Managing money can be one of the biggest challenges that face couples living together. Therefore its little wonder that financial issues are often cited as the top reason for divorce and separation. So it may come as a surprise to find that cohabiting couples are, on average, over $1800 (or £1,200) better off each year than those living on their own.
Still, it’s very important for couples to be sensible with their finances. So read on to find out how best to manage money as a couple and it may even help you sleep easier at night…
Financial planners suggest that couples should confront their money differences before they head to the altar. This is because managing money is more than knowing what cash is coming in and what is going out; it’s also about negotiating and compromise. Setting out a budget may be a great way for couples to do this.
Set a date for money talks
You make time for the important things like taking your kids to school, going to the dentist, and watching Game of Thrones, so be sure to make the time to talk about your finances. If you find it hard, why not put a time and date in the diary.
Sure it may not fun, but talking about your finances regularly will help you gain peace of mind. It keeps you both in the loop and allows you to track your goals and tweak them. So next time your calendars are out be sure to pick a date to talk finances.
Pick a reward
The real benefit of working through your money issues is increased comfort, security, and satisfaction. But if you need a little bit of added motivation, pick an incentive, like going for dinner or to the cinema, to help you celebrate the completion of your financial planning.
Overcome the silent treatment
But what do you do if your partner is reluctant to sit down and talk money? Well you need to find a way to encourage them…
For instance, you could try and put a positive spin on money management by saying how it can pay dividends in the short, mid, and long-term. Be sure to ask what your partner is excited about in the future, like a family holiday or early retirement, and then commit to finding ways to make those things happen.
Finally, make it clear that you don’t expect your finances to become perfect overnight, and you should aim to make steady improvements over time.
Pre-empt money conflicts
Don’t gloss over any issues that you face. Talk about your biggest and most sensitive financial issues before you end up fighting. You should try to find out what your real financial concerns are, and set out ways to deal with them, as well as confronting the things you’re concerned in your future.
Like it or not, money is an important issue. So uncross your arms, don’t roll your eyes, and make no judgements.
Life is about compromise
Compromising is much more palatable if you know you’ll get your way in at least a few areas. Come up with a set amount of money that each partner can spend every month without any question. With regard to medium and long-term expenses, try to devise a plan that you can both live and be happy about achieving.
Do you have any more financial advice for couples? Please let us know in the comments below…