Are you trying to get your spouse on the same page financially? Money is one of the leading causes of marital troubles, so it pays to sit down with your partner and work through your money plans as a team. That way, you'll create financial goals that you can both aim for together.
In this post, I'll go over how you and your spouse can work together to create a financial plan for the future, and how you can approach the tricky subject of doing personal finance as a team.
Communicate With Each Other
The key to any marriage is good communication. My wife and I attribute how well we work together as a team based on how well we understand each other and communicate effectively. There's no exception when it comes to money, though many couples struggle to get on the same page financially as one another.
Whether you're a big saver or you like to spend money on life experiences, or if you want to invest in the stock market, or you're more conservative, an important part of a successful marriage is finding a compromise with your spouse when coming up with financial goals.
Hear each other's needs and wants. You're both building a life together, so you both must be getting something out of the hard-earned cash.
Make Money Decisions as a Team
As a married couple, your money decisions belong to both of you. One of you may be more adept with the finances, but all decisions must be made as a team to honor both partners' life goals. By being on the same team, it's easier to be on the same financial page.
Sometimes, we might feel like we want to do everything our way, but it takes two to work as a married team. That means listening to one another and compromise. Set aside the pride and agree to work together on how your finances will be handled.
Making money decisions as a team will:
- Help you learn to work together on tough topics
- Allow for better ideas with both contributing
- Make it easier to get on the same page since you're both weighing in your opinions and thoughts
If you haven't combined your finances, consider doing so, as you're in this together. Open a high yield online savings account together and starting saving extra money as a team.
Schedule Time to Talk About Money
If money is particularly a sore topic between you and your spouse, schedule time to talk about it. The best time will be when you're both are at your greatest ease, such as a day when you both don't work or on a relaxing date.
My wife and I talk about money when we go out to breakfast at a local restaurant. We'll schedule the morning talk a few days in advance to give us both time to figure out what we want to talk about, and then we'll go order coffee and breakfast and chat.
We always come up with a financial plan together and base it of both of our wants and needs.
Set Goals Together
When you set your goals together, you both have the satisfaction of working together towards a common financial future. Some financial goals include:
- Buying a dream home
- At what age you'll each retire
- How to fund children's college funds
- Travel and vacation plans
My wife and I sit down periodically and track and update our goals. As of this writing, we're creating a fund to save up to buy our next house. Our goal is to have a house nearer my family that has more space than our current home.
When you set goals together and stick to them, you'll be on your way every month to saving more money and having said money for things you each want.
Build a Budget Around Your Goals
Once you have financial goals set up, create a budget together. The best way to reach your goals and get on the same page financially is to have a plan based on saving money towards them. Perhaps you want to knock down credit card debt faster, and you don't want to pay just the minimum payments each month.
By budgeting, you might have found an extra $100 each month that you can apply towards your credit card balance, saving you hundreds of dollars in interest payments and knocking your credit card repayment time by years.
Track Your Progress Together
Celebrate your wins together by tracking your progress. For example, perhaps you've determined you'll need three years to save money for a dream house. Come up with and write down best ways to save and start saving. Each month, write down how much you've saved and how much more you need. This will help the two of you stay accountable.
It's easier to get to your end result when you track because you see incremental progress, which helps you feel more confident about reaching the end.
This also ties back to staying on the same page. When you regularly track your progress, you're having more money conversations. By having more money conversations, you're learning to communicate better on the topic and get on the same page financially.
Come Up With Common Retirement Goals
If you both work, then coming up with common goals for retirement will benefit both of you. Will you both retire at the same time or will one of you work longer?
A common strategy for retiring successful includes:
- Paying off all credit card debt
- Paying off student loans and getting out of debt completely
- Having an ample emergency fund of at least six months living expenses
- Boosting your passive income and/or retirement accounts to the point where you can live off the income for the rest of your lives.
Wrapping It Up
The key to a successful marriage is communication, and getting on the same page financially is no exception. Working together on both of your money goals as a team will help you both stay happy and live a financially healthier life. Then you can realize your dreams together.
Until next time!