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Are you making this money mistake?

It appears that 52% of Australian couples argue about their finances (source here) so it's not a surprise that money management (or spending) should ideally be a topic for new relationships before mortgages and kids come along.

It's a tough conversation and one that is often forgotten in the ambiance of new love (sigh...) but preferences for how money is spent or saved can be widely different among couples and can become more obvious as the newness of the relationship wears a little.

ASIC's Money Smart website (here) cites four crucial issues to discuss:

  • Relationship goals: Work out your relationship goals with your partner. Consider what goals you share: is marriage, buying a home or having a baby on the horizon?

  • Current financial situation: Take stock of your income and expenses, assets and debts. Start thinking about ways you may be able to reduce spending, so you can save for your goals, and how you can reduce any debts faster.

  • Attitudes to spending and saving: Are you a spender or saver? What about your partner? Your background and experiences will influence how you think about money. Understanding how your partner approaches financial matters will make it easier to create a money plan that suits you both. Try to find common ground so that you are working together.

  • The financial controller: Who will handle the finances? Will one person look after household expenses, mortgage and savings, or will you share the responsibility? Make sure you're both happy with the decision.

Don't forget that your ability to service a home loan (according to the bank) can depend on how much you are saving ongoing.

We have a budget tracker on our website which can be a great place to start in finding out where your money is going or deciding where it should go. It's here if you'd like to use it.