07 Mar 2017
Before you started saving for your new home, you and your partner both sat down and formed a well-thought out savings plan. Ah yes, it was all excited smiles and well-intentioned promises as you both decided on a set amount of savings per month. You agreed to make a bigger contribution, since you earn more - it was only fair.
But now you’ve put the plan into action, things don’t seem as reasonable as they did on paper. Even though you’ve sacrificed your little luxuries, your partner seems to be living the life of Riley. She’s enjoying lunches out with her work mates while you begrudgingly prepare tomato sandwiches for the fifth week in a row.
It could be time to sit down and make some minor alterations. But how do you know what constitutes a fair savings plan? Read our four tips to help.
1. Talk about Money
Ah, the ‘M’ word. It has caused a few prickly moments in many a relationship. If money is a bit of a ‘sensitive subject’ for you and your partner – you’re not alone. It is actually in the top three problem zones of a relationship. Which is understandable really – it’s much easier to avoid the blazing row than it is to face the music and air your grievances. Be honest with your partner from the beginning about any doubts you have and you will avoid bigger problems down the line.
2. Look at your lifestyle and your earnings
So you earn more than your partner does. But that doesn’t have to be the only deciding factor in how much you both should save. Do you live further away from your office and have a bigger petrol bill? Or perhaps your partner’s asthma means he has to dish out €100 for a new inhaler every month. To make things really fair, you should consider lifestyle costs as well as incomes when forming your savings plan.
3. Review your plan once a month
Your savings plan isn’t a legally binding document. In fact it’s more of a fully bendable, supportive agreement which should be tried and tested depending on the month or week that’s in it. Your partner’s twin nieces and her grandparents are born in May – so that month you could agree to bear the financial burden.
4. Draft a list of ‘sacrifices’ and ‘must-haves’
It’s easy to judge your partner for their Friday luncheons. However, that might be what gets them through their work day, and instead, they’re sacrificing other things (we hope so, anyway). To avoid secret grudges and misunderstandings, it’s a good idea to draw up a list of sacrifices you can both live with, as well as a list of things you just couldn’t part with. Everyone has different priorities, and you’d be surprised at what your partner sees as a ‘necessity’- but each to their own!
Many couples have conflicting opinions about money, and this doesn’t come to play until it’s a little too late – like after you’ve both made the biggest financial decision of your lives. However we should all be willing to rethink our learned values and form some compromises.
If you have any questions about the process, you can book a friendly chat with a mortgage advisor.
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