November this year will mark the 100th anniversary of women being afforded the right to vote in the UK, with the island nation following a trail that had been previously blazed by Australia and New Zealand back in 1902.
It’s hard to consider the current financial landscape without this in mind, particularly given the strange juxtapose that exists in the western world. In Australia, for example, the gender pay gap has actually increased over the course of the last 15 years, despite the fact the iGeneration (comprising of individuals aged between 18 and 24) is set to become the first generation with more female breadwinners than male.
Given this, and the capacity of finances to come between couples at the best of times, there’s no doubt that shifting cultural and societal norms could pose challenges in the current climate. In this article, we’ll look at how couples can account for these and overcome the money issues that exist in their relationship:
Ensure that you and your Partner have Aligned Goals
Recently, the Greater Bank of Australia explored some of these issues in greater detail, by commissioning this study on the role that finances play in modern relationships.
One of the most interesting findings was that women remain three times less likely to date a man who earns less than them, despite the growing emergence of the iGeneration as breadwinners in 2018.
Sure, this is far less of an issue than it may have been during previous generations, but there’s no doubt that earnings remain a significant factor when determining potential life partners.
This is indicative of more universal qualities, of course, including ambition and the ability of individuals to provide financial security. So, it’s important that you communicate honestly with potential partners before forming a relationship, ensuring that you have aligned future goals and compatible career objectives.
This can help you to avoid issues further down the line and prevent finances from undermining your relationship over a concerted period of time.
Pooling Some Resources can Boost your Relationship
According to the study, couples who pooled some of their finances together were also less likely to cite money as a significant cause of tension in their relationship.
The issue here is that 45% of respondents said that they would only feel comfortable opening a joint bank account once they were married, with women less likely than men to agree to such a commitment.
Ultimately, the most successful approach is for each partner to pool a fixed amount of their resources in a joint account, specifically for the repayment of bills and mortgage payments. Individuals within the relationship are then able to retain some of their monthly earnings, creating a sense of independence and the ability to fund their own unique hobbies.
This type of balance helps to create a functional and progressive relationship, and one where the management and distribution of finances is not considered as a contentious issue.
Address Individual Behaviours
Every relationship is made up of individuals, each of whom have their own unique outlook, vulnerabilities and behaviours.
Occasionally, these can impact negatively on the equilibrium and harmony in any relationship, so it’s important to recognise these and address them where appropriate.
According to the aforementioned study, being careless with money is one of the most frustrating financial behaviours in a romantic partner, with 95% of respondents citing this as an issue. 92% of respondents also highlighted partners who were controlling over money as a significant issue, particularly when they try to dictate how funds are spent.
So, if you have demonstrated these or similar behaviours in the past, you need to demonstrate self-awareness and a willingness to challenge these if you’re to enjoy a successful relationship.