Before you decide to spend the rest of your life with someone, money is one of the most important things you need to talk about. Studies have shown that finances are the leading cause of stress in relationships. This means that how you manage and handle your money as a couple can make or break your relationship.
It’s not all bleak, though. With the right approach, money can actually make your relationship stronger. This guide contains tips to help you achieve financial compatibility with your partner and, hopefully, last forever as a couple!
Budget as a couple
Having a household budget as a couple is essential. Although it may seem tedious, budgeting your money can yield significant benefits. It is an effective way of keeping track of your money and can help prevent marital problems which may arise when one or both of you are in the dark about how the money is being spent.
Having a budget also paints a picture of where your money is going. This makes it easier to save and regulate your spending. As such, both partners should try to keep track of their spending each month by logging every purchase and expense. This way, you’ll have a clear picture of what you are spending your money on.
Once you know you’re and your partner’s spending habits, you can both make adjustments that will allow you to increase your savings.
Keeping track and sticking to your budget can be difficult. Luckily, many great budgeting apps are designed to help you budget and keep track of your spending. Some of them can even sync between you and your partner’s phones, allowing you to share information openly. This not only helps with accountability but also strengthens the feeling of trust between you.
That said, telling your partner about all your purchases and what you’ve been spending money on can sometimes feel somewhat restricting. A simple workaround for this is to set aside a small amount for both of you that you can spend on discretionary items of your choosing. This way, you will never find yourself having to defend a purchase that your partner disagrees with.
Keep a joint account
Some people believe keeping separate checking accounts is the key to avoiding money arguments. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. While paying bills separately and having your paychecks go into separate accounts may seem enticing at first, all it does is lay groundwork for serious problems over time.
Once you are set on lasting forever as a couple, you should function as a team when it comes to money. Having separate accounts and splitting your bills is a terrible idea that only seems good at first.
Additionally, having a joint account is cheaper than having separate accounts, considering that an average checking account has about 25 different fees. Having a joint account is a simple way to maintain the fees at a minimum, saving you money.
Set common goals
It is also vital to ensure that you and your partner have common goals. Having different priorities makes it hard to save.
Therefore, you want to discuss your goals with your significant other to find common goals that you can both work towards and allocate funds.
Unmet expectations can cause conflict in a relationship. When things go in a different direction than expected, you may feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. These negative feelings are what strain relationships.
Sharing your expectations with your partner helps you develop realistic ways to achieve your goals, leaving both of you satisfied.
It is also important to remember that life changes, and so do expectations. In addition, priorities often shift with time. As such, you should always check with your partner from time to time to make sure that you are still in sync.
Be honest about your spending and financial situation
While conferring with your partner about your purchases and spending can feel very restricting, being honest about your financial situation is very important in maintaining a healthy and lasting relationship.
If you have any outstanding debts, loans, obligations, investments, income sources, or other financial assets, you should talk about it with your partner, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be. Hiding or lying about your financial situation to your partner will lead to serious problems in your relationship when your partner inevitably finds out.
Don’t let salary differences affect you
Most couples rarely earn the same salary. One person likely makes more money than the other. Sadly, this often results in problems in the relationship. The person making more money often feels entitled to decisions about how the money is spent, while the person earning less feels guilty talking about the budget. To avoid this, you should remember you’re on the same team. The money belongs to both of you. So work with it as a team.
Money is a big deal in most relationships. Therefore, financial compatibility plays a vital role in the success of a lot of relationships today. However, this does not mean that you need to look for a partner on the same financial level as yourself. Instead, you want to focus on finding a partner that has similar attitudes and habits surrounding money as you do. With the tips outlined in this guide, you should be able to get started on the journey towards achieving financial compatibility with your partner. Best of luck!