Couples can reach their shared goals by keeping their finances healthy.
Whether they’re saving for a house or a holiday or seeking to grow or preserve their family wealth, couples can reach their common goals by managing their money well. Here are some practical tips on managing finances together.
Talk about it
It’s important for couples to talk to each other about their finances and how to manage them, to avoid potential conflict. Discuss your financial situation and goals, and any concerns you may have. The American Psychological Association also suggests talking about your beliefs about money to help you better understand each other and set the stage for healthy conversations.1
Couples often have different priorities, but this doesn’t mean you can’t set common financial goals and work together to save for them. Keeping an open line of communication about your aspirations may help you adjust your priorities to achieve your shared goals.
Divvy up responsibilities
Sharing responsibilities for paying for your expenses and building your savings may help ensure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to financial matters. You may opt to split those responsibilities equally or put one person in charge of most of them. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important that both partners are happy with the decision.
Create a budget
A budget usually tracks your spending on a weekly or monthly basis. But if this is too restrictive, you may simply agree on a plan on how you will spend – and save – your money.
Build your funds
If you are married or in a de facto relationship, you may want to consider helping each other build your retirement funds. You might explore contributing to your partner’s superannuation account if your partner is not working or earns a low income.
But before you make such an arrangement, it is wise to get professional advice on how it works. Your financial adviser may talk you through the rules of spouse contributions and the requirements to become eligible for a tax offset.
1 The American Psychological Association, ‘Happy couples: How to avoid money arguments’. Available at http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/money-conflict.aspx.
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