Is Your Relationship Financially Successful?
Being in a solid relationship is something that many people strive to achieve. It takes lots of love, time, and effort for both you and your partner to nurture each other’s needs and make the most of your lives together. While being spontaneous about some things can be a big part of any healthy relationship, managing other things properly, such as your finances is also important. For partners out there looking to deal with their finances so that they can get back to spending quality time with one another, we have some advice for you.
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Make a Date to Review Your Expenses
When things are starting to get serious in the relationship, a good first step to take is to look into your general expenses, especially if the prospect of moving in together is on the horizon. We know, it’s not a fancy dinner date and a bouquet of flowers, but it is an important conversation to have. Get together and start hashing out your financial situations with mutual respect and attention, your task being to learn about any debt problems or other financial issues in a judgement-free environment. Then, if there are any pressing concerns with you or your partner’s finances, they can be handled with care.
Don’t Let Your Feelings Get the Better of You
Mutual respect is key when discussing your finances. Your partner will want to know that they can talk about any financial issues they have, whether they’re positive or negative, with someone that they can trust. For that reason alone, it’s very important not to let your personal feelings get the better of you.
Let’s say that you or your partner has a lot of credit card debt on their plate. The situation isn’t likely going to stay calm and respectful if either of you starts throwing judgment around and criticizing that person for being irresponsible. So, it’s best to keep a level head and trust that the person with those financial troubles has a reason for them, then work out a solution together.
Responsibility for Both Partners
When it comes to partners, it’s entirely possible that one might be more financially stable and knowledgeable than the other. This is another reason why discussions and solutions should be made together, rather than apart, especially if you both want the relationship to last. So, for the sake of your financial futures, take some time to think about your long-term financial goals and divide up your responsibilities. After this, mutual respect should no longer be a difficult thing to accomplish, because both partners know where their responsibilities lie.
List Out Your General Expenses
Remember, everyone’s financial situation is going to be different. One partner in the relationship might be spending money on something that the other does not. For one person, saving money might be the most important goal, while the others’ might be to spend their money in order to live life to its fullest. Whatever your spending habits might be, if you’re going to live together and make things work, you’ll need to discuss what expenses can be combined, reduced, or cut out altogether. Think about the greater picture. Are you going to buy a car or house together? Will you get married and have children? What else might the future have in store?
For more information on how your finances will be affected after marriage, read this.
Discuss Your Banking Situations and The Possibility of Shared Accounts
Another good topic to include in the discussion are your banking situations and whether or not a joint account is something you should consider now or in the future. When things are progressing in the relationship, having two joint accounts can be a smart financial decision to pool your resources and save for future endeavors. Think about opening one joint account for short-term investments like your general expenses and one for future investments like your wedding and mortgage. You and your partner can also keep your own separate accounts, which you can deposit your own earnings into and do with what you will.
Save For The Fun Things Together
Another important part of any relationship is having smaller goals, like activities to do and vacations to take together. This way, you won’t only be combining your money just for things way down the line. Let’s say you want to go traveling together. With that goal in mind, saving your money instead of spending it will be an increasingly easy task.
Eliminate Debt as a Team
Just like with any other part of the relationship, being open and honest is a key tool for success. The last thing you should be doing is hiding the burden of a large debt from your partner. Ignore that nervous instinct, because that conversation will only get worse the longer you keep it from them. The same goes for the effort each of you might be putting forth to pay off debt. Both partners might be in debt, but only one is really doing something about it. If you’re both looking to make things go well, it’s best to clear these issues up and work as a team to get things normalized.
Be Reasonable and Prepared
One essential part of not only relationships, but finances in general, is learning how to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. In other words, there are going to be situations that occur during our lives that we cannot necessarily predict. For that reason, it’s important to set aside money in those joint accounts just in case anything should happen or some type of financial emergency arises. One of you might get sick and have to stop working for a period of time. The other might be a victim of budget cuts and lose their job entirely. On the other hand, your other, more frivolous expenses might get in the way. Whatever the case might be, it’s best to be prepared in the event that it does happen.
As we mentioned earlier, respecting each other’s boundaries is another key to a successful relationship, especially when things are just starting to get serious. That’s why separate bank accounts can be just as necessary as shared accounts. Remember, you have no real say in how your partner decides to spend their money. In the end, it is their money and they can do what they want with it. Being judgemental of their spending habits is a surefire way to an argument in the near future.
Honesty and Support Are the Best Policies
Once again, a good way to solidify any relationship is to stick together through thick and thin. Having an open honest discussion and being respectful go hand-in-hand. After all, as the years roll by, you should start working towards some mutual financial goals and prospects. Getting frustrated with one another and playing the blame-game are steps in the wrong direction and might lead you down a rocky path to separation. Don’t keep any debt problems or significant expenses to yourself when they might very well affect you both. Remember: healthy finances equal a healthy future together.
Life comes with all sorts of unexpected situations and hardships. Working as a well-oiled machine and being a team is one of the best ways to get past those problems. The sooner you have the money-talk, the sooner you’ll be able to get back to you can take that much-needed vacation together.