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While today is all about romance, research from Scottish Widows suggests that trouble may be brewing for one in five Brits, as they admit to being in a financially incompatible relationship. How financially compatible are you and your significant other?
Scottish Widows' survey reveals that 17% of people have a strained relationship due to a lack of shared financial goals and attitudes towards money. The same percentage (17%) wish they had discussed finances earlier in their relationship, with 34% of divorcees citing persistent financial worries as a reason for their break-up.
To avoid any possible future strain, it's therefore important to discuss not just your overall future together, but your financial future and aspirations. Are you both saving for the future, or only spending for today? Are you hoping to own your own home one day? How is your significant other with money?
If you're responsibly putting something into a regular savings account every month, and your partner keeps spending their entire salary or even getting into debt, it's better to know this sooner than later. The survey shows that 20% wish their partner would save more for their future, while 27% even state that their partner's spending is impacting their ability to save. A further 18% say that a lack of shared goals has put a strain on their relationship.
And yet, 11% do not share salary details with their partner, while 57% don't know how much their partner has in their personal bank account and 25% of married couples are keeping their own separate stashes of cash. This seems to be a bigger problem among millennials, as only 8% in this generation are comfortable with talking about money, compared with 34% of over-55-year-olds.
"It's important that couples – at any age – have open and honest conversations about their finances," stated Catherine Stewart, retirement expert at Scottish Widows. "Some people may be more inclined to focus financial conversations on big life events like buying a house, having a family, or taking time out from work to travel together [but] life after retirement should also be on this list. Having a good understanding of each other's retirement goals will help to ensure couples can work towards a realistic joint financial plan."
Are you in the dark about your partner's finances? Read more about how your partners' debts can affect you here.
Did you know that a lot of savings accounts can be opened by couples, not just single applicants? To show how much you trust each other – and get an idea of how good your partner is at saving – why not open a Best Buy savings account together?
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