Finance can be a stressful aspect of life when you’re single, being in a relationship probably doubles this stress. In no time you have to answer the questions; do we open a joint account or run separate accounts? Who pays for what? Is there a past, present or recurring debt? But money doesn’t have to be a wedge in your relationship.
There is a way to be real with your partner about money and not feel so much stress and emotional exhaustion — it’s called honesty.
Honesty and trust are the most crucial and important aspects of financial management between couples. Conversations about money management and financial planning between couples should be regular.
Here are some conversations to consider when talking about finances as a couple:
FINANCIAL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Since the conversation is an honest one, it would be important that you both are able to talk through individual financial challenges. Understand who spends a lot, who has a better savings habit, and other financial capacities. Talking about your feelings around money will help you get a sense of each other’s history and figure out which areas you can grow in together.
LONG-TERM & SHORT-TERM GOALS
Walk each other through personal goals and let this evolve into conversations on your big picture. Having a financial goal helps you know and prepare your minds to what you have ahead of you, making you focus on your clear goals and learn the financial implications of these goals. Working together to develop and work towards a common goal can help strengthen your relationship and make your goals come true faster.
HAVE A BUDGET
To manage finances as a couple or as a single person you need to always work with a budget. This will help you not overspend and control excess spending. Deciding how much you will spend on day-to-day things like eating out and groceries will help you stay on track with your spending. You should also learn to have a review of your budget and how you were able to work with it or not.
Setting aside a dedicated amount to be saved cannot be overemphasized as a positive financial habit to imbibe, especially for couples. Each partner should set aside at least ten per cent of their income, which they can decide to put in a joint account for major projects — saving for rainy days.
Managing finance as a couple doesn’t have to be an excruciating experience. Focus on having frequent honest and open conversations about money. Remember that it’s a process, and you’re both learning.