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  • Writer's pictureTom from Harken Financial

5 handy tips that could help couples create an effective financial plan

Managing your finances effectively as a couple could provide you with peace of mind and mean you’re more likely to reach your goals. Yet, it can be difficult as you could have very different financial priorities to your partner. Read on to discover five handy tips that could help you build a financial plan that suits both of you.


1. Set shared goals you can work towards


Having shared goals you’re working towards as a couple can help ensure you’re both on the same page and understand why you’re making certain financial decisions.


For example, if you both want to retire early, you might decide to increase pension contributions. Without a reason, potentially reducing your disposable income now could be difficult to stick to.


However, with a long-term view of how cutting back now could mean you have more freedom in the future, you may find you’re in a better position to be successful.


2. Understand your partner’s attitude to money


One of the biggest challenges of managing finances with a partner is that you could have very different views about money.


Perhaps you’re a saver who feels more comfortable when you add to your emergency fund, while your partner is more likely to splurge on a treat. Or, when it comes to investing, one of you is more risk averse than the other.


Understanding your partner’s approach to managing assets and their long-term financial outlook could help you strike a balance that means you both feel confident about your finances.


3. Make your financial plan part of your conversations


Finances play a crucial role in day-to-day life and your long-term security, from managing household bills to preparing for retirement. Yet, it’s a topic many couples avoid talking about and, for some, when they do, it can cause conflict.


According to a survey from Aviva, a quarter of couples argue about money at least once a week, and 5% said they bickered about finances every day.


Making money part of your conversations could improve communication as you have more opportunities to address small disagreements before they possibly become larger issues.


4. Be clear about how you’ll manage assets together and individually  


You don’t need to inform your partner of every purchase you make or share all your assets to create an effective financial plan as a couple. However, understanding and talking about how you’ll share assets and financial responsibility is often important.


Worryingly, a survey from Starling Bank found that almost a quarter of married couples and 30% of people in a committed relationship said they keep financial secrets from their partner.


Some secrets may be harmless, such as having a nest egg in case of emergency, but others could potentially negatively affect your financial security. For example, a fifth of those with a financial secret said they are hiding debt from their partner, and 16% are concealing loss of money, such as through gambling or poor investments.


Being open about money and setting out how you’ll manage assets together or individually could ensure you're both on the same page and avoid potential conflicts related to financial secrets.


What’s important is that you find a way to manage assets in a way that suits you and your partner.


5. Arrange a meeting with a financial planner


Working with a financial planner could benefit you and your partner in many ways, from identifying potential tax breaks to setting out a plan to save for retirement. Yet, one perk you might overlook is how it could help you better manage your finances together.


Ongoing financial reviews as a couple mean that time is regularly set aside to talk about money, your goals, and financial concerns. It may mean you’re more likely to stick to your plan and provide an opportunity to update it if your circumstances change.


A financial planner may also act as a useful third party who might help you unify different objectives. By working together with a financial planner, you may create a plan that gives both of you confidence about your financial future. 


If you’d like to create a financial plan with your partner, please get in touch to discuss how we could help you and arrange a meeting.


Please note: 


This blog is for information purposes and does not constitute financial advice, which should be based on your individual circumstances The information is aimed at retail clients only.


A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Any advice or considerations are personal to each individual’s circumstances.


Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.


The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates, and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts. 

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