People tend to be products of their environments. Thus, individuals who grow up in households attuned to saving and investing usually look at money differently than people reared in frivolous spending households. As a result, problems surrounding money can ensue when they try to build a life together. This is when financial counseling for couples can help preserve the relationship.
To Mingle or Not to Mingle?
Some experts suggest couples should have three accounts from which they spend. When each partner has money they can use without needing permission from the other, the potential for arguments is lessened. Rather than undermining trust, this arrangement can strengthen a relationship.
The third account should be joint account from which household expenses are covered. Ideally each of the partners will contribute an equal percentage of their income to this third account.
Each of the accounts should be tracked, so you know where your money is going. Still, it’s important to realize this isn’t about looking over each other’s shoulder. It’s about setting a realistic budget and sticking to it so financial goals can be achieved more readily.
Agree Upon Financial Priorities
Regardless of your upbringing, saving is a critical issue and should be addressed very early on in the relationship. Then again, it’s equally important to come to a meeting of the minds in this regard. You’ll need to work out whether your primary initial goal is to save for a home or retirement. Yes, ideally, you’ll do both, but if your cash flow doesn’t permit this, you’ll need to figure out your priorities together.
Discuss Your Finances Periodically at a Prescribed Interval
Establish a set time each month to go over the books to ensure you’re meeting your budgetary goals. If talking about money is difficult, it might be a good idea to hire a financial planner with whom you meet on a regular basis. Having an independent third party to whom you report can help relieve the pressure of dealing with financial issues to a degree.
Manage Debt as a Couple
Have a come to Jesus conversation early on in the relationship in which you discuss the financial obligations each of you brings to the relationship. Regardless of who incurred what and when, working together you can eradicate debt much sooner than if each of you attacked them separately.
While it’s true each of you remains individually responsible for what you did before the marriage legally, dealing with your debts together is a lot easier. You should also be completely forthcoming about them. Secrets undermine trust when they come to light—and they always do.
If one of you is missing payments or experiencing collection calls on your debt, hiring a settlement company can be a good way to get the situation back in hand. Reviewing background information like Freedom Debt Relief reviews can be useful when it comes to selecting a solid organization to help you.
Avoid Incurring Debt
Living debt-free can stave off money problems. Yes, it’d be nice to start your life together with a nice new home and furnishings. Even buying a a new car as well as appliances. However, going into debt to accomplish this is ill advised.
The old set you had when you were single will likely serve you quite well while you save for a replacement. Ditto the other items above. Building a solid emergency fund should be your first priority. You can designate a set amount to save each month for your retirement fund, new home and other niceties. But pay cash whenever possible. Financial counseling for couples typically entails getting on the same page about money matters as soon as possible. Arguments over finances have killed many a loving relationship. Don’t let it happen to yours.