When it comes to managing finances within a relationship or marriage, there are no hard and fast rules – but it is something that’s worth putting some careful consideration into.
According to a survey by Hargreaves Lansdown however, less than half (44%) of people with a partner share responsibility for day-to-day finances with them.
Among the married couples polled, only 37% share day-to-day finances equally.
Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the findings suggest that, typically, women are more likely to deal with day-to-day finances, and men with long-term planning.
But in some cases, one person will hand everything over for their partner to worry about.
“It may seem like a good way to avoid dealing with financial chores, but it could backfire horribly if you suddenly find yourself on your own,” Coles cautions.
Could your relationship do with being a bit more financially balanced? Here, Coles shares four top tips for going about it…
1. Get a clear picture of what you have and where it is
This should include everything from the basics, like who your insurer and energy provider are, to how much you have in savings, where your investments are and what your pension is likely to be worth in retirement.
2. Find the gaps in your knowledge about your finances
This process is likely to reveal areas you’re particularly unsure about. It could be something as prosaic as not knowing how to access your online statements. Or it could be more fundamental things you’ve never had time to learn – such as how pensions work.
3. Try swapping roles and learning from each other
If you’ve been managing things between you, start by asking one another [about the things each of you takes care of]. If your other half is unsure, or they’re just not a terribly good teacher, there are plenty of online guides and explainers to get you started.
4. Share the responsibility
It’s not enough just to understand, you should get stuck in too. You should both be in control of your own financial future and making the decisions that affect you both. Going through this together is likely to reveal all sorts of things you can be doing better. It might not just leave you better informed – it could leave you better off too.