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The financial habits of our partners, why they matter?

Author
Stian De Witt & Dr Gustav Gous
Date
7 October 2023
7 min read

Take a moment to consider how our financial habits play a vital role in our lives. Whether we acknowledge it or not, money is a significant aspect of our daily lives, and the way we manage money can significantly impact our overall wellbeing. When we look at our partners or who we are compatible with we often list similar beliefs and values as determining factors, but what about financial habits? While it may not seem like a big deal, understanding your partners financial habits and behaviours is vital to the success of a relationship.

Financial planning is a key aspect to broader relationship planning and compatibility, it is a key point to the success of any relationship, whether between partners, spouse, or family members. The strategic management of money, assets, and resources to achieve shared goals, the fostering of financial security, and the managing of financially based conflicts are critical to relationship dynamics and success. The process of financial planning within the context of broader relationship planning is not only to establish a solid foundation for economic stability, but also strengthens the emotional bond and trust between individuals. In this article, we will explore the importance of financial planning in relationships and how it can positively impact the overall well-being of partners involved.

Building a strong foundation and attitude to finances

Money is an essential element to the way we conduct our day-to-day life, and the way we manage it can significantly impact our overall well-being. Our financial habits affect our levels of stress, our relationships, and our happiness. Money can be a source of stress and conflict in relationships, making it key that understanding your partner’s financial habits can help you manage your money and avoid unnecessary stress and conflict.

Finances are often cited as one of the primary sources of conflict and stress in relationships. Disagreements over money can lead to conflicts, tension, and ultimately a relationship breakdown. Financial planning within the relationship serves as the mechanism to address these concerns proactively. By setting aligned and common financial goals, defining individual responsibilities, and establishing a budget, couples can build a foundation that fosters collaborations and cooperation in managing their finances together.

Financial compatibility is key

Financial compatibility means that both partners share similar values and habits when it comes to money. For example, if one partner is a saver and the other is a spender, there may be a significant conflict of interest when it comes to financial decisions. Understanding each other’s financial habits and values can help you both work together towards common financial goals

Money can be a source of conflict

As mentioned earlier, money can be a significant source of conflict in relationships. Different financial habits, such as overspending or money hoarding, can cause misunderstandings and disputes between partners. By discussing and understanding each other’s financial habits, you can work together to find a way to manage your finances in a way that works for both of you.

Financial stability is important

An important reason to understand your partner’s financial habits, is that financial stability is essential for a successful relationship. Financial stability means that both partners are financially secure and can manage their finances without stress or worry. Understanding each other’s financial habits and values can help you both work together towards financial stability.

Future planning requires financial understanding

Planning for the future is essential to any relationship. Whether you are planning to buy a house, have children, or
save for retirement. Understanding each other’s financials habits and values is crucial. By working together to
create a financial plan that works for both of you, you can ensure that you’re both on the same page when it comes
to your financial future.

Shared goals and Aspirations

A critical aspect of financial planning within the relationship is identifying and prioritising your shared goals and aspirations. Whether it’s saving for a dream holiday, buying a house, retirement planning or family planning for the growth of your family, having a clear plan in place helps channel resources toward these mutual goals and objectives. This further encourages open communication surrounding needs and expectations, which is essential for a financially healthy relationship.

Money impacts our health

Finances can have a significant impact on our health. Studies have shown that lack of control over one’s finances can lead to a variety of health problems, including anxiety, depression, and physical health problems such as heart disease. By understanding your partner’s financial habits and values, you can work together to manage your finances and avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Transparency and trust are key

Finally, understanding your partner’s financial habits is essential because transparency is key in any relationship. Being open and honest about your financial situation can help build trust between partners. By discussing your financial habits and values, you can both work together to create a plan that works for both of you and avoid any misunderstandings or mistrust.

Support during life transitions

Financial planning necessitates ongoing communication between partners. Regularly reviewing financial goals, tracking progress, and discussing adjustments or new priorities to allow for greater alignment within your relationship. This shared financial responsibility creates the space to bring partners closer together as they work as a team to achieve their financial aspirations.

Fairness and equality

Having a financial plan within the confines of a relationship enables partners to create a system that is fair and equitable for both individuals. This includes determining how income is managed, contributions to shared expenses, and dividing responsibilities for financial tasks. When both partners feel that their interests are considered, resentment and feelings of inequity are less likely to arise.

Preventing financial infidelity

Financial infidelity involves hiding financial decisions or activities from a partner that can severely damage trust in a relationship. By financially planning together, you are more likely to be aware of each other’s financial actions, reducing the likelihood of financial infidelity.


Since money matters impact our lives daily, it is important to consider the following for a financially sound relationship:

  • Financial compatibility is important
  • Money can be a source of conflict
  • Financial stability is crucial
  • Planning for the future requires financial understanding
  • Money impacts our health.

T&Cs apply. NMG Consultants and Actuaries (Pty) LTD is an authorised financial services provider FSP 12968

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