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You can't buy love: making the buzz last

25 May 2019

Money can cause tension in a relationship. It's an important topic of discussion among couples, and inevitably will come with tension at some point in a relationship. That may be why so many couples avoid the topic entirely - particularly in the early stages of a relationship.

But the longer that money stays unaddressed your relationship, the more likely that the underlying tension could grow and manifest itself in disagreements and fights.

To quell tensions, there is an important need for mutual respect among couples for their money. It's important to not get lost in the tension of money, or the desire to win an argument, and lose focus on you and your partner's happiness.

Tips on talking money and nurturing positive money behaviours with your partner

Share all expenses

As a couple, you're likely going to be facing most expenses equally. You both use utilities and would enjoy meals and streaming subscriptions together. So to ensure there's an equal contribution, have a conversation with you partner to determine whether you will contribute via money or domestic duties, such as mowing the lawn, or cleaning the house.

Non-discussed inequality with money in a relationship can cause feelings of unfairness, so ensure that you've organised a system to make everyone feel equal.

Spend some of your allocation on each other

Once you've set your budget, and decided how much money each person can use for themselves during the pay cycle, you're going to be focused on what costs you will face independently. Consider using some of your own allocation on a shared activity, like going to the movies or eating out.

This display of affection may benefit your relationship as you continue to make concessions on saving and allocating expense.

Be honest with what you need

If you feel that the budget you're sharing is not enough for your lifestyle, tell your partner. You will be able to readdress your budget and find areas where you could reallocate.

Consider this as an investment in your own happiness. Not having the support or breathing room in your budget can cause stress and the feeling that you'd be more comfortable out of your relationship.

If you're able to honestly explain to your partner how much money you need and why you need it, including a breakdown of what each item costs, they are likely to be far more understanding. You may be able to find unnecessary costs together that you didn't realise you had.

Agree on your goals

One of you may want to buy a house, while the other may want to start a business. Unfortunately, your budget may not be able to stretch far enough to encompass both of your dreams. Find a compromise that will allow you to make progress on your financial position without ruling out either person's goals entirely. It may now take a little bit longer to kick off your dream, but you have the comfort of knowing that you won't miss out altogether.

Is the tension really about money?

If you find that tension is building between you and your partner and feel that it's not always triggered by money conversations, you may need to have an honest conversation about the root of the tension. Money could be the catalyst for a deeper issue of mistrust or jealousy.

This isn't necessarily a sign of an ending relationship, rather it's a call for a need to be understood. Show your partner that you're willing to overcome any issues by opening up a conversation about what you're feeling.

You care about each other enough to be in a relationship, so ensure deeper issues are not neglected.

Know what you both enjoy

And spend time doing it. A relationship is built on enjoying yourself and each other. If you're constantly saving and putting off spending money on things you enjoy, you might start to lose track of your goals in the first place and why you're together with your partner.

Make sure you're keeping open communication with your partner and understand when the time is right to splurge a little bit for the sake of staying happy.

If you know why you're saving, you'll be dedicated to the goal, but you need to enjoy the journey there.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. Go to for a copy. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.

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