Do you and your spouse or partner have different goals or beliefs about money? You’re not alone. Money disagreements can create a lot of friction between couples. A case can be made for having mutual financial goals. Working in tandem as a couple can help strengthen your financial situation and your relationship by ensuring you’re both headed in the same direction. Here are some ways to get on the same page and achieve your life and financial goals, together.
Make time for money talk
Unaddressed money issues can be relationship landmines that are more easily solved when you have a partner to tackle them with. Talk openly and share your experiences and attitudes toward money – even down to how your family handled their finances as you were growing up. The purpose is to better appreciate where you’re each coming from and create opportunities to set priorities and track goals together. Connecting and being transparent when it comes to debt, budgeting and saving can bring you closer as a couple and help you avoid surprises that can put unnecessary strain on your relationship. Designated times to specifically speak about finances where you can both openly address details and concerns. This will help to keep the discussion constructive.
Create a shared vision for your money
How do you picture your lives together? Do you want to launch your own business, take frequent trips to far-flung destinations or retire before a certain age? Your mutual goals determine how you need to manage your money. By clarifying and agreeing on those goals, you’ll be more unified as a couple and minimize conflict. There are also practical reasons for having common goals, not to mention financial rewards. For example, sharing household expenses can put you ahead and help you build savings faster. If you can’t seem to resolve your money differences, I can mediate and help you find the right solutions.
Put your financial house in order
Get better organized by tackling debt as a team or building an emergency fund together. This helps to build a foundation for your future financial well-being. Identify your money issues both as a couple and as individuals. If one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, consider having joint and separate bank accounts. You can each contribute to the joint account for shared savings and expenses while having the leeway to also manage some of your own money as you see fit. As you work together, you’ll both become more comfortable with your financial situation as a couple.
Revisit your goals often. Keep in mind that planning your future isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it exercise. When creating a healthy habit around talking about money, the conversations will feel more natural and less forced the more you have them. It’s not only about monitoring your progress on an ongoing basis, but also staying motivated by being able to celebrate small wins together. After all, long-term goals like retirement are actually made up of many small steps.
I can help to keep you accountable and on track to meet your goals. In fact, research shows that people who work with a financial advisor see a positive and significant impact on their financial assets. One study has shown that the average net worth for advised investors is nearly three-to-four times greater than that of non-advised investors.1
Supporting you when you need it
It’s not always necessary to have the same goals as your spouse or partner, as long as you’re willing to compromise and also set goals that are mutually beneficial. At the same time, make it your primary objective to understand one another’s point of view and keep the lines of communication open. I’m always available as a resource to help you examine your money attitudes, clarify and prioritize your goals and organize your finances as a couple so you can be better, together.
1. “The value of advice report 2012,” Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organizations (“CIRANO”), on behalf of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (“IFIC”).