Whether we like to admit it or not, money matters.
Australian financial adviser Melissa Browne, says being on the same page when it comes to finance is an essential ingredient for a lasting relationship.
Self described ‘author, speaker and shoe addict’ Ms Browne told the Daily Telegraph that although discussing money is often regarded as ‘uns3xy’, maintaining an open line of communication about finance is actually the key to a healthy, happy coupling.
And research shows that Ms Browne’s analysis is accurate – money is the number one cause of relationship arguments and on average, finance provokes three disagreements between couples every month.
‘I believe that if you really want to have a healthy relationship, you eventually need to have the talk about money,’ the accounting firm CEO said.
Conversations about finance can feel awkward and uncomfortable for many people, especially with their significant other.
This can lead to problems further down the line, Melissa Browne believes, because couples don’t explore each other’s ‘money values’ to see if they are truly ‘financially compatible’.
While extreme generosity and spontaneity can be attractive qualities when we first meet somebody, differences in your beliefs on saving and spending can cause tension as the relationship progresses
Melissa Browne says that while most couple’s are happy to discuss fun spending subjects like holidays, conversations about serious issues like credit card debt or saving for a mortgage are too-often avoided.
So how does the finance guru recommend changing our attitude to chatting about cash?
‘You just start,’ Ms Browne says frankly.
‘By suggesting to your partner that money is the number one thing couples fight about and you want to ensure it’s not something that becomes an issue in your relationship, you are introducing the topic as a positive thing’
The accountant suggests starting on easy territory by discussing your own money values and how you were brought up to treat income and expenditure.
The financial planner believes that bringing transparency into a new relationship helps to reduce the risk of serious arguments later on, as you are introducing complete honesty when it comes to what you have, what you owe and perhaps most importantly, what you find easy or difficult when it comes to money.
Melissa Browne admits that while it may be awkward at first, bringing financial openness to your relationship needs to be something we are willing to do if we want the romance to develop in a healthy, trusting way.