing problems with your credit file!
Which type of joint account is right for you?
We see two main scenarios with our clients, both of which have their advantages and disadvantages.
Option 1 – A joint account, where you both put all your money in.
This makes a lot of sense if one of you is earning and one of you is not, so you both have access to your joint funds – like while you are raising a young family.
It’s a great option if you have complete trust and don’t want to feel like you’re hiding anything from each other.
Of course, the downside is that it’s not great for buying surprise presents!
Or if you have very different spending habits, it can cause a whole load of unnecessary stress.
Option 2 – A joint account for bills, where you both pay in a specific amount to pay for your living expenses.
Many of our clients choose this option, for the sense of freedom it can give you.
Your direct debits and food shops are paid for together, but you still have your own money to buy your own stuff. Shoes, a night out, guitar lessons…there’s no guilt around how much you spend, or what you spend it on. Your money, your choice!
You can buy gifts for your partner or spouse without them knowing (or knowing how much you’ve spent).
Of course, the downside here is that it can be seen as secretive or somehow not fully committing which again, can be a cause of stress.
There’s no right or wrong!
But if you’ve never had ‘the’ talk about money – or if it’s something you’ve been putting off – I’d truly urge you to think about having that open, honest conversation at home.
What other options do you have? Well, to keep the conversation going about money, we’d LOVE for you to come and join our private Facebook group!
You’ll find more money tips, short trainings and meet an amazing group of women, all taking charge of their finances and their future.
Here’s the link again to join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/peacetogethermoneyconfidence/
Would love to see you there!
Until next time, Claire