What to consider when combining finances with a partner

Lifestyle | May 2022

Getting on the same page as our partner when it comes to money helps us feel closer and more secure.

A survey of more than 3,000 New Zealanders by the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) found that as many as one in five Kiwis experienced relationship difficulties with partners, family or close friends due to financial challenges.*

And while talking about money might not seem romantic, experts agree that being organised and planning a time to sit down together and discuss our finances is hugely beneficial. We just have to get started.

“The sooner you talk, the sooner you can take action and the longer you have for it to be effective and pay you dividends,” Financial Advisor Lisa Dudson, author of The New Zealand Money Guide, says.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and financial wellbeing charity Good Shepherd NZ have partnered up to develop guides to help couples speak about money in a constructive and respectful way.

Their toolkit features checklists, quizzes, and real-life examples to help improve conversations about money.

Having goals for your money is vital, Dudson says, which means making time to discuss these with your partner. While some of us are happier to put these decisions off, that does not make good financial sense. Putting goal-setting in the ‘too-hard basket’ can lead to conflict, stress, missed financial opportunities and lower retirement outcomes.

Getting invested emotionally in your goals leads to more determination and ‘buy-in’. Give your accounts names like ‘Nelson Summer Holiday’ or ‘Warm House for the Whānau’ so even small amounts feel like contributing to something real instead of generic.

Overall, having financial goals and plans in place with your significant other will pay dividends.

And while it’s sometimes impossible to avoid life’s curveballs and changes, getting all our issues out in the open and putting some financial safety nets in place helps avoid a total crash or crisis when challenges come at us.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the individual featured, speaking in their individual capacity and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of State/IAG New Zealand. These advertisements do not offer specific advice and you are responsible for your own decisions about financial planning, investment and risk. All information presented is of a general nature, merely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional and/or financial advice. Should you decide to act upon any of the information presented, you do so at your own risk.

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