This month of love offers a perfect time to talk about money matters for couples. Whether you are a newlywed or married for 20 years, couples who share finances and manage their money wisely together, leverage an important skill. Here are my top 5 tips for honing this important accomplishment.
1. Set financial goals together. Creating a vision on what you want your money future to look like is a important and powerful tool.
2. Track your spending and review together regularly. This is not a finger pointing exercise, but an exercise of understanding. Where is the money is going? Where are areas we could save or cut back? My husband and I have found this exercise very eye opening. Most couples we have talked to have found the same. Everyone seems to find ways to “trim the fat” from their spending.
3. Once the bills are paid, ensure that each person has a spend account that is for no questions asked purchases. Having transparency when it comes to money is important in a strong relationship, but it is also healthy to have funds set aside to spend freely.
4. Communicate. Find time where you are relaxed to talk through your financial situation and vision. Finances can affect so many aspects of our lives. It is an important topic to talk about regularly as a couple.
5. Talk with other couples about their own financial journey. This can be a great exercise to learn new things and share ideas. Everyone has such a unique financial journey and the sharing of best practices or struggles can be very helpful. My husband and I have made it into a fun contest with other couples called “Frugal Olympics”. It gets pretty silly at times but it keeps reasonable spending and cost-cutting top of mind without being drudgery. Plus, it keeps the sharing of ideas and encouragement flowing!
February is Chapter Two of Twelve in the “Book of 2022”. If you are not already doing so, take the opportunity this month to begin working together as a couple on your finances. It can bond you in ways that you could not have imagined. It gets you working on your goals and the path to get there, ultimately making your vision together a reality.