Couples and finance at Christmas



I’ve been on radio a bit lately. 


I was on BBC Newcastle about people spending on their children, and on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire about the rise in buying tokens rather than spending money.  This was on successive days at the end of November.


And then I was supposed to be on 5 live last week, and David Cameron’s veto of the Euro zone deal pushed it off the schedule!


It was going to be about communicating about money, and some of the notes I made were:


Be as honest as you can.  Deceptions, even if they are little white lies (“I didn’t lose that much”) or to save your partner pain (“she/he doesn’t really need to know how
much I spent on X”) sow mistrust. Sooner or later it comes back to bite you, and once you start telling one another lies about things, there is always the problem that you can each throw the other’s deceit in their face, and that’s how minor rows escalate into divorce proceedings (that are even more expensive).


Agree plans and take joint responsibility.  If you have “play money” that you can spend as you want, stick to the budget.  Don’t use the joint account to top up because the designer bag is discounted by £1,000, the £500 that you borrow may be next months mortgage and when the truth emerges, who is going to overspend next time?  If you know one of you is going to be tempted (they have a meeting in Oxford Street when the sales are on, or get free tickets to the Boat show or something), leave your credit card with the other one, or go together.


Don’t get well meaning friends or relatives, or lawyers involved.  What you decide between you on your money is nobody else’s business and if you start on a legalistic footing, you’ll end up with a war.  If you need help, get on to Relate or a good therapist for the relationship and honesty and get a well qualified, independent financial advisor and pay them a fee to teach you both about your money. 


It did get used in part, because it was incorporated into an article on the Daily Mail site (with some advice from Relate)

There’s also a lot more about couples’ finances (the whole of chapter 12) in my book,





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