Financial Friction

Triathlon is an inherently expensive sport. Even once you’ve bought all your equipment, there’s the races, the travel, the extra training opportunities, equipment upgrades and all the food you eat. Barney Ellis is from miPlan Financial Services who support GPC Squad. You’ll also find him at the Geelong Cross Country Club Sunday morning races.

Financial Friction is a major reason behind 22% of divorces.

Even if one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, financial stress doesn’t have to destroy your relationship. Communication is key and it makes sense to set some boundaries to reduce financial pressures. Ideally start with full disclosure and ditch the secret accounts. If you have a significant HECs debt or support a relative financially, it’s only fair to discuss these outstanding financial issues and obligations.

Many feel its uncouth to talk about money, but understanding each other’s attitude to money means you can set financial goals together, set a realistic budget and arrange structures to support or control your spending. For example, having a joint goal to take an awesome holiday overseas can give you the impetus to save together by minimising casual spending on take aways or nights out.

One way to manage your discretionary spend is to set up two bank accounts, each with their own debit card, one for essentials and one for lifestyle. Have only your agreed lifestyle budget go into the discretionary account every week by direct debit. If the money is gone on Friday, then it’s no take away until next week’s money comes in. Share in the joy of seeing your holidays savings account or investment fund grow.

A great way to set up a shared investment is via Acorns or FirstStep. Two awesome apps that “round up” all your spending and “invest the change” into diversified shares. Also decide what purchases will need to be discussed and set ground rules. For example agree you will discuss any purchase over a certain limit, say $200.

If all else fails, a financial adviser can help you get your savings and spending goals on track.

Barney advises on life insurance, financial planning including investment, loans, budgeting, superannuation.

“This advice is general and may not be relevant to your particular circumstances. Each person has different circumstances and you should seek advice from an adviser who can judge if a strategy is right for you. You should also read the Product Disclosure Statement for any product before purchase. “