How to protect yourself from a financial heartbreak

Elderly woman

Having an affair is not the only thing that can ruin a relationship. Whether it’s hiding the extra money you earn or hiding purchases from your partner, “financial infidelity” can take just as harsh a toll on a relationship. Fortunately, most financial heartbreaks can be avoided by discipline, using some common sense and being considerate of each other.

Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself from a financial heartbreak.



KNOW THY PARTNER


There is absolutely no substitute for knowing who you are in a relationship with. Knowing your partner involves also knowing his/ her spending habits and financial history. Issues such as past or outstanding debts should be discussed especially if you intend to run a joint account together.

HAVE THE MONEY TALK


Under the influence of romance, it is easy to be distracted from practical issues including financial planning in your relationship will help sustain your relationship in the long run. It is important you set out time to discuss how the money will be spent, especially for the big purchases. In addition, you need to keep track of financial records such as bank statements and receipts of purchases and even a journal for shared expenses such as house rent, phone bills, groceries, school fees etc. In the long run, you will realize that having the “money talk” is an investment well worth making in your relationship.

PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS


Although not very common, more and more couples who live together before marriage have begun to consider signing prenuptial agreements which clearly spell out who gets what in the event that the relationship does not lead to marriage. A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between couples who have agreed to commit to each other and simply states how assets that have been jointly acquired during the duration of the relationship would be shared if the relationship ends.

STAY INFORMED


A lot of women fall into the habit of letting their partner handle the money. Your partner may be doing a fabulous job with your money but it is also critical that you understand the family finances and weigh in on all important decisions. You must insist you are included in the family finances, demand your partner shares all financial information and explains where important documents are kept.

STAND TOGETHER


Remember the saying together we stand divided we fall. Well, it’s especially true when it comes to money in a relationship. If as a couple you have agreed to make financial decisions together then carry each other along when you decide to lend large sums of money to friends, in-laws and adult children. It's best to either agree or refuse to make the sacrifice of lending money to third parties together. Make wise decisions on whom you lend money to and always carry each other along.

BOTTOM LINE

Successful relationships are based on transparency, honesty, and teamwork and that also goes for money issues. Ultimately, a good relationship is one in which each party helps the other make better choices and you and your beau might be able to help each other become smarter about money if you follow these simple steps.
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