Despite being a serial killer that ate his victims, Hannibal Lecter was still able to find love in the arms of former FBI agent Clarice Starling, which tells us that love can overcome nearly anything. However, one of the biggest challenges any couple may face involves how they will manage their finances. It is a common cause of arguments, disagreements, and even separation. For all of these reasons, effectively managing finances as a couple should be a priority. Because, sure, he may be a genius former doctor who knows an awful lot about how best to cook people, but having a good money management strategy can make all the difference in the world.
10 Ways for Better Managing Finances as a Couple
Statistically speaking, roughly a third of all couples say they argue about money matters at least once a month. In this regard, several areas are common topics where managing finances as a couple can be difficult. These areas include major purchases, expenditures on children, a partner’s spending habits, and investment choices. Naturally, these reflect areas where important decisions about money are involved. But there are proven strategies to help couples address both their relationship and finances in a respectful way. The following are 10 important strategies you might want to consider.
1. First Things First…Know Yourself
Each of us has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money matters. To experience success in your relationship and finances, you need to be honest with yourself first. Only then can you be open and transparent with your partner.
2. Define the Basic Rules
When you first talk with your partner about money matters, pick a convenient time for both of you. Establish the importance of treating each other with respect and care to help avoid arguments and clashes.
3. Create Goals for Your Relationship and Finances
As a couple, it is essential to identify what you both value as common goals. Effectively managing finances as a couple means creating mutual financial goals for the future.
4. Create an Individualized Plan
Every person and every couple are unique, and this applies to money matters as well. Don’t try to adopt something traditional if it doesn’t work for you. Create a financial plan that fits your relationship and finances.
5. Establish a Budget Together
Once you have common financial goals and a plan, you should then create a budget together. This establishes an agreement on how the money will be spent to achieve your goals together. And it serves to help you stay on track as a couple.
6. Take it Easy if Necessary
Jumping into a joint account with your partner may not be for you. Take things slow initially to help ease anxieties when managing finances as a couple. For example, having joint- and separate accounts for a while might be ideal.
7. Agree on a Specific Savings and Retirement Plan
Typically, this should be part of your budget when managing finances as a couple. But it doesn’t hurt to specifically talk about the amount you want to save together and invest in retirement. This can also help better explore ideas you both have about your relationship and finances for the future.
8. Share Financial Responsibilities
When managing finances as a couple, you and your partner need to be involved. By sharing financial responsibilities and chores, respect and trust can be fostered more effectively. This can help strengthen your relationship and finances in time.
9. Communicate Well and Communicate Often
In both your relationship and finances, it is critical to be open, honest, and transparent. By instilling these values in your communications, managing finances as a couple will be inherently easier. Likewise, meeting at least monthly to review goals, budgets, and plans is also encouraged.
10. Go Together for Expert Advice
If disagreements exist, or if financial questions arise, seeking a financial counselor for assistance is a good idea. This can provide a constructive way to help get things back on track. Many challenges can affect your relationship and finances, and sometimes expert guidance can help greatly.
Your Relationship and Finances – The Takeaway Message
In any relationship, each person has individual preferences, habits, and interests. This is true for culinary tastes (like serving liver with Chianti and fava beans) as well as for finances. But given the level of importance that finances naturally have, differences can often trigger relationship troubles. In an effort to minimize these disagreements, the best practices described can help significantly. With effective and respectful communications and ample planning as a couple, many pitfalls can be avoided.