SHOW ME THE MONEY !
Wednesday, April 2, 2008.
British women secretly assess the financial suitability of potential partners even on a first date – although we’re too polite to ask outright how well off a man is.
New research by CreditExpert shows that while only one per cent of us would have the nerve to ask how much a man earned, 55 per cent of us would conclude that he was a bad money manager if we saw a wallet full of credit cards. A quarter of us would consider leaving an established partner if his inability to manage his money affected their lives. Just 17 per cent of men would go that far.
The latest results confirm a gender gulf highlighted in an earlier CreditExpert survey, which found that nine out of ten men are happy-go-lucky about running up debts, while almost a third of women worry about every penny, from our mortgage repayments to the cost of living.
A very British attitude
Despite the tendency to prioritise financial security over love, we retain our British reticence and are often too embarrassed to ask straight questions about money.
The study also found that:
Almost a third of us have never seen our partner’s bank statement Nearly 48 per cent wait to be told how much our other half earns. Half of us hold on until we’re told about our partner’s savings and 30 per cent wait to hear if our new man owns his own property
But we are all becoming more financially sophisticated. Although 81 per cent of us have never asked a partner about his or her credit history, 84 per cent know that a joint application for credit will link our financial history with our partners.
“Money is one of the biggest causes of problems in relationships, so it’s incredibly important to manage your finances well if you want love to survive,” says Jim Hodgkins, managing director of CreditExpert.
“Regular checks on your credit report – your credit history – help you to keep your debts and credit arrangements under control. It’s the easy way to monitor your credit status and something you can do together to build trust and a secure foundation for the future.”
5 ways to build a stress-free financial relationship
Be honest with your partner about your financial background and ask for the same openness in return, especially if you are applying for joint credit.
Take a look at each other’s credit report – the history of your credit accounts, such as cards, loans and mortgages, plus your repayment record. It’s a good way to open discussions about money.
If you have a joint bank account or credit card, set boundaries on spending and credit limits in advance, so there are no nasty surprises when the monthly statement arrives.
Make a pact that, if you do get into financial trouble, you’ll let your partner know – it could affect the other person’s credit rating too.
If the relationship ends, be sure to separate your finances – close joint accounts, including utilities and mobile phone accounts, let your lenders know and inform the credit references agencies so that they can update their records.
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