5 Tips to Help Couples Strengthen Financial Compatibility
Love and finances go together whether we want to believe it or not & the topic is critically important for couples to address. Here are five tips to help couples strengthen financial compatibility.
Create a Fun Money Fund: Try to work some “allowance” money into the budget: money that each of you can spend on whatever the heck you want, no questions asked from your partner. This can help avoid money fights.
Assign Roles & Set Money Dates: Decide who will be the primary bookkeeper, so that you can ensure all bills get paid on time and that accounts don’t become overdrawn. However, make sure that the non-bookkeeping partner is kept informed of what’s going on. Consider a monthly or quarterly money date where you review the budget to see what went well, what went wrong and see if you need to make adjustments. It’s also a good time to discuss any upcoming expenses such as vacations, holidays or home repairs needed.
Discuss Money Quirks: Unless you’re just getting started in life, chances are you are both bringing pretty engrained financial habits into your relationship and there are likely to be some conflicts. Try to learn about each other’s habits, discuss non-judgmentally which habits are working and which might be harmful, then try to adopt a hybrid approach that mixes in the good habits and works to negate any bad.
Establish Spending Plan: Budgeting as a couple is different than doing it yourself because there is a lot more room for error – figuring out how you’ll keep each other apprised of whether or not you’re going over budget is a key problem to solve. Some couples choose to keep separate spending accounts so they don’t have to worry about accidentally both spending the last dollars in a joint account. Some couples have a joint bill-paying account where both contribute, while others throw it all together and then just spend cash on non-essentials, which helps to control over-spending on wants.
Set Joint-Goals: Budgeting as a couple can often lead to more over-spending, if you are both earning and your combined incomes add up to more than your needs. Take care that before you adjust spending to match the higher income that you set some savings goals together, perhaps starting off more aggressively to tackle things you may have previously found tough to save for when it was just your income.