The FINANCIAL -- Celebrating Valentine’s Day is traditionally all about chocolate and flowers, but it can also be a good time to assess your financial future as a couple.
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like committing to a joint account for the first time or agreeing on joint savings goals for your first home together or a dream trip away.
Clare Francis, Barclays’ Savings and Investments Director, provides top tips on how to broach joint finances on the most romantic day of the year:
A candlelit dinner for two is the perfect time to pop the all-important question ‘should we open a joint account?’ Putting an agreed amount in each month will give you peace of mind that any joint bills or subscriptions are being paid, as well as providing the opportunity to build up some cash for luxuries and activities you can enjoy together
Take a break from whispering sweet nothings across the table to work out you and your partner’s combined worth, taking into account salary, credit card debt, overdrafts and outgoings. This will help you plan a future together and ensure financial transparency
Arguments do not make for a romantic evening and money is a common cause for disagreements between couples. Talking openly with your partner about finances can help avoid this and will make sure you are on the same page financially. Equally if one of you is better off than the other, this opens the door for an honest conversation about how your joint goals can work with both of your incomes
Thinking of buying your first home together? First-time buyers can open a Help to Buy ISA, which gives a 25% government bonus on amounts saved between £1,600 and £12,000. Help to Buy ISAs are only available to individuals, however if the property you wish to purchase is within the price caps and you are both first time buyers you can separately claim the government bonuses due on your savings and put both bonuses towards the home you’re buying. Barclays’ Help to Buy ISA currently has a market-leading rate, paying 2.27%
A relationship is still two halves of a whole and if you value your independence, fear not, opening a joint account together does not mean that you can’t also be financially separate and have your own individual bank accounts for personal luxuries
Enjoying a rom-com together is all very well, but why not choose to do some money-saving comparison research instead? As a couple you could cut costs to common outgoings such as travel insurance, rail travel, gym memberships and subscriptions
If you have a pension or life insurance policy, use Valentine’s Day as a reminder to check if your other half is down to receive any pay outs in the event anything unforeseen happens
Making a will might not be on your mind on a day like this, but it’s essential, particularly for couples who share a mortgage, have any other assets or who have children. It’s the only way to ensure that your inheritance goes to the person or the people you want it to go to.