A survey carried out in the UK in early 2023 by Aviva found that almost 40% of people were prepared to own up to “financial infidelity”.
This was anything from having a secret savings account or credit card their partner is unaware of, to lying about the extent of debts they have and covering up big amounts of expenditure – either a one-off sum or series of outlays.
The survey revealed the main reasons why people have money set aside that their partner doesn’t know about. These included:
- 32% said that they want to remain financially independent and keep control of their own financial arrangements.
- 25% want to be able to spend money treating themselves or making substantial purchases without their partner knowing.
- 21% are concerned about their financial future in the event of them separating from their partner and want the security of a sum of money they can draw on as necessary.
In reality, you should look to manage your finances in such a way that there is no need to have financial secrets – apart from perhaps saving for a surprise present for your partner!
It should be possible to remain financially independent to a certain extent while, at the same time, managing your finances on a joint basis.
Discover why this is the case, along with four handy tips to help plan your financial future as a couple.
1. Talking about finances openly can strengthen your relationship
If you believe your partner is hiding something about their finances, it may lead you to believe that there are other issues they are keeping from you.
Of course, that’s likely not to be the case, but it’s easy to see how secret behaviour when it comes to one part of your relationship could naturally cause distrust in a wider context.
Because of how integral money is, it makes sense to plan together so you have a shared purpose and joint stake in your future wealth and happiness. It will also mean that you are less likely to overspend – even in all innocence – as you will both have a clear idea of your budget and outgoings.
Being open about your finances can also help your relationship with your children – especially as they get older and start understanding the importance of money.
2. You will create a plan that’s right for both of you
The financial infidelity study from Aviva showed that the main reason people hide savings is that they want to maintain control of their money.
In reality, you don’t need to be secretive or evasive to be able to do that.
Being open about your money and planning your financial future as a couple doesn’t necessarily mean combining all of your finances and giving up control.
Your overriding aim should be to create a financial plan that works for both of you. Within that high-level objective, there should still be scope for you to keep some of your money separate and make your own decisions about spending.
The key point is that you are both on the same page about shared costs and your overall goals.
3. 2 heads are better than 1
In many couples, one person will often take on the unofficial role of financial manager.
They’ll open bank accounts, organise documents, and create simple budget spreadsheets so you can both clearly see your income and expenditure.
It can be a smart strategy, especially if one of you has a financial background, or is good with figures and analysis.
There’s nothing wrong with one person taking the lead but it’s important that you both have input into the ultimate decision-making.
Doing so will mean you each have a clear understanding of your joint finances and will be able to make informed decisions based on your personal experiences, rather than just one of you having to make assumptions and sole judgement calls.
4. You’ll enjoy your future financial security together
By setting joint financial goals and working together to achieve them, you’ll both benefit from the peace of mind created by building a financial future together that gives you security and a stress-free outlook.
It’s understandable if you have different goals, but a joint plan can make it more likely that you’ll meet them and do what you want to do.
Planning together can help minimise the chances of either of you bearing a grudge or resenting your partner’s enjoyment. It’s likely to be much better to take the opportunity to talk about your own aspirations and work toward fulfilling them as a couple.
As well as ensuring long-term security, a key point about growing your wealth together is so that you can spend quality time with your partner and the rest of your family, and enjoy spending your wealth as a couple.
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If you have any queries regarding your financial planning, please get in touch with us.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
This article is for information only. Please do not solely rely on anything you have read in this article and ensure that you conduct your own research to ensure any actions you may take are suitable for your circumstances. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC and ATO legislation, which is subject to change.