Aligning yourself financially with your partner is a crucial part of a relationship. Here’s what you need to know.
Though money oftentimes isn’t everything, it does play an extremely significant role in our lives. That’s even more true for a relationship, seemingly sending couples down one of two paths: team-oriented growth and stability or eternal strife and conflict. Either way, aligning yourself financially with your significant other can help you build a solid foundation of trust, communication and shared goals, giving the two of you something to work toward together. It’s important to remember, a relationship is work, and it takes joint effort to make it work, especially when it comes to money. Here are five tips to help you become or remain financially compatible with your partner.
- Have Open and Honest Communication
The key to financial alignment begins and ends with open and honest communication. It’s crucial to initiate regular conversations about money, discussing your individual beliefs, values and financial goals. In fact, this habit could and should be established before the relationship gets too serious, giving both parties a chance to see where their counterpart stands. Be transparent about your income, debts and spending habits. A shared understanding of each other’s circumstances and long-term views on money will foster trust and enable you to make informed decisions as a couple, especially as your bond, your dreams and possibly even your family grow.
- Define Shared Financial Goals
It’s important to have individual goals, giving you a unique perspective on how you’ll use the funds you work so hard to accumulate, but it’s also vital to work with your partner to establish common financial goals that align with your shared vision for the future. Whether it’s saving for a house, planning for retirement, paying off major debts or any other objective that pushes you forward financially, setting specific and measurable goals will provide clarity and motivation. To make this even more effective, break these goals down into smaller milestones, and celebrate your achievements along the way. So many couples don’t have the opportunity to relish their accomplishments, and doing so can build your bond to be even stronger.
- Create a Joint Budget
Developing a joint budget is a powerful tool for financial alignment. First, determine whether you’ll have merged or separate bank accounts. This will dictate how the money is allocated and how goals will be pursued. Once you’ve determined how your income will be combined and used, designate financial roles and allocate funds for essential needs, savings, investments and discretionary spending. Then, review and revise the budget as circumstances continually change. As you may expect, your financial situation will change as you encounter major life events such as changes in employment, raises or family growth. A joint, collaborative budget plan that allows you to adapt can promote financial transparency, accountability and shared responsibility.
- Establish Emergency and Contingency Plans
Life is unpredictable, and having emergency and contingency plans in place is vital for financial alignment. Whether together or individually, build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, like medical bills, car repairs, home repairs or other necessary expenditures that absolutely must be paid for. We typically recommend that your emergency fund be enough to cover three-to-six months’ worth of lifestyle expenses. It can also be a good idea to consider insurance coverage, including health, life and disability, to protect against potential financial hardships. Furthermore, enlisting in the help of a financial professional can be beneficial, as they typically have experience planning for life’s unpleasant surprises. The right financial advisor will be able to analyze your unique situation and help you determine a plan to build an adequate emergency fund.
- Plan Regular Financial Check-Ins
This continues to follow the importance of communication and finding a financial advisor willing to help you. First and foremost, it’s important to take self-inventory often. These examinations can be planned, or they can be completely improvised when you’re thinking about it. It’s never a bad idea to update your budget sheet, your financial plan or your goals. Moreover, it’s crucial to check in on your progress toward your goals, informing you as to whether you’re on track to achieve them. If not, it may be a good idea to recalibrate. On the other hand, if you’re on track to exceed your goals, you can adjust and aim even higher. Your financial advisor should also be willing and able to help you with these check-ins. They should be intimately familiar with your circumstances and goals, meaning they can help you address pain points or take advantage of new opportunities.
Financial alignment with your partner is no small task, and it requires an incredible amount of dedication. At the same time, it can be infinitely rewarding, both for your financial goals and for the bond you share with your significant other.
If you have any questions about becoming financially compatible with your partner or creating a joint plan to achieve your goals as a couple, please give us a call. You can reach Giesting Financial in Batesville, Indiana, at 812.933.1791 or in Columbus, Indiana, at 812.565.2726.
This article is provided for general information only and is not to be construed as financial or tax advice. It is recommended that you work with your financial advisor, tax professional and/or attorneys when planning for your financial future.
Advisory products and services offered by Investment Adviser Representatives through Prime Capital Investment Advisors, LLC (“PCIA”), a federally registered investment adviser. PCIA: 6201 College Blvd., Suite #150, Overland Park, KS 66211. PCIA doing business as Prime Capital Wealth Management (“PCWM”) and Qualified Plan Advisors (“QPA”). Securities are offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, Member FINRA/SIPC. PCIA and Private Client Services are separate entities and are not affiliated.