Financial #RelationshipGoals

Financial issues lead to a quarter of divorces in the U.S., according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. With some planning and a willingness to talk, however, you can build financial goals as a couple no matter what stage of life you are in. It’s never too late to talk about your financial #RelationshipGoals. We’ve developed a few to start your discussion.


Don’t spend more than you make

But—you’re saying to yourself—what about a car, a mortgage, student loans? You’re right: you don’t make the cost of a car every month. But you should still manage your finances enough that, even with two salaries supporting one household, you aren’t living beyond your means. Dining out every night, going out every weekend, and travelling whenever a three-day weekend hits sounds fun until your checking account looks lower and lower each month. Make sure you’re planning for unexpected expenses as well as everyday needs, which brings us to…

Develop a household budget

There are so many fun templates online for developing a budget that we’ll just direct you to our Pinterest page. Next, go through your past couple eStatements or account activity in online banking to create realistic expectations of what you will need to spend and save each month. Agree on what you can cut and how you want to divide up bills—do you want to create one household account and set up Bill Payer to take care of rent, utilities, and so on? Will you be joint on each other’s accounts? Some money is often still going to be “yours” and “mine,” and it’s up to every couple to determine how that works. That being said…

Don’t hide your finances

This goes both ways. Don’t hide debt from your partner, and if your partner is acting suspiciously regarding his or her finances, don’t stay silent. If you’re about to move in together or get married, ask the hard questions now, and you won’t be left wondering when it’s too late. Once you do disclose your finances to each other, trying to keep your expectations in perspective. Depending on the stage of life you two are in, you will have different goals, so…

Know what goals are realistic for you

And that means saving for your retirement in your 20s, whether you believe the hundreds of other people who have told you that already or not. When you buy your first house in your 30s, make sure it’s one you can afford, and also stock up on life and disability insurance, no matter how healthy you think you are now. Moving into your 40s, don’t be tempted when the couple down the block acquires nicer homes, cars, and “toys”—you don’t know how they’re funding them. In your 50s, you’ll need to keep an eye on how much you can expect from Social Security and whether than means you can take early retirement or not. Make sure you have a will and an advanced medical directive, as well as plans for your kids in case anything should happen. And just remember…

Your #RelationshipGoals will evolve

If you two have been together a long time, you know it’s all those events you two never planned for, good and bad, which have helped direct your #RelationshipGoals. Check in often and agree on your goals, and you’ll keep finances from getting in the way of your relationship.

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