Money might not be the root of all happiness, but it can definitely determine whether your relationship with your spouse goes smoothly or not. Couples that are constantly arguing about money are often the ones that are most likely to fall into turmoil. Although you don’t have to be rich to have a happy marriage, you do need to make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page about spending.
Unfortunately, figuring out how to approach money as a couple isn’t something that we learn how to do in school. The lack of conversations that people have about money can easily lead to rifts into relationships that can’t be fixed easily. That’s why we’ve put together these quick and helpful tips for people who want to save money as a team.
1. Discuss Your Goals
The best thing you can do to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page financially is agree on a goal that you can both work towards together.
Having a goal that you can share makes it easier for you both to understand how important your spending decisions are. For instance, maybe you both want to work at building a nest egg for the future, or you both want to save towards a new house.
You can still have your personal goals that you handle separately too, but you’ll put a small amount of your cash towards your shared target each month. This way, you know you’re both contributing to what matters.
2. Avoid Secret Spending
Secret spending seems to be a big issue for people in the UK. Brits often hide their purchases from their partners because they’re worried about the repercussions. Unfortunately, secret spending can lead to problems if that means that savings end up being drained by one partner.
Work on creating an environment where you and your partner can talk opening about spending and be honest with each other about what you want to use your money on. It might help to agree on an amount of “shared” cash that both of you contribute each month, and an amount of “personal” money you get to keep to yourself.
3. Discuss Loans Carefully
When it comes to taking out loans, you’ll need to think about your options very carefully as a couple. If one of you doesn’t have a great credit rate, then the other person in the couple might need to take a loan out on their own. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be responsible for paying off that expense solo.
Think about your lending options and ask yourselves how you’re going to deal with borrowing money as a couple. The last thing anyone needs is to be saddled with a loan that they thought they were going to be managing with the help of their spouse.
4. Celebrate Little Achievements
Setting goals for your finances means that you’ll eventually start to hit milestones and targets that you and your partner need to celebrate. While it’s tempting to think that you’re moving towards your goals too slowly, or that you should be doing more, the truth is that saving is hard work. A lot of people take years to accomplish anything with their savings.
Recognize the milestones in your savings targets and find a way to celebrate (without blowing all the cash that you’ve worked so hard to save). At the same time, don’t be afraid to review your goals at these milestone moments to figure out whether you should be doing anything differently.
5. Make a Day for Budgeting Each Month
Finally, if you’re going to agree to budgeting with your partner as a couple, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re both fully invested in the process. This means that you don’t just say that you’re both going to be careful with your cash, you sit down together and discuss your problem areas and financial targets at the end of each month. If you’re both exhausted by the idea of actively budgeting together, then you can always take extra steps to make the experience feel fun.
Having your favorite snacks available while you go through your bank statements or listening to music that you both love can make the hour or two you spend adding up go a lot faster. Whatever you do, don’t leave one person in the couple to handle all of the budget on their own, otherwise, resentment could start to build up.