Broker Check
Love and Money:  Financial Planning Considerations For Couples

Love and Money: Financial Planning Considerations For Couples

| May 16, 2019
Share |

When you begin to mingle the various aspects of your life with someone else, there are a number of things that can be hard to successfully blend, and your bank accounts can definitely be one of them. Maybe you and your significant other find that it actually relieves stress to go over your finances together. Or maybe your budget and financial plans are topics you two tend to avoid at all costs. While it would be ideal to say we all feel more relaxed when having “the money talks” with our special someone, the truth is if you’d rather not talk finances, you’re in good company. A "Couples & Money" Survey reveals that 26% of Americans turn a blind eye to the issue of finances in their relationship even though they understand the importance of discussing it.

Like most things in life, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. In fact, neglecting the subject only creates space for confusion, overspending, and increased tension. And there are few things more stressful than your finances going awry. And the unfortunate truth is that money is the primary reason for arguments between couples. In fact, disagreements about finances are the most common predictors of a future divorce. This is a topic that is not only vital to the health of your bank account but to the health of your relationship as well. As tough as going over finances can be, regular communication in this area is key, especially when your bank accounts are shared.

So, why is it so difficult to tackle such an important topic with the person you chose to do life with? For one, finances tend to stir up plenty of emotions on their own, and relationships can often tend to do the same. Therefore, the thought of adding financial stress to relational stress causes some couples to try to keep the peace by ignoring the easier-to-dodge topic of money. To add to that, we each have our own unique financial personality and correlating opinion on how to manage money that may not align with our partner’s. Some of us are savers, some are spenders. Some of us may be conservative, while others are free spirits. These differences can sometimes lead to disagreements that put stress on other areas of our relationship as well. So, simply being open to talking about finances isn’t the only hurdle.

But no matter what the statistics tell us, money doesn’t have to be a stress point in a relationship! Here are a few simple strategies that may help couples avoid financial friction.

Be Honest

When we first realize we’ve found the person we want to share our life with, chances are the thought that our sweetheart may not be forthright with their spending habits isn’t one we are paying much attention to. Unfortunately, honesty regarding money isn’t a guarantee in a relationship. It’s important for both partners to offer full disclosure of their finances and be open about expenses, regardless of whether you’re married, live together, or have joint or separate bank accounts. You and your significant other should be aware of how you spend your money, especially when it comes to larger expenses, loans, or ongoing fees. By maintaining an open line of communication regarding spending habits and upcoming bills, you may be able to avoid such confrontations.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Establishing a budget with mutually beneficial boundaries may seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is that it is often avoided or given very little attention. Healthy boundaries set the framework and help you to avoid having to rehash the same danger zones every paycheck. Sit down together and discuss how much can be spent per month on non-essentials. Establish and agree upon a few basic guidelines, and create a structure for how you will spend and save money. It’s important for couples to be on the same page regarding their finances. Establishing a monthly budget that allows for a set amount of “fun money” can not only avoid overspending but allow each of you to plan for what you want. If one of you is more disciplined than the other, you might consider having the more disciplined of the two manage the monthly budget and spending.

Prioritize Teamwork

Often one spouse acts as the Chief Financial Officer of the household, managing all bills, budgets, savings, investments, and insurance policies. However, just as it is important for both to understand how much there is to spend, it is also important for both to know what it all is being spent on. Having one person in the dark and the other with all the responsibility isn’t good for either person. There needs to be balanced teamwork on both ends. Be intentional and plan time to sit down together once a month and review credit card statements, account transactions, and other bills. This not only gives you two sets of eyes to check for possible errors, but it also allows you each to have a full understanding of where your money is going and eliminates assumptions or accusations. Ongoing transparency and input from each of you will strengthen your relationship and create a true partnership.

Reward Yourself

It is important to be realistic. You may be able to deny all your non-essential desires for a short while, but that is not a healthy long-term plan. Create room in your budget for some personal spending to avoid derailing and relieve some stress. Each month, set aside a portion of pocket money that you and your partner can spend on something you love. This may be something you do together or individually, such as a spa day, a round of golf, or a luxurious date night. Along with saving for long-term goals, set small objectives you can reasonably accomplish each month and include the ability to celebrate your success in your budget.

Find An Objective Financial Partner

Sometimes the most simple and effective way to ease money tensions is to work with an objective third party, whether that’s a financial professional, a marriage counselor, or both. A financial professional can work with you and your significant other to review your financial landscape, identify any gaps, assist you in establishing short-term and long-term goals, help you stay on track, and provide professional and knowledgeable advice.

The topic of finance can cause tension from time to time—that’s to be expected. However, money should not become a constant source of tension in a relationship. One of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself and your special someone is to push past the awkwardness and work toward harmony; invest the time to address spending habits and savings goals, uphold transparency regarding purchases, and communicate effectively.

At Match Point Financial, we believe you deserve an advisor who instills confidence, as a lack of confidence can lead to stress and worry, which can then impact their overall happiness, contentment, and health. We work to give you that confidence by providing professional oversight and scrutiny of every aspect of your financial affairs. As a couple, surely you understand the importance of compatibility. We provide everyone a complimentary, no-strings-attached meeting where we discuss your questions, concerns, and goals, as well as our process in working with clients so we can determine if we’d be a good match. If you are ready to reach a new level of unanimity in your finances and relationship or simply have some questions you’d like to ask, contact us today! Call 352-207-8014 or schedule a complimentary review by sending us a message online.

About Chris

Chris Reed is a Financial advisor and the founder of Match Point Financial. Since 2002, he has been helping people make informed choices with their money and pursue their financial goals and objectives. He started his career with MetLife and has continued seeking to provide his clients with the best possible service through A.G. Edwards, UBS, and finally through partnering with Cetera Advisors LLC and forming his own independent firm in 2010. Learn more about Chris by connecting with him on LinkedIn or schedule a complimentary call with Chris here to learn more about how he may be able to help your specific situation.

Financial Advisor: Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA/ SIPC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

Share |