Five Tips to Handle Finances in Your Relationship
Money is a touchy subject. While some people are comfortable talking about it, others (me!) cringe at the idea of talking about finances for more than five seconds. Add your romantic partner to the mix and you have a recipe for anxiety and failure. At least, that’s what I used to think finances in relationships meant.
After five years of marriage and countless money conversations under my belt, I think I’ve finally figured out the secret to dealing with money in relationships. Below are my top five tips to handle finances in your relationship.
Communicate – Express your financial goals and values
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my relationship with my husband, it’s that communication is key. Especially when it comes to money. Talking through your worries, doubts, and money mindset is essential to building a healthy relationship with your finances and your partner. For me, this meant getting real about my fears when it came to money.
Early on, it became evident that one of my top values, when it came to money, was security. Throughout the years, we’ve kept that top of mind when dealing with finances. A huge leap for my husband and me towards building a healthy relationship with our bank account.
Develop – A system and boundaries to respect each other’s choices
Aside from communication, another very important key to a happy marriage is compromise. Now, this doesn’t mean you let your partner get away with everything, or that you lose your identity because you agree to everything. This does, however, mean that you listen to your partner’s needs. If there’s something critical and essential in their life, this might mean shifting some things to meet both your goals.
It’s important to understand that you two won’t always share identical goals and values. That’s why it’s crucial to create a system that respects each of your choices. While one of my values is security, which translates to a lot of saving, my husband’s value is family time, which means we might spend a little bit more on fun activities like the movies, amusement parks, and road trips. As long as we budget for those things ahead of time, we often find ourselves agreeing to the financial plan set in place. Ensuring you create a system allows you to meet each other’s goals while staying true to your values.
Plan – Map out what your journey looks like
While some budgets are great for short term actions, it’s also important to look at the bigger picture when you’re dealing with finances in your relationship. Carve out some time to plan out what you want your journey to look. Do you want to buy a house, launch a business, or move across the country? These are all major changes that can seem scary in hindsight but can be a great project to start working on now.
Check-in – Host regular money dates to follow up on the progress
When I first learned about money dates, I rolled my eyes at the idea. Sitting down regularly to solely talk about finances? No thanks! However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. If you want to stick to your goals, you have to check in on them regularly. Avoiding challenges doesn’t make them any easier. My husband and I decided to give money dates a try over a year ago and we’ve been having them every week since. They’ve been lifechanging!