Valentines Day has just gone which makes it the perfect time for many couples to assess their joint relationship with money.
Even the best of relationships require compromise, and learning about the other person to ensure you can live harmoniously together.
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 many times the smaller things are quite different.
It’s often the 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.
Separate your personal spending
One of the key cash-flow management strategies is the separation of your weekly personal spending from your other money that’s to be used 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.
For couples, I 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 cashflow 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 at all because you both have peace of mind that your long term goals are being met
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.
As a couple, it’s really important to set these savings and investment goals together so that you’re aligned with the bigger picture.
I’m a big believer in aligning your wealth planning to your goals, and not just saving or investing 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.