Friday, January 19th, 2018
So you've met the "yin" to your "yang", and you think they complete you in every way.
But how compatible are you when it comes to finances? Do your differing personalities help balance your household budget, or do you butt heads over monthly expenditures?
When a saver falls for a spender, there can often be an adjustment period before learning to function as a financially harmonious unit. Here are some tips for financial relationship bliss.
1. Know Each Other's Past
It's important to take the time to discuss your past with your partner. Not only your previous spending patterns, but the financial environment you grew up in as a child. This can influence your financial future. Who were your role models? Was it mom or dad who paid the bills? Who tracked your household spending and made the budgets? If mom paid the credit card bill the day it came in each month and you take after her, there's a good chance you'll have the same habit. Knowing your partner's patterns and where they come from can help you understand them better.
2. Find a Middle Ground
While you may be the type to not spend a dime until debt is paid off, your partner may prioritize living their life first. It's best to find a middle ground so that you both feel like you're getting a bit of what you want. Perhaps you go ahead and make that new purchase, while also making a payment plan to pay off outstanding debt.
3. Review Your Spending
You won't know where to save unless you know where you're spending. These days with handy apps on your phone, it's easy to tap away for that morning coffee or Uber when you're running late. Why not review a month's worth of bills to see where your money is actually going? You might already know, or you might be in for a shock! Either way, reviewing expenditures will help you plan better together.
4. Set Goals Together
Set goals together and achieve them together. Setting goals that are meaningful to both partners will help ensure that you're working toward them together. For instance, make a goal to pay off $2,500 of debt, and also take that much-needed trip by the end of the year. Goals can be both practical and rewarding.
5. Align Your Expectations
Set realistic expectations for each other and use them to hold each other accountable. If your partner sets a goal of not ordering in food more than twice a week, hold them to that, and remind them the next time they're about to reach for their phone.
Budgeting for yourself can be hard enough, much less with a partner who may be your total opposite. You may not be perfect right off the bat, but as long as you communicate effectively, you can reach a point where you're both on the same page. This will make it easier to plan your financial future together.
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