February – the month of love! Couples know that whether it’s February or any other time of the year, keeping up with finances is important. But did you know that one in five couples find that money is their greatest relationship challenge?
According to Fidelity, not only do they find that money is their greatest relationship challenge, but couples find it hard to discuss money topics like:
· Health and Lifestyle
· Household Spending and Budgeting
· Long-Term Savings and Investments
· Managing Debt
· Will and Estate Planning
Topics about money, budgets, and finance can be scary or ever cause some anxiety. But just like a good relationship, creating a good financial plan takes time – but you’re not in it alone. Below are two tips for you to use to help you and your partner move forward from thinking money talk is scary to it being an important part of your everyday!
Have A Meeting
Being intentional about how you spend your time talking about finances is crucial! Having a meeting with you partner allows you both the space and time to really discuss the ins and outs of you finances and create a game plan for what comes next.
Whenever you’re getting a meeting in the books, remember to schedule it on a day that isn’t busy and schedule it during a time that’s open. This allows you both the time and space to really discuss what you all want to put on the table.
Preparation is key to the meeting. Coming to the meeting prepared shows that you care about the time you and your partner are about to spend and you care about both of your financial wellbeing. Before your meeting you should:
1. Review your finances before coming to your meeting.
2. Write down your priorities ranging from the next three, six, and nine months and into the new year.
3. Write down your financial goals.
4. Have your budget ready for reference and/or changes!
And lastly, bring paper and pencil!
Use the Who, What, When, Where, and Why Method
Money and finances can get complicated really quick – especially when you’re not paying attention. But to maintain some simplicity, it’s key to always have the: Who, What, When, Where, and Why?
Who – Who is responsible for managing this expense?
What – What is the expense for?
When – When does the expense need to be taken care of?
Where – Where does the expense need to be taken care of?
Why – Why is the expense important?
The Who, What, When, Where, and Why method is a great way to keep your finances simple because you’re able to easily identify expenses or spending behaviors that may be good to have or not-so-good to have. Everyone’s role in the financial health is determined and accounted for.
You may not know it, but you do the Who, What, When, Where, and Why method ALL THE TIME! But as a couple, you both are able to think through your finances together and be honest about expenses.
Having to look at finances as a couple may be stressful – sometimes it can feel embarrassing to have someone know how often you order DoorDash. But to get comfortable with the unknown, you have to keep doing it!
Working together as a team is key to maintaining a structure with your finances, trusting each other to be responsible, and being able to meet goals and expectations for yourself and your significant other.
Whether it be using our two tips or finding a great system for you both – working as a team gets the results and allows you to move away from finances being a relationship challenge, to a relationship strength!
You got this!