The Three Financial Stages That Come With Ending A Long-Term Relationship

Does it feel like everyone around you is calling it quits in their relationships? Well, that’s because it’s breakup season. If you’re currently going through a breakup, you’re probably experiencing a wide range of emotions – from anger to sadness and maybe even confusion.

However, there’s another aspect of breakups that people don’t usually discuss: money. When you part ways with someone you were in a relationship with, you’re also saying goodbye to their finances.

Recent data from Experian shows that a staggering 47% of people who have ended a long-term relationship don’t know how to financially breakup with their exes, despite over half (52%) revealing that they shared a joint account.

It’s not cheap to walk away from your relationship considering the average breakup cost is £1,068 and 62% of couples admit they split because of financial reasons. It’s important to cut monetary ties properly so as not to let it cost you in the long term too.

Pearl Akintola, consumer finance expert at Experian, breaks down the three stages of a financial breakup so you can come out of it financially dependent.

Stage one: The Breakup Phase

“Arguably the toughest stage of any breakup is the initial breakup itself,” Akintola says.

“It’s the same when it comes to your financial breakup – this is when a lot of the tough conversations are going to happen, such as how you split your savings pot, and perhaps who gets custody of your pet cat. There are three key areas to prioritise when it comes to your financial breakup:”

Seek support and guidance  

Your friends and family will provide a shoulder to cry on right now, but you should want a more confidential shoulder when it comes to your finances.

“If that is the case remember you can seek guidance from professionals if the financial impact of the separation is becoming unmanageable.”

Decide how to handle your rental property

“Whether you decide to move in with a loved one or want to live your best single life in a home of your own, remember to take care of your tenancy agreement,” Akintola explains.

If both you and your partner were both named on the agreement as tenants, you’re both liable for the rent until your agreement ends.

“So, contact your landlord or estate agent and let them know of your intention to move out. Discuss what this will mean for the tenancy agreement and how you can end your liability towards it.”

Divide and conquer your shared asset

If you shared a savings account with an ex-partner it’s time to divide the money fairly between the two of you.

“Even though this might be hard (or awkward) it’s important to get this sorted asap, as an account can’t be closed until the money has been divided.”

Discuss any upcoming holidays 

Forgot about strolling on the beach with your partner as that is no longer a reality. “Research from Experian shows that on average those who cancel or reschedule planned holidays lose more than £776,” Akintola adds.

“To avoid that check your travel insurance policy as you might be covered for cancellations. But be prepared that they may request proof to make a claim.”

What happens to your pet?

If you bought a pet with your partner this can be a bit of a tricky thing to speak about.

“If you share a pet together one of the first things to agree on is who keeps it or if you’ll go on to co-parent. If it’s the latter, then you’ll need to set up a schedule and make sure all decisions have been made with their wellbeing in mind.”

Stage two: The ‘Glow Up’ Phase

Now it’s time for stage two. You’re slowly coming back into yourself and life is starting to look much brighter.

Review and correct your credit report  

After saying goodbye to your ex take a look at your credit report as that might be the last thing linking you to them.

“If you had a joint account or took out a form of credit like a loan with them, then your credit report will be linked to theirs and they’ll show up as a financial link on your report,” says Akintola.

Update your passwords

Now is the time to update your passwords, including online shopping sites too.

“If your card is still registered on those websites, your ex could continue to buy items using your card details,” Akintola explains.

To stop this from happening make a list of all the sites where the login details are in your name and change the password.

Also, if there are any in your ex-partner’s name which has your card details registered, log on to them and delete your registered payment information.

Makeover your finances

Being able to get a clear view of what your finances look like will help you in the future whether you get into another relationship or remain single.

“To complete your financial glow-up review and tidy up your finances,” Akintola says.

“Figure out how you’ll afford your new rental on your own, get rid of any unnecessary subscriptions and budget for those final bills from utility companies. Then you can invest in the ultimate revenge outfit or dye your hair.”

Stage three: The ‘Get Back Out There’ Phase

Now that you’ve ditched your joint savings account find one that’s right for you

“When you decide to open your own savings account shop around before settling on one. Consider how much interest you’ll receive and if the interest is fixed or depends on the market.”

“Also, think about how often you’ll want to have access to your money. If you intend to use it for a rainy-day fund, consider getting an easy-access account. But if you’re saving up for something long-term like a house or your retirement look into a fixed-term savings account or ISA as they may have better rates.”

If you’re shopping for a new credit card, consider using a rewards or cashback card

“If you’re going to treat yourself to more holidays or something on the expensive side a cashback or rewards card might come in handy. Whether it’s getting money off at certain shops or being able to upgrade your seat on a flight, when used responsibly you can get something in return for your spending.”

When you’re ready to date again stay vigilant when on dating apps

“Only use trusted dating apps when you’re looking for your new bae,” Akintola says.

“During the talking stage, it’s normal to want to get to know someone you like but remember to be careful not to share any personal details that might be used maliciously like your date of birth or personal address.”

Fraudsters can easily use this information to gain access to your bank account, so don’t share those details too early in the relationship.