All is fair in love and finance

Money conflict is one of the main reasons couples split up the world over.

Money conflict is one of the main reasons couples split up the world over.

Published Mar 27, 2024


By: Danielle and Jaun-Pierre Steynvaardt

Money conflict is one of the main reasons couples split up the world over. To avoid challenges that come with money matters, couples need to align on finances early on. We have insights and tools on how couples can work together to avoid financial conflict and propel them to success by making well-informed decisions in the current ever-challenging financial economy.

Let’s talk about money

Talking about money is important. Not having that sometimes uncomfortable conversation about money will catch up with you sooner or later in your relationship. The whole idea of money was different for both of us. I grew up very poor and she was in a privileged home. When I got my first pay cheque I just wanted to explore and buy everything my heart desires because I never had that.

This will resonate with several individuals who come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have the skills or knowledge to handle their finances due to factors that include a lack of or exposure to financial literacy.

Preconceived notions about money can have adverse effects on the health of your relationship, especially when these notions are based on one’s historical relationship or understanding of money.

Our ideas about money didn’t come together, and had we spoken about it more, it would have decreased some of the tension that had built up in our relationship at the onset of our union.

It’s better to be over-prepared than to be overwhelmed

Having open conversations with your partner such as working on a budget together, disclosing any debts, and planning are the key ingredients that will help you better prepare in situations where unforeseen circumstances may arise.

We unexpectedly faced in our 11-year marriage the inability to naturally conceive. Not only did this experience take a toll on our marriage, but it dented our finances as well.

It was an actual burden because you make decisions based on emotion. So, you know, you hear about this amazing doctor in Sandton, and you just throw money at it, and you don't care if you go into debt. It was a big goal for us to have the proverbial perfect family, and now it can’t happen. So, yeah, it was difficult.

Over-preparing for unforeseen circumstances such as this may not take away the physical and emotional toll that comes with infertility. Even so, the financial strain that results from attempting to conceive can be reduced by having reserves for such situations.

Three and a half years later, we are a family unit that is stronger than ever. We place immense importance on prioritising what’s important to us, and making decisions today that will ensure a more secure future for ourselves and Zinzi, our adopted child.

* Danielle and her husband Jaun-Pierre Steynvaardt are influencers.