Original wedding vows include a promise to be together forever, for richer or poorer. In reality, many couples find ‘for poorer’ way too hard. Relationships Australia research showed that financial stress is the number one cause of relationship breakdowns in Australia!
Here are our five tips on how to money-proof your relationship so that this doesn’t happen to you!
Tip #1 – Be united
I believe that the secret to making love and money work together, is to have a shared future. You need to be a team that are united on your goals.
Having shared short, medium, and long-term goals will help you both to create and implement money habits that are going to serve you well, both individually and in your relationships. For example, every year my husband James and I, catch up and review our goals. We talk about what we want to happen this year, next year, five years, ten years.
We talk about everything we really dream of individually and together. These things include travel, lifestyle and large purchases. For example, new cars, house renovations, and the kids’ education. We even talk longer-term, like when we want to retire and how we would like to spend it.
Having the opportunity to share our personal dreams and goals helps us work together to develop our couple and family goals. Then we work together towards implementing the money management habits to enable our family goals to become reality.
I encourage you to have these conversations, and get your goals aligned, so that you can work together on your money management. Agreeing on these goals and setting out habits and behaviours, makes it much easier for you to work together and agree big money decisions that count.
Tip #2 – Take equal interest and responsibility for money management
Some couples try to avoid conflict by having one partner manage the finances and the other partner is left in the dark. This inevitably ends badly! Either one person is left making the financial decisions that impact both of you, or one person is left in the dark about finances and finds it really difficult when they inevitably have to start managing the finances independently, either due to separation or illness or death of a partner.
Did you know that 46% of women feel great financial stress due to managing the family finances! Learn more about this on our blog.
So, if you’re not the partner currently controlling the finances, it is important that you start taking more of an active interest.
Tip #3 – Protect your loved ones
Examine your insurances! Make sure that you and your partner have the correct insurances to protect each other and your children in case something was to happen.
Make sure you also have a valid will that protects each other and your children in the case of an unfortunate incident.
Tip #4 – Implement a regular money date
A regular money date is where you and your partner agree to catch up regularly and discuss your money habits. Look at what’s working well, what’s not. Review your spending. Look at where you can both save. Revisit your goals and dreams that you set, and make sure they’re still relevant.
These are opportunities for you to come together, communicate, and make sure that you’re really working together as a team. This will help you to have a strong financial future together.
Tip #5 – Keep money aside to keep the romance alive
Allow money in your budget to enjoy some special romantic dates and enjoy fun things with your partner. Keeping the romance alive in a long-term relationship can be hard work, and it does take time, effort and sometimes money.
For myself and James, regular fortnightly dates and weekends away really help us to keep our connection and romance strong. I encourage you budget to allow for your date nights so that you can make sure that you can have the babysitting or go to a nice restaurant to enjoy special time with your loved one.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you! If they did, please share them with family and friends who might benefit and comment on how you’ve made love and money work in harmony.
If you are feeling overwhelmed about managing the finances for your household, please contact our friendly team and we would be more than happy to help you!