How to Set Financial Goals as a Couple
According to BusinessInsider.com money was cited as the number one reason couples argue. This should come as no surprise as people have a wide range of views on how to handle their money. If you mix that idea with the social cliché that it is "rude" to discuss our finances it makes total sense that many couples avoid discussing their money beliefs, values and priorities altogether. Instead of having a regular open dialogue about money many couples will have only a handful of conversations about money until they run into significant financial problems, and by then it may be too late to come to an agreement that will save the relationship.
The first time many partners discuss their finances is when it comes to paying for dates. Once they come to an agreement about who pays and how often many couples do not discuss money further until they are about to move in together. This is a self defeating strategy when it come to finances. Learning about each other's financial perspectives before moving in will give you more time to discuss how or if it would be beneficial to manage your finances together.
When you share financial responsibilities it is important that you and your partner's financial goals and values are aligned. If one of you prefers to save for a rainy day and the other prefers to spend whatever they have when they have it you are likely headed for some disagreements.
Resentment will also build if one partner is continuously having to bail the other partner out of financial trouble like credit card debt or unexpected expenses. There are a few strategies you and your partner can implement to ensure that you will not let money become an obstacle to your connection:
Have a monthly "money date" with your partner. Sit down to discuss your money situations. Cover what money you currently have, what you will make, what you will spend, what you will save, and how you will work together to accomplish your mutual financial goals.
Get money coaching or counseling prior to marriage, moving in together, and/or making large shared purchases.
Set and determine large goals together. These might include buying cars or real estate, saving for vacations, making investments, and planning for retirement.
Consider what accounts you'll each have or manage. I would recommend starting with at least three accounts: yours, mine, and ours. This will allow each of you to maintain some financial autonomy and individuality while also minimizing spending conflicts.
Do not simply give your partner your paychecks and allow them to manage everything on their own. Not only does this put undue labor on them, but it also puts you at risk if they aren't as on top of the finances as they tell you they are.
We all have different experiences with money and we were all taught about money in slightly different ways as we grew up. When we decide to combine our lives and our finances with another person it's important that we understand each other's money perspectives and dreams so we can build the lives we both want successfully.
Money can be one of the determining factors in whether or not you and your partner will achieve your version of happily ever after. When it comes to money and your relationship if you fail to plan you are planning to fail. Don't let your relationship become another statistic.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. Please do not use the information provided here as a replacement for therapy or professional advice. For the full disclaimer policy, please refer to www.flamme.app/disclaimer.