After seven consecutive years of decline, the divorce rate in the UK rose by a huge 5% for the first time during the recent financial crisis. Money matters have a severe impact on relationships, whether they are an issue for one partner or both. Some financial issues can have more impact than others – these are the top 6 financial challenges that can affect a relationship.
1. Debts :
Having debt isn’t usually a problem in a relationship. Most adults have – or have had – debt at some point, from credit cards to mortgages. However, issues tend to arise in couples when debt becomes unmanageable or when debt levels are too high.
If one half of a married couple has a poor credit history their bad credit score can affect borrowing options of the other partner in the relationship. Debt mismanagement is another very common reason for arguments and disputes that can end very unpleasantly.
2. Financial Untruths :
Lying is a big problem in any relationship. However, when it comes to lying about money this is a serious aggravating factor because of the insecurity it can create in the lives of everyone involved. Secret debts that are discovered, as opposed to confessing to, can present a serious challenge to the bonds of trust within even the closets of couples especially if it is a secured loan on a shared asset.
3. Different Attitudes to Money :
Just because we love the same books and films as the other half – or both like our coffee exactly the same way – doesn’t mean that we’re going to have the same attitude to money. Different financial attitudes can be an issue in relationships. The biggest challenge is where you have one partner who is risk averse and another who is a risk taker.
Sometimes this can actually achieve something like the perfect financial balance. However, more often than not, the result is actually that one partner is very unhappy with the financial direction of the relationship from the start.
4. Mismatched Spending Habits :
Perhaps for one partner credit card debt is just part of life – but for the other, it creates a great deal of stress and worry. Maybe one of you regularly splurges with that credit card while the other tends to be incredibly frugal and only spend when there is cash in the bank. When your finances become shared these habits can be a real problem. In particular, if there is joint money that one party feels is being enjoyed disproportionally by the other then fights can ensue.
5. Different Financial Priorities :
The relationships where financial objectives are aligned tend to have an easier ride when it comes to disputes. For example, you both want to get married and spend big on the wedding or both parties feel that buying a home is a priority. Everything from savings goals, to having children feature in financial priorities, which is why there is a big disconnect if they are not aligned.
6. Life Changes :
If one partner in a relationship goes through some big life changes this can put serious stress on a couple. For example, being made redundant or deciding to go for a complete change of career. Affairs, pregnancy, illness, and disability can all contribute to making couple goals harder to reach.