Often not a second thought during happy times like the month of love, however, money should be a subject that couples see eye-to-eye on.
FNB consumer education head Eunice Sibiya said couples who are dating generally do not have sit-down conversations about managing finances together, but the reality is that the informal management of money in a relationship can take a chunk out of your pocket.
“Be realistic about where you are in your relationship and about what you and you partner can afford, not only for your current circumstances but also if you are saving towards certain milestones, like a wedding or children,” Sibiya said.
“Honest conversations on any matter, especially finances, are invaluable and can avoid bitterness, irritability and money fights.”
Sibiya gives advice on how to avoid those awkward money moments:
Keeping up with your couple friends:
A few couples spending time together wining and dining is always fun, however, make sure that you and your partner are honest with one another about the amount of times and the types of activities you are able to fit into your monthly budget. Don’t split the bill equally: Although it is much easier to split the bill equally to avoid the tedious process of dividing it correctly, the convenience might not be worth what it does to your budget, unless of course you had more or less the same meals and drinks.
“You can grab the next one” How often do we tell our partner: “Don’t worry, you can grab the next one” or “This one is on me”?
These are often gestures of caring or convenience, you might be surprised at what these random costs of paying for your partner add up to, especially if your partner tends to be forgetful or you do not alternate between such payments.
Informal living arrangements: Although many couples do not stay together permanently, sleeping over every so often is not out of the norm. If you sleep over more often at one partner’s place, one party can very easily incur more costs than what they would ordinarily have to.
Draw up a budget to show your partner how your living costs increase and ask them whether they are willing to contribute towards electricity as an example, the cleaning service or buying food for supper in the periods that they stay over.