Money is very often a taboo subject. It’s uncommon to discuss topics related to money especially among your friends,family, and even with your partner. And we couldn’t agree more that it can be awkward and stressful!
However, having an open conversation can do better than harm. It creates a safe space for couples to understand each other’s financial situation better and help them build an even stronger relationship as they find solutions to assist one another in order to achieve both their financial goals.
In this article, we’ll share some key points that will help you start an easy, more open dialogue when it comes to managing finances as a couple. Are you ready? Let’s dive into our top four money-and-marriage tips that will help you get closer to your financial happily-ever-after!
In the beginning, it’s absolutely normal to find it tough while trying to start a conversation on a subject you’re uncomfortable with. Financial topics can indeed be a sensitive one, but it isn’t impossible to discuss by showing respect. Both parties must listen to each other and try to understand what their individual priorities are, or some common goals both of you want to achieve. Not sure how to get started? That’s okay! Perhaps you could try to initiate a conversation with these simple, yet effective questions:
Remember the key to having an effective discussion is to talk about these matters with an open mind! Try to understand your partner’s point of view while they are sharing their financial goals and even their struggles. Only when both of you learn to work as a team will you then be able to achieve greater financial heights together. So be patient, give them space and don’t cut them off mid-sentence even if you may not agree with them. Trust us, a well-respected communication can go a long way!
Couples who budget together, stay together! As cheesy as that may sound, it does bring some truth. When you’ve achieved having an open conversation, things start to get easy and slowly, everything will fall into place. Now that both of you have discussed your financial situation, you can start working towards creating a budget together. Trust us when we say there’s an art in transparency.
First, lay out the budget you’ve both been practising. This will help you get a better understanding of your partner’s spending habits, budgeting style, and also, debts. Understanding each other’s priorities and struggles can help you both work better as a team. So, for instance, if you earn a higher income compared to your partner, you might want to contribute more to the household to help lighten your partner’s financial burden. This way, they could focus on paying off their debts. It could also be as simple as picking up a new budgeting style that works better for both of you. To clarify, the key thing here is not contributing more because someone earns more – is it simply finding a balance that can benefit both of you financially to reach a greater goal together.
Some couples would prefer to have their own account and follow their own budgeting style. On the other hand, some prefer getting a joint account to manage their finance more transparently – as both of you would know what goes in and out of the account. As long both parties are on the same page when it comes to tackling and managing financial matters, trust between the both of you will definitely grow stronger!
To those lovebirds planning for their ideal wedding, we’re so excited for you! Planning the ideal dream wedding can be stressful on both ends. Before anyone loses their hair, here’s what you can do. First, write down all the possible costings in a list from catering, to door gifts, and even table arrangements – doesn’t matter how big or small – just get them down on an excel sheet or a piece of paper. Then, talk to your wedding planner to find out how much all those things cost. Once you’ve got an estimated sum, you will be able to properly plan the wedding of your dream.
You can consider opening a joint account so that both of you can contribute a sum of money each month and keep track of your wedding expenses. According to “Better Money Habits”, experts recommend putting away at least 10 per cent of both your income into savings each month, you can contribute more depending on your income and wedding expenses. And if a few of your friends and family are chipping in for the wedding cost, that’s great! This would mean you will have more savings left and could use it for your honeymoon or even a down payment for your new home. Yay!
Planning to grow both of your net worth? Then perhaps it’s time to venture into the investing world. Thanks to the internet, you can now learn about the different investment types and pathways through online courses and even live events. Keep in mind that everyone’s investing appetite varies, this includes you and your partner. If you find out that both of you have different views on investments, that’s okay! As long as everyone is upfront about what they’re comfortable and not comfortable with. It’s very important to discuss matters like this so that conflict of interest can be avoided while fulfilling your investment needs.
Additionally, whether as couples or as individuals, we may not always make the right decisions about money or investments. Remember that this is all part of the learning process and it’s more important to learn from them instead of blaming yourself or your partner. Discovering new things together can strengthen your bond, create trust, and help both of you plan better financially too! So, keep moving forward together.
“All the plans you make can be quickly upended by new jobs, new expenses and new babies”
-Debra Greenberg Director, Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions Bank of America.
Nothing is ever set in stone. Goalposts may change during the course of both your lives. The moment something new comes up whether it’s a newfound goal, a new job position, the need to move elsewhere, all these situations must be brought up and discuss through as a couple. The sooner you can hash out all the details, the less conflict, or issues you’ll have to face. After all, the devil is in the details. Always look into your financial position, review your financial goals often, and make the necessary changes from time to time. If you’re unsure about when all these reviews should happen, you could try setting a quarterly or yearly review as many things can happen in between those times. Even if nothing much changes, it’s always good to look at what you’ve achieved financially as a couple in the past year!
By practising all the steps above, you are sure to manage money issues better, invest smarter, and build a much stronger relationship as a couple. Don’t forget to also take joy in the life you’ve built and celebrate all your financial accomplishments whether big or small together with your partner!
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