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One-third of Brits say rising costs is putting a strain on their relationship



A new survey by credit card brand Aqua has found that one-third (34%) of Brits admit rising costs have put a strain on their relationship.

But, what other challenges do couples face when it comes to money?

To find out, the research explored how often couples talk about money, what the most sensitive financial topics are for those in a relationship, and the spending habits people are most likely to hide from their partners.

To help Brits overcome some of these challenges, Aqua has partnered with relationship consultant and strategist, Mairead Molloy, who has advised on how couples can best navigate their finances together. Sharvan Selvam, Commercial Director at Aqua, has also provided his tips for tackling some of the biggest money stressors.

One-third of Brits admit that rising costs and inflation have put a strain in their relationship, down just 1% from 2023

Of those surveyed, one-third (34%) say that rising costs and inflation have caused some sort of strain on their relationship. This is down just 1% from a similar survey conducted by Aqua in 2023.

Sharvan Selvam, Commercial Director at Aqua said, “The financial crisis has been challenging for many, but there are some steps you can take as a couple to try to ease the impact. First, make a plan together. Review your situation and look at where you might be able to cut back on non-essential spending.

“Keep talking with your partner about how you’re feeling, and if you need extra guidance, speaking with a professional, such as a financial advisor, may help take some of the stress away too.”

39% of people don’t regularly discuss finances with their partner

Being open and honest about money is key in any relationship, but the research has found that as many as 39% of Brits don’t discuss money with their partner on a regular basis.

When it comes to specific topics, 28% of couples say discussing how they will change their spending habits due to increased costs and inflation is the most sensitive subject.

The second most challenging topic is existing debt, with 27% of those surveyed saying they find this a tricky subject to broach with their significant other.

Sharvan advises, “There are several measures you can take to work towards being debt-free. Prioritise which of your debts are the most pressing to pay off, and try to pay off ones with higher interest rates first. It can also help to include your repayments in a monthly budget, so you’re setting aside money regularly.”

Over one in 10 Brits have hidden how much they’ve spent on clothes or accessories from a partner

With so many financial topics being difficult for couples to broach, many people might avoid discussing them altogether.

Brits are most likely to hide how much they’ve spent on clothes and accessories from a partner, with more than one in 10 (11.3%)  admitting to having done so. However, it’s positive to see this is nearly half the number of people who said they hid this kind of spending in 2023 (21%).

Irresponsible spending (10.9%) and past debt (9.8%) round off the top three money situations Brits are most likely to hide from a partner. .

The study found the most common motivating factor behind hiding any financial situations is because people think it will cause friction in the relationship, but Mairead says, “It’s important to make conversations about money a standing, recurring thing. Determine the parts of your finances that are important to you and keep an eye out for any financial red flags. If you do see any, make sure to talk about them with your partner.”

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