Managing money in a relationship.
With communication and cooperation, you could achieve your joint financial goals more quickly.
Communication & cooperation.
When it comes to managing money as a couple, teamwork is the key to success. With a shared vision for the future, couples can achieve more whether that's buying a home, starting a family, travelling, paying off debt, education or saving for the future.
Effective communication and cooperation are the most important factors in successful money management when you're married or in a relationship. If you're communicating often with your partner about money those tricky topics like spending, saving, and managing debt will be much easier. Cooperation is about agreeing how you will spend money as a couple and might include making a household spending plan. An important consideration is making allowances for what money you will manage jointly and how you will give each other some financial independence. There's a lot to think about when you're trying to merge two individual money personalities into a single partnership, so be patient and keep working together.
Keep track of your financial fitness
By checking in on your finances regularly with your partner or spouse, you can both keep the lines of communication and cooperation open:
- Talk about your combined money situation at least every few weeks. Are you both happy with how you’re managing your money as a couple?
- Are you staying within your spending plan? Are there areas you could save money? You could review your regular outgoings, like housing costs, groceries, utilities and subscriptions. Use a budget tool to analyse your spending
- Check in on your KiwiSaver accounts. Are you both invested in the right fund? The right KiwiSaver fund for you, depends on how close you are to withdrawing (for first home or retirement) and how you feel about your balance going up and down along the way. If you’re not sure if you are in the right fund, or you haven’t checked recently, it’s worth reviewing your fund choice. It could make a big difference to achieving your goals
- Do you need to review your insurance? You might be reviewing existing life or contents insurance cover levels or taking insurance for the first time
- Think about making a will if your circumstances have changed – talk to a lawyer or trustee company.
Financial advice can put you on the right path
It can be tricky to navigate money as a couple but it doesn't have to become a problem in your relationship. A financial adviser can talk to you and your partner about how to manage your finances, achieve goals together and work as a team. Whether you're looking to reduce debt, save for a big goal like a wedding or a home, or simply get on the same page with your money, the right advice can make all the difference. MoneyTalks can offer free, independent budgeting advice to support you.
If you're thinking about a will or enduring power of attorney, get independent legal advice; for advice with your accounts and taxation, talk to an accountant.
Rewarding yourselves when you're succeeding
Remember to track your success too - watching the balance grow on your savings and KiwiSaver accounts can motivate you both to keep going. Finances as a couple shouldn't all be hard work. Celebrating the wins, both big and small, is part of the fun. Maybe come up with a way to reward yourselves when you've hit a target: date night, a mini break, or a shared recreational experience?
Prenups & the Property Act.
Before you get married or before you've been living together for three years, you should think about what might happen if you and your partner break up. When you marry, or after you've been living together for three years, the Property (Relationships) Act will apply to your relationship. That means if you split, your savings, KiwiSaver contributions and other property could be split between you and your partner. You can choose a 'prenup', which means opting out of the Act. To do that, you and your partner will both need to seek independent legal advice and sign an agreement. That process can take a few months, so think about it before the wedding or before the three years is up.
We can help.
Managing Your Money classes
Our free online classes cover a range of topics and allow you to learn about finances from home.
Buying a home
From taking the first step, to stepping through your new front door, we have guides and tips to help you on your home buying journey.
Things you should know.
Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply to Westpac products and services.
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