Building a shared financial plan with your significant other is one of the most important elements of a long term relationship. Financial issues are still the highest rated reason for couples to have relationship problems. The last 18 months are proof that times can be chaotic and cause financial upheaval for any couple.
Where does building a strong relationship need to start?
It needs to begin with promising to share all financial information with each other no matter how bad the financial past might have been. Full disclosure is always best because it allows for the couple to make realistic plans for the future. The other part is to also not judge one another’s past financial mistakes.
How can couples make sure that money decisions don’t become a problem?
It starts with agreeing that all decisions will be made equally regardless of the level of income contribution. Without a true equal partnership, resentment is very likely to build which is not healthy for a long term relationship. The other important aspect is that both should want to be involved, leaving all financial matters to one person can also be a problem for couples.
What is one of the most important promises that couples need to make?
They need to agree to have parameters when they don’t need to make a joint decision. For example, each person should be able to make an unplanned purchases up to an agreed upon amount. If someone makes an unplanned purchase under that amount, the other can’t then be upset about it, regardless if they think the purchase was unnecessary.
Is there a method that helps couples make difficult decisions when they have differing opinions?
Making difficult decisions requires having all the information and a willingness to compromise. Couples should build short and long term plans and include a budget. This way, when they are faced with a difference of opinion, they can discuss how the decision impacts their goals and the budget impact. Usually this discussion allows both sides find a compromise that is mutually acceptable.
What promise should couples make that will strengthen their money harmony?
Agree to build a fun money savings account. This can be for vacations, splurge spending or anything else that is a shared goal. Couples will find it easier to have regular discussions about money if a big part is how to build savings for something fun. Regular discussions are one of the best ways to avoid relationship stress, build harmony and keep both couples in synch with their goals.