How often do you and your partner talk about your finances?
Managing money is not exactly the most exciting part of a relationship, but it is very important nonetheless. Budgets, bills, expenses… it is easy for these things to become burdensome and awkward in a relationship if you aren’t both on the same page. This is especially the case if you are making a big financial commitment like purchasing your first home or extending your mortgage for a renovation.
Financial problems have long been one of the most common causes of failed relationships, so it pays (pun intended) to get it right. You don’t want money to become the reason that you don’t get your happily ever after!
So, here are our top tips for preventing money from becoming an issue in your relationship:
4 Tips For Effectively Managing Money In A Relationship
1. Establish Priorities
If one of you is a big spender and the other is a serious saver, you will likely encounter some difficulties. It is unfair for one of you to be diligently covering the rent and bills while the other is frivolously partying with every dollar they get.
To stop this from happening, you need to communicate. Talk to each other about what your money priorities are. Is it a wedding, a new home, a much-needed holiday, a baby, or getting on top of debts and credit cards? Make sure you have a shared vision of what you are working towards, and that you are both committed to getting there.
Having mutually agreed goals is also important for maintaining the trust between you. You don’t want to watch and track every cent your partner spends. Being able to trust one another’s judgement is vital, and is made a lot easier by establishing common priorities.
2. Put A Plan Together
A goal without a plan is just a wish. Unless you have a plan for how you are going to manage your priorities, it is unlikely you will be able to stick to them long term.
A budget document or plan is a great tool for mapping out your income, your outgoings, and your savings. Depending on your needs and circumstances, you could set yourself up with a simple budgeting spreadsheet, use a handy online tool, or get professional advice.
It is necessary to realise that budgeting together doesn’t always mean everything will be split 50/50. You may not both earn the same salary, so you need to come up with a realistic arrangement that both of you can afford and more importantly, both of you are comfortable with.
3. Think About Contingencies
If you are busily putting all of your savings away into an account that you can’t withdraw from or that has penalties for withdrawals, you might want to reconsider. Keeping some savings in a more readily available account (not under a mattress) is a good idea, just in case.
Your money plan should be more than just a page with numbers on it. You and your partner need to have the “what if” conversations too. What would you do if the unexpected popped up, like a family emergency or loss of income? It is impossible to know for sure how those situations would play out. But at the very least you need to be comfortable discussing it with one another.
Ah, yes. Communication. It is often known as the make-or-break factor when it comes to relationships. It is especially important when it comes to money matters. While money management can be awkward and a little complicated, it’s not impossible!
Honest and open discussion is the best way to stay aware, be on top of your plans, and head off any potential issues. Don’t just think that one conversation about money is going to be enough. You should regularly check in, as certain things can change over time.
One of the greatest ways to broach the topic of money and relationships is to consult an expert. Here at The Finance Marshall, we specialise in these kinds of conversations and helping you make the right decisions to reach your money goals.
Get in touch with us today for a no obligation free chat.