If there is one thing guaranteed to cause problems in a relationship, it’s finances. Or rather, it’s a lack of financial planning that will eventually cause issues when it comes to debt, your good credit, being able to save for larger purchases, and more. Over time, these problems can become much bigger and cause rifts between couples that can be hard to come back from.
This is why it’s a good idea to start any long-term relationship by being open and honest about money and by creating a good financial plan to help you in the future. Here are some ways to get started so that arguments about money become a thing of the past.
Make a Budget
Once you know exactly what is coming into the home via your salaries, you can then set about making a financial budget that both members of the couple are happy to follow. List your monthly income in one column and your necessary expenses in the other – this will include housing, food, transportation, utilities, taxes, insurance, and so on.
Whatever is leftover can be used in any way you want to, although it’s a good idea to put at least some of it into a savings account and to keep it separate from everything else you are free to spend. In this way, you will always have an emergency fund waiting just in case.
For many people, spending money is fun, and it actually activates the endorphins within the body, giving them a ‘natural high’. This is good in the short term but can be problematic in the long term, and therefore it’s always best to spend as wisely as possible. A splurge once in a while is not an issue, but every week or every day will soon leave you feeling much worse than if you hadn’t bought whatever it was you thought you needed (but probably didn’t) in the first place.
As well as holding back on your spending and thinking things through before parting with any money, you should always look out for any bargains or deals such as buy one get one free offers or money off coupons. Finding these will mean you can save money on items that you do need, and that also feels good.
Set Financial Goals
Make time to discuss your important financial goals with your partner, and you’ll find it much easier to achieve them. What is it you really want to achieve? Are you hoping to buy a house? Pay off credit cards? Put a certain amount of money into savings each month? Whatever it is, if you are both on the same page, and you both know how much you’re aiming to pay off or save each month, then it will be easier to reach that goal.
Not only will there be two people working together, which is always easier and quicker, but you will be able to hold one another accountable too, ensuring that, even if one of you is tempted to spend money that should be saved, the other will be there to remind them what the ultimate goals really are.