5 common love and money mistakes

By UK CreditCards.com

It doesn't matter whether you have been married for 30 years, or you are on your third date, a topic that will likely cause the most conflict between you and your partner is money.

Everyone has a different opinion about money -- how much is needed, how it is spent and so on. It doesn't matter how much you love each other and how compatible you are, money and relationships often do not mix well. Whilst the amount of money you have can cause a problem if you have too little of it, experts say that couples are far more likely to clash over their attitude towards how to spend and borrow.

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If you feel like you and your partner argue about money all the time, trust us, you are not the only ones. In fact, research by American credit counselling firm Money Management International has shown that among those couples who are struggling in their marriage, more than half blame their financial situation.

To help you with sharing money in your relationship, here are five common love and money mistakes you should always try to avoid.

1. Sharing too little -- or too much -- of your finances with your partner.
Of course, as a couple, you will share money in a relationship -- particularly if you're married and have decided to merge some of your finances.However the amount you share is incredibly important. There are consequences to sharing both too much and too little, so you need to make sure the balance is right.

If you agree on a lot of things, you might find it beneficial to share more of your finances with one another. However, if you have very different opinions on a lot of things relating to money, it might be wise to have a little more breathing space and forget about the joint credit cards and bank accounts.

2. Allowing one partner to have all the financial control.
One of the worst mistakes you could ever make  is to allow one party to have all the control over the finances. Firstly, it is important to share money in a relationship and to share the responsibility too. Secondly, it can make the other party feel dependent, and it can mean that the person with the control also suffers the burden when things go wrong.

In general, both parties should have a similar amount of financial control, say experts. You may want to consider opening up joint credit cards in order to help rectify the problem and ensure both parties are responsible for the household finances-- but make sure you're financially compatible before you do this.

3. Lending money to a financially feckless partner.
This mistake is particularly common in new relationships, as you feel pressure to lend money to your partner in the form of presents and purchases. However, if you are racking up debt or even using joint credit cards to ensure your loved one can bathe in gold, stop it now.

Alternatively, if your partner is in financial difficulties, it will not help you to borrow money on credit and lend it to your partner. You could end up in an even worse situation.

4. Co-signing a loan for a partner.
If your partner is taking out some form of credit and requires your signature to co-sign or act as a guarantor, there is a reason for it. This could be a poor payment history, a lack of credit history or even previous serious financial woes. More importantly, should the relationship ever break down and your partner fails to pay, you are responsible. Instead, just say no, say experts. 

5. Keeping your mouth shut.
One of the most common mistakes that occurs between couples who share money is not talking openly about their finances. It is important that the pair of you sit down regularly to discuss your joint finances and establish both short-term and long-term goals. It is also essential that you open up about any personal financial issues that you may have so that both you and your loved one know where you stand.

See related: Love and Money: 5 tips for newlyweds; What to do with credit card debt after death

Published: 28 July 2011