Finance discussions to have with your partner
The great thing about finances (and life), is you get to decide what works for you.
Having worked with hundreds of couples, we have seen all manner of different financial plans work for different people.
We have noticed however that those that succeed have a clear, unified plan on what they consider a great plan.
In this blog article, I’ll outline some discussions to have with your partner which will help you take your financial relationship to the next level.
Topic 1: What is fair to you?
With most couples each having individual jobs when they meet, it’s common that finances are merged as part of a slow process over time.
You might set up a bills account, or a rent account, or you might set up joint bank accounts and put everything together.
The first step before doing any of this however is to discuss what is fair to you.
For some couples, they are happy to split the bills and keep what is left from their salary themselves. Whilst one person might earn more than the other (and therefore end up with more left over), they are happy that this is fair to them.
Other couples see both incomes as part of the ‘family income’ and want to have access to the same amount of discretionary spending. They want to know when the weekend comes around that one person won’t be flush with the cash whilst the other person is struggling. They will usually put their salaries into a joint account and work backwards from there.
There is no right or wrong way to do this but understanding what you both consider is ‘fair’ will save you a lot of arguments down the road.
One thing to watch out for if you choose to keep your own salary is what happens when you have kids.
Usually the burden of parenting falls on one parent more than the other. When this happens, it may not make sense anymore to keep your own salary and you may need to move to option B.
Topic 2: How much of our money do we intend to save?
In life, some people are natural spenders, and some people are natural savers.
For spenders who marry spenders, the natural result is they usually struggle to save.
For savers who marry savers, whilst they save a lot, they struggle to spend their money and enjoy it.
Finally, when a spender and a saver marry, this can lead to chaos.
How much you choose to spend and how much you choose to save really should depend on your goals.
When I’m talking about savings, I’m not talking about saving for a holiday or a new car, I’m talking about paying down the house and working towards financial freedom saving.
Agreeing on a set amount you intend to spend and amount you intend to save can solve a lot of future problems if this isn’t discussed.
Topic 3: Are we going to financially support either of our parents?
This is one I bring up in most new client meetings and in nearly all instances, it hasn’t been discussed.
For anyone who has parents who may struggle during retirement, having a discussions on how you will support them as a family can solve some problems.
I hope this has been helpful. I could go on for days outlining topics to discuss so if you’re interested, let us know on Bounce Financial’s Instagram and I’ll do a part 2.