Friday, November 15, 2013

Dealing with Debt as a Couple

"Financial Missionaries" Preach Personal Finance Mmgt In Christian Context
If you’re currently in a relationship with someone it’s likely that you will have encountered some kind of conversation about money. Depending on how serious your relationship is you may have a joint account, or have agreed with each other about who pays what. If you live together, then conversations about money are a must, as rent/mortgage payments, bills and food costs will all have to be shared fairly. As obvious and as simple as it sounds, it’s not actually that easy to have conversations about money, even with the people you are closest to. It’s for this reason that many couples find themselves in debt, and in some cases one partner has no idea of the extent of it until something goes wrong.

Recent research has shown that women are the most ‘in control’ of the household finances, with 11% more females than males being able to answer correctly when asked the balance of their bank accounts and how much is owed on a credit card. Just 33% of men were able to answer correctly to both of the questions, which is worrying when you consider that 68% of men said that they are in control of the family finances. It seems that communication is not always clear either, as 63% of women said they were the ones controlling the cash.

Gender has no influence when it comes to racking up debt, however, as neither malesnor femalesare discriminated against when it comes to taking on credit. Some couples are struggling under the actions of one of them, whereas others may not yet understand the extent of their partner’s debts. If you’ve found yourself in money troubles, no matter how hard it may be on the other person, you must talk about it. This is especially important where there are joint finances involved, or if you would be at risk of affecting their stability due to owning a home or business together.

Talking through your money issues is not only a good way to hold yourself accountable, but it can also mean you could get some sound advice about how to tackle the problem. Two heads are better than one, and although your partner may feel upset at first, the fact that they know would hopefully prevent you from making it worse by burying your head in the sand. Struggling with problem debt in private can be extremely stressful and may put a strain on your relationship.

Debt
According to debt help charity Step Change, 45% of people wait a whole year before seeking help about their money problems. This is a long time to be having issues for, and the stress could take its toll as mental health problems if not kept in check. If you’re struggling with debts, the sooner you can reach out for help the better. This can simply be speaking to your partner or a friend or other family member about it – a problem shared is a problem halved.


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