Martin Lewis issues warning to couples over ‘disastrous’ mistake they make with finances | Personal Finance | Finance


Martin Lewis has issued a warning to couples that share finances to avoid a “disastrous” mistake.

The warning comes in response to a woman called Angela writing into Money Saving Expert that she had saved £19,000 since her divorce 20 years ago using Mr Lewis’ tips and tricks.

Angela said she had been left in “dire financial straits” when her husband left her and has relied on the website for help with budgeting ever since.

In total Angela has saved £18,858.95 over the last 20 years and is now only four months away from being mortgage and debt-free – three years earlier than originally planned.

Angela achieved this through “piggybacking” which involves budgeting, setting up a savings account and “planning for every eventuality including a small emergency fund” as well as regularly reviewing her available budget

In her post on the website Angela said: “I saved a bit every year on insurance and breakdown cover, and used a cashback website. I’ve switched bank accounts five times, and broadband and energy supplier most years.

“I could go on and on. My daughter is now using the budgeting and piggybank system herself, so she has skills she wouldn’t have had without MSE, and I feel financially secure.

“Thank you Martin, your website saved my sanity, I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Mr Lewis was over the moon hearing about how the tips had helped Angela recover financially but also offered a word of warning for people in relationships that could find themselves in the same situation one day.

Mr Lewis said: “Thank you Angela. I loved reading this and know it’ll inspire many. This is why I keep going, 21 years after I set up the site. Yet I also think there’s a salient warning to many hidden in there…

“In relationships, there’s usually a ‘dominant financial doer’ who sorts out the finances. There’s nowt wrong with that, but if it steps over the line to ‘I just do it all, so they needn’t worry’ it may feel generous, but it can be disastrous, especially if one of the three Ds hit (death, divorce, dementia – jolly isn’t it?).

“In a shared financial relationship, both partners should know enough to be able to take over if needed. Communication & a financial factsheet are crucial.”

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