One of the benefits of a marriage or long-term relationship is the ability to pool assets. You and your partner suddenly have more buying and borrowing power because you have someone you can share bill-paying responsibilities with and who can be your sounding board for financial decisions.
But too often, couples aren't on the same page about money by not speaking frequently enough about it, if at all. Sometimes, one person takes the lead, whereas the other only learns of their differing financial philosophies when a crisis occurs. With financial disagreements being one of the leading causes of divorce, there's a high price for not communicating with each other regularly or clearly about finances.
Even if you are regularly communicating, it's vital to set and maintain realistic financial goals together.
If you're both spending every dollar of your paycheck, you're putting yourselves in a precarious financial position. Or if one of you is spending, while the other is saving, your differing approaches to money management may stand in the way of you achieving the milestones, such as homeownership. So, don't let another week go by without getting on the same financial page with your partner and take these additional steps to help get your financial priorities in order.
Set Clear Financial Goals
You shouldn't assume your visions of the ideal house, vacation, or retirement align because you love each other. Share your dreams of the future. If they differ, come to a meeting of the minds about what your financial goals should be. This shared vision is what you should both be basing your spending, savings, and investing decisions on.
Establish a Weekly Financial Meeting
Prioritize financial communication with your partner by putting it on the calendar each week. Set a time to discuss your finances, financial goals, progress towards those goals, and any setbacks. Come equipped with the numbers, including bank and brokerage statements, as well as spending receipts. If you use budgeting software, it's a great idea to pull up your budget spreadsheet as well.
Maintain a Shared Weekly Budget
It's harder to hit your financial goals without a single spending plan you both can agree and adhere to together. If you don't have one, you're likely to overspend and under save. Not to mention, if only one of you has a weekly budget and the other one overspends, it's easy to create tension within the relationship. Build a budget together to keep yourselves on track and strike financial harmony.
Work, Learn, and Grow Together
Chances are, it will take more than just budgeting to achieve your ideal financial goals. You may need to invest, develop a new income stream, or even build a business to earn the kind of money you need for the life you want. But it's not impossible! Work on the steps you need to take to get there together.
Share articles and podcasts, take financial seminars, and experiment with different investment ideas individually and as a couple. Moving forward in tandem will help you achieve your goals faster while allowing the two of you to grow closer. Making these money moves today can help you build a healthy financial future together for yourselves and your family.