TALKING about money with your partner can feel awkward, but avoiding the subject could be a money mistake you can’t afford to make.
And it’s particularly important if you’re living together but not married, according to finance expert Susie Bewell.
The number of cohabiting couples has risen by a fifth in the past decade, latest government figures show.
Tying the knot is falling down people’s priority list as they focus on other life milestones such as buying a house and starting a family instead.
Cohabiting means you are in a relationship and live together, but haven’t tied the knot.
And while many people choose not to marry – they might not realise they’re missing out on some financial perks as a result.
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Being married can have monetary benefits – por exemplo, you can get up to £1,220 in tax relief under the marriage allowance.
And if you divorce, Você tem more rights over your shared assets than cohabiting couples who split up.
This doesn’t mean everyone should make a quick dash down the aisle, but it makes having a conversation about your shared finances even more important.
Susie is a chartered wealth manager at Raymond James – and she says cohabiting couples should follow four golden money rules to avoid major money mistakes,
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Don’t keep schtum
Discussing finances with your loved one can be a little uncomfortable, but avoiding the conversation could be “painful in the long run”, Susie said.
If one of you is contributing more to the household finances than the other, por exemplo, you could be left out of pocket if you split.
Opening a joint current account is one way to keep track of how much money you are both chipping in and can make it easier to manage shared bills.
But be aware that it could affect your credit score as it links you financially to another person.
It’s important to have your money goals and budget aligned while living together too – so make sure you have an open chat about this.
Are you saving to buy a house or for a round-the-world trip? It’s important to make sure you’re on the same page.
If one of you is a saver and the other is a spender – have a chat about how you can compromise your habits so they work for you both.
“Try opening up the conversation by planning a regular money date – a time to discuss household finances, focus on joint goals and ambitions, and agree on any actions,” Susie said.
You could be hundreds of pounds out of pocket by not saving together.
If you invest, por exemplo, it could make sense to pool your money into a joint investment account.
especialistas dizem que é necessário relaxar nas horas anteriores, you can keep track of your investments more easily and your money could grow more quickly.
Larger sums of money can compound more quickly, significado “couples can get greater returns as a united force”, said Susie.
You can open a joint savings account together, but you can’t share an Isa as these are individual savings accounts.
Make sure you both have access to the account and sit down to monitor it regularly – and any investment decisions should be shared too.
It could be particularly useful if you have a joint money goal, like buying a house.
Be realistic about worst case scenarios
No one goes into a relationship planning for a break-up, but being realistic about the possibility could save you a lot of stress further down the line.
Have an open conversation if you’re making big financial commitments together – like taking on a hipotecas de depósito foram lançadas pelos principais bancos, incluindo Natwest e Barclays.
“Mortgages are a common cause of disputes among warring couples, so pay close attention to how they are set up so expectations are clear, and in writing,” Susie said.
Couples who aren’t married could consider a “cohabitation agreement” when they buy a property, ela adicionou.
This covers what share of the property each person owns – which is particularly important if one person has contributed more to the deposit.
It also covers what happens if a dispute occurs, any maintenance costs and who is financially responsible for what.
“This will be a legally binding document as long as independent legal advice was taken by both parties before it is signed,” Susie said.
It means you both are clear on what your rights are – which will help nasty arguments in a worst case scenario.
Make a will
A marriage creates a legally binding financial bond between a couple.
That means if one of you dies, your assets are automatically passed to your spouse – that includes your savings, pension and share of any property.
But cohabiting couples do not have the same rights – so if you want your assets to pass to your other half, you’ll need to make a will.
A lot of people put off writing a will as it feels a bit morbid, but it’s the only way to ensure your assets are distributed as you would like after you die.
Otherwise probate rules kick in, and these will determine who inherits your assets, which could leave your partner seriously in the lurch.
“You should think about nominating each other as a beneficiary to ensure the other can access the funds in the case of death,” Susie said.
Make a Will Month takes place twice a year, and sees many solicitor firms write wills for clients either for free, at a reduced rate or in exchange for a charitable donation.
It’s usually during October and March, and you can find participating firms and keep updated on the Free Wills Month website.
Eu obviamente pensei sobre isso, mas eu tinha um trabalho a fazer.”
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