How to Get You and Your Partner on the Same Financial Page
Money can be such a dirty word.
Get this. Money is the second leading cause of divorce in the US (behind infidelity). Many sites cite high amounts of debt and lack of communication on money as being the drivers behind the sinking love boat.
The American Psychology Association says 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce (and there is some wiggle room because of permanent separation while remaining married). I don’t know about you, but I find that very depressing.!
Now you may not be married right now, but who knows what your future may bring (let’s leave out the “obey” part, mkay). So let’s get to work on being a team player when it comes to money!
Here are four tips to help couples getting on the same page when it comes to money, both earning and spending.
Ask for help
Now for some of you, this may not be so simple, but no one ever got anywhere good by going 100 percent solo. Everyone needs someone to bounce ideas off of, a different perspective, or just a good game butt slap. Hey, you appreciate someone’s help when they saw something that you didn’t right? (Hint, your fly is down.)
So when you’re stumped on your budget or need to think of a plan to raise extra funds to fix your car’s grinding noises, ask for help. Ask and be prepared to listen. Then say thank you. If you ask them for help then maybe they will ask you for help with something = win/win. (And see if Nav.it can help you with any money woes).
Think about it: when someone asks you for sincere help (not the “hey can you fix my stapler” kind of help), you feel pretty good about yourself and your relationship.
Share your goals
Everyone has goals (well almost everyone). Some days it feels like just putting on pants is a good goal.
Share your goals of what you want your future to look like. Maybe you want to own your own home? Share it! Want to own a 1970 Ford Mustang with a Boss 302? Share it. Hey, maybe your significant other has an Uncle that works at a car shop in LA that works explicitly on old ‘70s muscle cars. BUT you wouldn’t know that unless you share, right?
Now, your goals may not have anything to do with saving money, but I’m pretty sure you will need money to reach some of them. Maybe you find out that you both want to go on a vacation to Bora Bora? Say hello to a joint travel vacation savings account. I highly recommend a high interest online savings account with 1.9% APY. That’s 20x higher than the national average.
Sharing your goals still means that you need to be smart with your money. So go ahead print out that picture of that bungalow over the water, bust out your crayons and make a money thermometer (you know, like the fundraiser type thing from grade school), post it on your fridge and get to saving.
Talk about it
So from the other tips you may have noticed a trend… TALKING about money. If you didn’t get that hint, go back and reread it, I’ll wait. You back? Cool. Let’s continue.
When you don’t talk about something, something that is plainly there, it gets somewhat awkward, doesn’t it? Only when you start communicating and doing it often do things get easier.
Traditionally (aka our parent’s generation) talking about money wasn’t a polite topic of conversation, but times have and are changing. We actually benefit from talking money to our friends and/or partner.
When you avoid something, it grows. We are not ostriches. We can’t stick our head in the ground and ignore money issues… because they don’t ever go away without action.
Yes, talking about your personal finances may be weird in the beginning, but it will get easier, just as everything does with practice.
Do a money challenge
These can be a lot of fun if done correctly. It is fun to have a goal, a goal that maybe you think you can’t achieve. But then it gets turned into a game… guess who shows up with a full tummy of Wheaties? YOU!
Here are a few ideas of money challenges to do with your partner:
Do a No Spend Month
Cash only envelope challenge
Eat just what is in your pantry
Save all your $5 bills that you get
Cut 50 percent of your subscriptions (you won’t notice, trust me)
Whatever you decide to do, keep it lighthearted. No one likes a sore loser (or a lousy winner). In fact, you don’t even need to have a winner, set it up as a team challenge!
Whatever you decide to do to help you and your honey get better at this thing called money management, know that nothing is set in stone. If one thing doesn’t work after some decent effort and time, then try something different.
Just keep trying. *end with a good game butt slap*
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