Money Tips for Couples

Getting in a serious relationship, whether it is marriage or a domestic partnership, takes plenty of work, let alone when you bring money into the equation.  Some couples keep finances separate, while others just lump all into a joint account.  Either is obviously acceptable, whatever works for that specific couple.  In order to be successful within the financial aspect of the relationship, you will need to sit down and have the not so easy conversation about where you stand with money.

Disclose Current Financial State

As we all have difference income levels and savings up to this point in life, there is also debt as well.  Whether it is credit card debt, student loans, or even a car loan, you should disclose everything with your significant other, even if it can be an embarrassing conversation.  If there is debt, maybe you can work on a plan that together you can tackle and overcome this burden.  If you are going to be starting to split paying bills and contributing to checking and savings accounts it is good to see where each of you at, as well as any spending habits that come along with.

Work on Short and Long-Term Goals

Now that you have laid all of your finances out on the table it is time to figure out what you plan on doing short and long-term.  What are your spending and savings goals?  Do you plan on purchasing a home?  Are you saving up for a vacation?  These are all things to keep in mind.  They can be as simple as figuring out a payoff plan for a credit card, to finally have an end in sight with the balance, or I’d like to have 6 months of reserves in a savings account by next year.

Set a Spending and Savings Budget

Experts have said that two-thirds of the American population not only do not have a successful budget, but not one at all.  Now not everyone agrees that you need to figure out exactly where each dollar is going, but it is at least a good idea, first, to make sure that you have more money coming in than going out.  From there you can work on reducing unnecessary expenses by taking a look at the previous month’s credit card or bank statement and see where your money is going and work on asking yourself if that purchase was really necessary.

Don’t Skimp on the Future

So much focus going into the day to day life, paying bills, making sure you are contributing some to a savings account so you at least have an emergency fund in case something unexpected comes up and you have easy access to funds, but it is important to not put the future off for too long.  The longer you wait, the less you will have for retirement, so if it is hard to put much money away for later, at least start with something and gradually increase contributions each year so you feel less of a strain now.

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