Managing money jointly can be tricky. Some pairs may not want to breach the topic because they’re nervous the conversation will be uncomfortable, but communicating about your finances will help set you up for long-term success.
A 2019 study from the Journal of Financial Therapy found that those who jointly financial plan are less likely to have conversations about money than cohabitating pairs, dating people, or separated couples. Not sure where to start with your partner? Here are some of our best tips for setting and maintaining joint financial goals when you have commingled funds.
Even if you and your partner decide to bank separately, it’s important to communicate about your joint goals. Sit down and talk about your plans for the future. Do you both want to buy a house in the next two years? Would it be nice to have another vehicle to help with your transportation? These are all good things to talk about with your partner because they can help bring the two of you on the same page, financially.
However, many couples refrain from communicating about finances, much to their detriment. The University of Southern Mississippi surveyed 141 people, 53% of whom admitted to keeping money secrets from their partner.
Even if you spoke about your separate financial situations before you decided to plan out your finances jointly, it’s important to have a continued conversation about your dynamic priorities together. If you and your partner are operating with different financial priorities in mind, tensions are likely to rise. For example, be sure to discuss whether you are saving for a big-ticket item down the line or if you want to put some money aside for a child.
If you are setting joint financial goals, it’s extremely beneficial to work as a team to achieve them. Budgeting is a big part of that, especially if you have combined incomes and expenses. Instead of waiting until a finance confrontation is unavoidable, schedule a time once a week or once every two weeks to talk about your budget as a couple. Save receipts and work together to create a successful budget that works for your lifestyle and spending habits.
Using a digital budgeting app and talking to a financial professional can help you and your loved one stay on top of your joint financial goals. If one person in the relationship needs more financial assistance than the other, the couple should seek help together. Offering your financial partner support in this way will end up benefiting you in the long run as well. For example, you can contact a government-approved credit counselor or reach out to The Federal Savings Bank to talk to a trusted professional.
To get started on your joint financial journey, check out our website today!