It’s not uncommon for couples to argue about money. Maybe you think that it’s important to pay off your credit card debt while your partner would prefer to buy a new car. If you and your partner have different financial goals, it can lead to problems. This is why it’s crucial to set financial goals as a couple.
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Why Money Talk is Important
When a problem arises in your relationship, it’s important to talk through it. Money problems are no exception. If you feel out of sync with your partner about money, it’s only going to lead to conflict and resentment. In contrast, if you talk about money from the get-go, you can start making progress toward your long-term goals. Money can then contribute to you living your best life and bonding with your significant other. So if you’re ready to break out the piggy bank and talk money with your partner, read on.
Creating Effective Money Goals
The hardest part about creating financial goals is figuring out where to start. If you have multiple obligations such as student loan debt, credit card debt and rent to pay, it can be tempting to put off setting financial goals. But no matter how much you don’t want to think about your financial situation, it’s always better to face up to reality. Once you get started with creating your goals, it’ll become easier to live a life of financial empowerment.
Imagine Your Ideal Future
The first way to get started with creating your financial goals is to imagine your ideal future. Sit down with your partner and have them imagine theirs too. Each of you should imagine what you want to afford in the future, where you want to live and how you would ideally feel about money. If money currently makes you feel anxious, you might hope to feel at peace with your bank account in the future.
Once you spend five to ten minutes imagining your ideal futures, talk with one another about your visions. If you have different ideas of what the future should look like, don’t sweat it too much. Right now focus on what you want in common.
Set Specific Goals
Once you’ve decided on your ideal future, it becomes easier to figure out what goals you should accomplish next. For example, if you want to be able to afford a lavish mansion or a Tesla in the next decade, then you’ll probably want to pay off your debt first.
Some common financial couple goals include: creating a shared bank account, paying off debt, establishing an emergency fund, working toward good credit, saving money in a retirement account or saving for a down payment on a home. Once you’ve laid out all of your long-term financial goals, try to rank them from most important to least important. This will help you determine where you should focus your funds moving forward.
Crunch The Numbers
Along with having your goals for your future listed out, you should also calculate the amount of capital you’ll need to achieve each goal. If you want to save for a house, you might want to look up house prices in the place you’d want to live. Do some research to determine how much a down payment for that house would cost.
Similarly, if you’re looking to pay off debt, you should calculate how much you owe overall. Having these numbers will help you understand how much you should be saving each month to work toward these goals. From there, outline a budget of your current spending and put a percentage of your paycheck toward the goals that are most important to you. With consistent savings, you’ll be sure to make financial progress in no time.
Prioritizing Healthy Communication
For some couples, finances can be a touchy subject. But this doesn’t have to be the case. It’s possible to communicate with your partner about your spending habits and how you believe your money should be spent.
Some practical communication tips include:
- Learn to express negative emotions in a productive way
- Set a time in the day dedicated to talking through issues with your partner
- Practice active listening with one another
- Validate your partner’s feelings and apologize when necessary
The better you become at communication, the more effective you and your partner will be at navigating life and achieving financial success and happiness.
That said, you likely won’t become rich and successful or a perfect communicator overnight. Don’t be hard on yourself. What’s important is that you and your partner grow together both financially and emotionally. So long as you’re flexible and work hard, you’ll be able to grow your relationship and achieve your goals little by little.
Kim is the owner and publisher of Sass Magazine, as well as the owner of Sass Studios, a boutique graphic design studio in Frederick, MD. When not in the office, Kim can be found doing some of her favorite hobbies—reading a book, dancing, traveling, or playing with her rescued pitbull.