Are you fighting over money with your better half? One of the most common things for couples to argue or disagree about is money. Financial decisions are already hard enough as an individual and even harder to do with another person who has independent ideas. Relationships with money are a very personal thing. Considering how personal and therefore complicated it already is to make financial decisions on our own, it probably comes as no surprise that doing so with a partner can pose even more of a challenge.
Here are a few strategies to try and keep in mind when making financial decisions with your partner.
Communication is key to any healthy relationship, and discussing financial decisions is no exception. Something that seems obvious to you may not be evident to them, so give your partner the grace of explaining yourself calmly and thoroughly. Making comments about how a person is spending can quickly turn accusatory, making a person defensive. Even when having tough conversations, do your best to remove judgment from the equation.
There’s no right way to handle finances as a couple. Suppose the topic of debt, bills, or retirement goals makes either partner uncomfortable or defensive. In that case, a certified financial planner can help set guidelines for a couple and establish a budget with benchmarks like an emergency fund, raising a family, or saving for retirement. The best way to make sure that happens is to both be communicative about finances with each other.
Be Prepared to Listen
When financial decision making, your priority should not be to explain your point of view. To have a truly productive conversation, you must be committed to listening. This is good practice in all conversations with your partner and loved ones, especially when talking about financial decisions.
Here’s the thing about making financial decisions; there is generally no right and no wrong. Being open to listening often translates into being open to learning.
Track Your Spending Money
Without some form of individualized spending, it’s challenging to face the quantitative reality of how personal spending choices affect collective budgeting each month. Establishing and following a budget is the most reliable way to eliminate debt and plan for a future together. It’s nearly impossible for couples to set financial goals or build a financial strategy without one.
Set Financial Priorities Together
Because we are all wired differently, we see things differently. You and your partner will want to sit down and work out a plan for your financial goals. For example, if you wish to purchase a car by the end of the year, determine how much money you both need to set back each week or month to have a down payment to purchase.
Take the time to figure out exactly how each financial decision would play out over the short and long term. Break high costs down into monthly numbers. Enact plans for these reaching goals, such as setting up automatic transfers from checking accounts and savings accounts.
There are many different ways to organize finances as a couple; there is no perfect formula for making financial decisions. One of the critical keys is to be open and honest with your partner. Being dishonest about personal spending habits or keeping hidden debts will inevitably destroy the trust that holds a couple together.
Setting financial goals with your partner? Need tips to track your spending money with your partner? We’re here to help! Join us on our upcoming webinar on 27th Feb, Sat, 11 am and learn how to make joint financial decisions in your relationship.
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