3 Things Couples Can Improve When It Comes To Money
We all know being in a relationship takes work.
Even the best of them require compromise and learning about the other person to ensure you can live harmoniously together.
It makes sense: you’re two complete individuals with many different life experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today. For all of the commonalities, there are usually plenty of differences too, and managing that is what takes work on a continual basis to make the relationship work.
One of the toughest areas for many couples is money management.
Most of us have a relationship with money that is vastly influenced by how we were raised, not to mention the fact that naturally, we all value slightly different things.
In a relationship, oftentimes the big picture values are the same, the long term view of where you’re headed together, while the smaller things are quite different.
As an example, both Finn and I are on the same page about where we want to be living in 5 and 10 years, and what we want our lifestyle to look like. What we’re not on the same page about are little things, like the fact that I love to go to my local cafe in the mornings to sit and have a coffee.
He thinks it’s a waste of money when there’s coffee at home.
It’s often this small stuff that you can find yourselves arguing about, or silently frustrated at the other person.
The good news is, there’s a pretty simple way for couples who share financial resources to make money work for them in a way that doesn’t cause conflict in the relationship.
Here are three things couples can improve when it comes to money:
Separate your personal spending
One of the key cash-flow management strategies we use at WE is the separation of your weekly personal spending from your other money that you use for bills, savings and investments.
Your personal spending is transferred weekly into your spending account and that’s what you use each week to cover things like dining out, gifts, groceries and getting around. Essentially all of the stuff you spend on a day-to-day basis (you can read more about the personal spending concept and how I survive on $250 a week here).
For couples, we recommend you each have your own allocation of personal spending deposited into your individual bank accounts.
This way you have discretion over how you spend your weekly allocation, and you have no reason to argue about it, provided you each stick to this amount.
When the rest of your cash flow is automated to pay all of your bills and save and invest regularly toward your goals, then it doesn’t matter what you each spend that small weekly allocation on. You both have peace of mind that you are meeting your long term goals.
This tip alone may single handedly save your relationship one day.
Trust me… if Finn ever gives me a hard time about spending money on a delicious hot coffee, I just smile, give him the middle finger and walk away! He quickly remembers that IT DOESN’T MATTER!!!
For good measure I’ve included two more tips that’ll ensure you’re living in harmony when it comes to your cash.
Set goals together
Knowing what you’re saving and investing for is critical to financial success and staying motivated to ensure you don’t dip into those savings.
It’s important to set these savings and investment goals together so that you align with the bigger picture. We’re big believers in aligning your wealth planning to your goals, and not just saving for the sake of it. As a couple you want to spend the time planning together, and then ensure your financial plan will meet these goals for your future.
Knowing where you’re going together and that you have a plan to make it happen is both exciting and will keep you in alignment during the day-to-day.
Work together with a professional
Nobody taught me back at Uni that part of my role as a financial advice professional would be couples counselling and mediation.
This is no joke, and once I got into the real world working with people to build and manage their wealth, I worked out I needed to hone my skills in this area quick smart.
Working together with a financial adviser gives you a safe space to talk about your finances and air anything that is challenging you. More excitingly, it provides you time together to map out what your future looks like and start working toward it.
If you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, when it comes to money and your future, book in today for a FREE Strategy Session with a qualified Financial Coach. At WE we’ve combined financial advice with life coaching. This ensures that you have the accountability and advice to make your dream life a reality.
Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature. Do not rely upon it when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.