Let’s imagine that you and your mate have a very important financial date today. It’s a regularly scheduled get-together that happens every month like clockwork.
You may recall that when you first began these state-of-our-finances meetings, it was rocky. Lots of things needed to be shared and talked through, some quite jarring. Now, though, it’s become a happy and exciting experience. You feel great when you tell a friend, “These conversations keep Bob and me on the same financial page and ensure that we both are open and clear about our goals, our dreams, our mistakes, our challenges, and our shared path in life.”
If this imaginary scene sounds like a far-out fantasy, here are some things to consider.
In successful marriages, both partners work together financially and emotionally. Communication is key. Honesty and compromise, too. Talking openly and frequently about your finances is what a regular couple’s money meet-up is all about. Here you’ll discuss your financial situation, dreams, and goals as well as brainstorm creative solutions to problems and generate ideas to improve your future. A money meeting can help you:
- Recognize your partner’s money style – Trying to understand your natural tendencies about money can help you understand and appreciate your partner’s traits and help you reach common ground. Discuss how you each feel about money and from where your beliefs stem. With patience and honest communication, you should fully understand each other’s feelings and be able to reach an accord on the best way to manage your money together.
- Build your financial skills – If either of you lacks financial knowledge, make the effort to master the basics and boost your confidence about money issues. The more you understand financial matters, the more confident and empowered you will feel in other aspects of your life. Knowing how to manage money wisely gives you a sense of control and security that is imperative to building a solid future as a couple.
- Share the money management –However you divvy up the bill-paying, managing the investments, organizing the paperwork, and other financial tasks, make sure each of you understands what the other is doing. Both partners need the knowledge and access to manage the family finances in case there’s a need to fill in or take over altogether.
- Visualize your dreams and goals –Sharing goals is one of the most exciting parts of being a couple. Together you will define and develop the type of lifestyle you will lead.Be honest with each other about your specific desires and priorities. As a couple, you should reach an agreement about the goals you share, create a time line, and then determine the best savings and investment strategies to realize each objective.
- Bolster your financial commitment to one another – Disagreements are inevitable, and couples argue about financial issues more than anything else. Try to discuss your differences openly and settle them fairly. Money is intertwined with trust in a relationship, so the more you can talk about money, the better relationship you will have.