High bills take relationships to breaking point | Personal Finance | Finance

One-third of Brits say the increase in the cost of living has put a strain on their relationship, new research shows.

A new survey by credit card brand Aqua has found that one-third (34 percent) of Brits admit rising costs have made their relationships harder, leading to a breakdown of communication.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers found that 39 percent of people don’t regularly discuss finances with their partner.

When it comes to specific topics, 28 percent 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 percent of those surveyed saying they find this a tricky subject to broach with their significant other.

Sharvan Selvam, Commercial Director at Aqua says: “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.

“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.”

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 percent) 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 percent).

Irresponsible spending (10.9 percent) and past debt (9.8 percent) 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.

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