Married couples face different challenges than single people, as there’s a constant need to make ends meet while considering your partner. To accomplish this, one of the first things every couple should do is ensure that they’re on the same financial page. It’s not easy for a couple to talk about finances, but with a little effort, it can be one of the things that bring you closer together. The following steps can help a couple create a unified approach to managing money.
Get rid of your outstanding debt
Whether you’re about to get married or have been together for a while, you know how stressful your partner’s debt can make things. Make getting and staying out of debt as a couple the top priority for your family so that you have a better financial foundation on which to build. If you’re not sure how to get out of debt, consider using something like the snowball debt plan to help create a path toward becoming debt-free.
Keep the lines of communication open and avoid shame
Many people feel ashamed or judged for their past financial mistakes, which makes open communication difficult. If you or your partner has had difficulties in the past that they’re working to fix, ensure your relationship has nothing but support and love for this journey. The more you and your partner can communicate your needs without judgment, the more you’ll be able to strengthen your finances and achieve.
Set a budget and have mutual goals
Sit down with your partner and discuss the goals you both have for your family. Do you want to buy a house together? Would you both love to travel more often? How do you see your relationship thriving financially? Once you both know which direction to go, create a budget that aligns with your goals and ensures you’re able to make those goals a reality.
Maintain some independence
Being in a couple doesn’t mean you need to lose your identity. If you have a hobby or something you love to do or collect, don’t feel like you need to give it up solely because you’re no longer single. You and your partner should maintain giving attention to some things that bring joy without needing the other; just be sure it’s added to your budget.
Agree for a limit on large purchases
While it’s important to have money allotted to your passions, that doesn’t mean your partner shouldn’t be involved in major purchases. Set a limit for how much each of you can spend on something before getting the other involved. It could be $100, or any amount you’re comfortable with, and doesn’t need to be just for things like hobbies or gifts. Making major purchases together keeps the lines of communication open and helps maintain equality instead of building feelings of resentment or being left out.
The bottom line
Many of us are reluctant to talk about money with our partners due to a number of reasons. But by setting up some simple tactics to keep the topic on the table, couples can strengthen their financial strategy and ensure their family flourishes. Use these tips as a way to get the conversation started and keep both of you on the same path to a solid financial future.