8 Ways To Financially Succeed as a Couple
If you want to thrive as a couple, tough discussions are necessary. Talks about growing your family, where to live, and how to be intimate can affect your entire relationship. Despite the important of some conversations, there are plenty that never occur.
Did you know that a survey found that 44% of couples think personal finance is the most difficult topic to discuss? Smart financial management in your relationship is important, but it's a topic very few people touch on until it's too late.
Do you want to learn how to deal with money taboos with your partner in the right way? Take some time to learn a bit about why money is so hard for couples to talk about and how you can work with your partner to develop good financial practices.
The Psychology of Money
There's a reason people claim money is one of the main issues couples fight over, and it has a lot to do with psychology.
Talking about money is like venturing into an emotional minefield. Emotions and money go hand in hand, and there are plenty of factors that can affect how you and your partner deal with finances.
Some people may be reluctant to talk about money with their partners because of the way they grew up. If their parents fought a lot about money, they may want to avoid talking about finances because they automatically assume it will automatically go poorly.
People that grew up in financially unstable households may also not have grown up with the best money management skills. This could make them unwilling to talk about money because they have no idea how to approach such a big topic.
Debt can make it hard to talk about finances in relationships. Your partner may feel overwhelmed with loan and credit card payments, so they think it's better to not approach the topic of money altogether. Some partners may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their current financial state.
The New State of Relationships
We couldn't talk about money management for couples without touching on how much changing societal norms have affected the way people handle money.
In the past, it wasn't unusual to have one principal earner (traditionally the husband) and one bank account. Today it's very common for women to work and even more common to have separate bank accounts.
Along with more women being active in the workplace, plenty of women are now the principal earners in their marriage. This can cause some tension around traditional power dynamics where men were typically expected to earn more.
Attitudes around spending and saving have also changed significantly. Past significant financial milestones, such as being married before starting a family or buying a house, may no longer be seen as necessities.
All these changes have made dealing with finances even more difficult for couples. People with more traditional views may struggle to adapt to newer norms. Clear, open communication regarding money is key and should start in the earlier stages – especially if you’re feeling like this person might be the one. If you’re already years into a serious relationship, there’s no time like the present to start hashing this out. Start today. If it sounds intimidating or you aren’t even sure where all of your money goes, Education First FCU has financial professionals on site who are ready and willing to help. Contact us to make an appointment.
Relationship Financial Management 101: 8 Tips For Couples
The importance of discussing finances before merging households cannot be overstated. Couples that can't agree on finances can struggle to make decisions around big purchases, and unresolved money issues often turn into deeper problems.
Managing money as a couple doesn't have to be difficult. If you want to learn how to talk about money and manage your relationship and finances the right way, be sure to follow these tips.
1. Talk About Financial Goals
Have you always dreamed about opening your own business one day? Are you eager to stop renting and buy a home? Do you want to retire early?
Sit down with your partner and talk about some of your short term and long-term financial goals. Mapping out what you both want and need can make it easier to make financial plans.
Thinking of how you both can achieve your financial goals can be incredibly uplifting. Believe it or not ,this can be a fun conversation that can help you both connect on a deeper level if you let it.
2. Disclose Your Individual Relationship With Money
Did your spouse get into bad arguments with an ex about money? Are you worried about having the same fights about money that your parents did? Does talking about money, in general, make either of you feel scared or anxious?
Now is the time to be honest about your relationship with money. Knowing about any sensitive subjects ahead of big money talks can help you both find the best way to approach difficult topics.
Are you having trouble articulating some of your more difficult feelings? Consider writing everything down to make talking a bit easier.
3. Reframe the Conversation
Do you or your spouse get too emotional about money when you talk about finances? If you have trouble keeping feelings out of your money talks, it's time to reframe them as business matters instead of emotional matters. Reframing your money conversations as necessary talks to keep you both on track can do wonders for your relationship.
You, your spouse, and everyone else in your family unit need money to function. You're not trying to shame each other when you talk about money. You're trying to work together as a team to ensure you can all have your financial needs met.
4. Share Responsibilities
Shifting from a marriage where one person handled finances to one where both have equal financial responsibility can be hard. They don't know where to start, partners get frustrated that things aren't getting done, and they fall back into the same cycle.
Do you want to have a relationship where you both have equal say in financial matters? If so, give your partner the opportunity to participate.
Make it one person's job to ensure certain payments are made. Have them set up automatic payments and monitor accounts to ensure things are withdrawing smoothly. Switch up jobs after a bit so your partner can learn more about how to properly handle finances. This gives everyone some experience and insight into financial matters and makes it easier to ensure things are getting done.
5. Put Your Cards On The Table
If you want to truly start managing money as a couple, honesty is the best policy. It may be hard or even feel a bit embarrassing, but you need to be completely honest about your financial situation.
It's time to gather up your pay stubs, credit card statements, loan documents, and anything else that can give your spouse a clear idea of what you owe and earn so you can come up with a solid financial plan.
This honestly won't just help your financial situation, it can also help your relationship. Showing your partner that you trust them and want to be honest about your financial situation can instill trust and confidence in them as well.
Do you have financial skeletons in your closet you're worried about revealing? If you have to break some bad financial news, consider speaking with a couples counselor ahead of time that can help you figure out the best way to approach the topic.
6. Simplify Your Budget
Does the thought of coming up with a budget make you feel anxious? When you have so many financial goals to meet, the thought of coming up with a plan can be nerve-wracking.
Instead of dreading your big budget talk, let's make things simple for now. If you need a basic budget, follow the 50/30/20 rule.
When you follow the 50/30/20 rule for budgets, you put 50% of your income towards needs like reoccurring bills, 30% towards things you eventually want, and 20% towards savings.
This incredibly simple breakdown allows anyone to get started budgeting. It's easily adaptable, and it gives people of all income levels a chance to start budgeting the right way.
7. Find Your Professional Helpers
Teamwork makes the dream work - that saying couldn't be truer for couples trying to get their finances in order. If you want to manage money the right way with your partner, start finding professionals to work with.
Have you been handling taxes on your own? Deductions can get a little more complicated once you're married. Find a tax professional you and your spouse can trust to ensure you're filing everything properly.
Do you want more help reaching your financial goals? Finding a financial advisor can be just what you need. They can help you set up an in-depth budget and give you important advice on saving and investing. Education First has resources available locally, and we’re willing to meet with you in person or online.
8. Revisit Your Plans
Life has a funny way of changing our best-laid plans. Income can ebb and flow, individual and family needs change, and you may need to rethink your original financial plans and goals.
The good thing about financial planning is that it's supposed to change. Your financial goals are going to grow alongside you and your relationship. That's why it's important to revisit your plans every so often to make sure you're still on track to get what you want.
Talk to your partner about how they feel about your joint financial state. See if there are any new goals they would like to add to the plan and discuss the best way to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
Find Your New Financial Partner
Relationship financial management is important for any couple that wants to plan a great life together. If you follow the tips we put in this post, you'll be well on your way to true financial success.
As you grow with your partner, you'll need help and insight from financial institutions you can trust. We're ready to work with you to ensure you can meet all of your financial goals.
Contact us today so we can start you and your spouse on the path to financial freedom.