How a financial coach can help couples achieve their goals

There is no one-size-fits-all way to manage finances with your partner, but there are some straightforward methods to make life easier. Alex Webb-Bowen explores how financial coaching for couples can help.

| 5 min read

Money conversations are not the most romantic part of being in a couple, they can even be uncomfortable. However, it’s important to be open and honest rather than allow it to become a taboo topic, with regular check-ins a good way of avoiding potential conflict.

Understanding the financial situation of your partner will also give you an accurate picture of your combined circumstances, so you can set goals accordingly. A financial coach can work with individuals and couples, ensuring the right questions are being asked and helping to set achievable goals.

Best way to save and manage money for couples

There is no one-size-fits-all way for co-habiting or married couples to manage their finances. However, there are some straightforward, easy-to-establish methods to make life easier.

Automating your savings, whether as an individual or in a couple, is the most effective method of building up a pot of money for the future. You can do this by creating direct debits from personal or joint accounts into your various investment accounts such as ISAs, SIPPS, cash savings products or joint investment accounts

Savings can happen organically; sharing subscriptions (Spotify offer Premium Duo for £15 per month compared to a single subscription at £11 for example), cooking meals for two and halving the utility bills will all result in small savings, and depending how detailed you would like to be, you could calculate these savings and transfer that amount to a specific pot earmarked for an occasion. Below are some tips for couples when it comes to managing money.

  • Communicate
    Start by agreeing how you are going to manage your finances. This can be completely joint, partly joint or completely separate. You do not have to spend money in the same way or live by hard rules, one of you may be a spender whilst the other a saver, but honest communication is the most important way to avoid financial conflict.
  • Set shared goals
    Whether it’s saving for holidays or aiming to stay within an agreed budget, discussing and establishing common goals is a good way to stay disciplined and motivated.
  • Open a joint account
    Opening a joint account and setting up direct debits for bills is the easiest way to reduce household admin and ensure you don’t miss payments (and build your credit score in the process). It is also the most efficient method to manage day to day spending on combined costs such as the food shopping. One method of managing this while retaining a degree of personal discretionary spending is to have a standing order for a pre-agreed sum, or percentage of each of your salaries, into your joint account.

    Maintaining a degree of financial independence can reduce conflict when it comes to personal spending, with non-shared expenses paid for individually. If using the joint account to make an expensive purchase, establish a threshold that requires agreement from the other person. It is worth checking credit scores beforehand as doing this creates a financial connection between the couple in the eyes of the credit checker.
  • Divide responsibility
    Unless one you has a flair for organising the household bills, dividing and conquering is the best way forward. Play to your strengths and interests, and split equally the more demanding and time intensive accounts.

Best way for married couples to manage money

The same methods listed above apply whether you are a married couple, co-habiting or neither. However, when children enter the fray, setting up a joint account, if you haven’t already, will make managing children’s expenses much easier. Speaking of children, Junior ISAs are worth considering if you would like to put something away for them in the future.

Don’t forget there are some tax advantages to being married or in a civil partnership. You can transfer assets between spouses with no capital gains tax as well as claim other tax benefits including the Married Couple’s Allowance.

Commonly asked financial questions from couples

  • Should we combine all our finances or keep them separate?
  • How do we handle debt, especially if one has significantly more than the other?
  • How should we divide financial responsibilities?
  • How do we handle individual windfalls – inheritances, bonuses etc?
  • How do we manage different spending habits or priorities?
  • How do we manage our finances when only one of us works?

How financial coaching can help

A cost-effective way to ensure you are putting the right plans in place and to give yourself peace of mind is to speak to a financial coach. Traditionally, financial planners work on an ongoing basis and charge annual fees to manage your money, but for many people this service and the associated costs are often beyond the scope of what is required.

This is where coaches come in, and at Charles Stanley we can tailor Financial Coaching sessions to your needs and answer the financial questions you have personally. We offer a free 15-minute consultation to have an open discussion about your finances and answer any questions, jargon free. Alternatively, book in for an hour-long session (at the cost of £150) for an in-depth conversation and analysis, helping you establish goals and create a plan to help you achieve them.

If you are unsure, get in touch to discuss how we can help you.

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Nothing on this website should be construed as personal advice based on your circumstances. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal.

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