Discussing finances is an important aspect of planning your future. Be it your spouse, partner or boy-friend, if you are planning to live with a person, it is always better to have a financial future in-sight. Let’s see the why and how the finances are to be discussed and what are to be discussed.
Why Should You?
It is commonly observed that people hesitate to discuss finances with spouse, partner or fiance. If you work on not letting those financial issues come between you and your partner, you can live happily ever after, because planning makes things simple. It’s been estimated that in 90% of the divorce cases, money is the main leading factor. As prevention is better than cure, the same implies in finances, especially when it relates to savings and expenditure.
Money could symbolize something to someone like security, power, control etc. When you have an idea about the expenditure of the coming month and the money you would be earning, you will plan the spending accordingly. If you are strict with your savings, you need not run for some loan, in need of any emergencies. Remember, emergencies are always sudden and unpredictable. Be it a joint account or a single account, your bank transactions and financial statements should always be there with you. Moreover, the deposits and savings schemes you do should be noted down somewhere else too, which any of you both could use in case the other is unavailable.
How to talk?
You should always find a good mood to talk about finances. Discussing finances with spouse or fiance is an important thing to do. According to a study made at Utah State University, by Jeffery Dew it was found that the couples that fought about money more than once a week were 30 percent more likely to get divorced. So, in order not to fall into that category, please make a move forward to discuss finances with your spouse in a calm way, as early as possible.
Talk finances when there’s no particular monetary issue burning then. Like, you should not talk about savings when your spouse has charged up a storm on the credit card or just blew up your balance. Finances should be discussed before everything of such sort, happens. You both should actually plan for a kind of money date, in order to discuss about budget, investments, savings and retirement plans. Be it your Hall room or a corner table in a coffee shop, discuss your finances where neither of you get distracted by phone calls or emails or children’s tantrums/crying. Dedicate your time completely and focus on the things seriously so as to plan for future, while meeting the needs and comforts. Considering both of your future goals and the needs that are to be attended, plan your budget and savings too.
How the Budget is to be Planned?
Create a realistic budget. Use the words, “we and us” instead of “me and you” while you talk about your budgets. Broach the subject casually. People should actually talk about the finances before marriage. You can initiate your conversations like the ones below.
- Initiate asking with the credit score, like if he/she has checked the credit report lately
- Offer your ideas on financial issues and let them know that you’re not some money-minded person
- If any of you have spent much on something or have some bad habits like spending much on cigars, shopping or drinks etc. discuss them too. Don’t blame upon such issues which could affect your relationship.
- First of all, before beginning the conversation, make a decision on if you are willing to merge your accounts or maintain separate ones.
- Among you both, the person who is financially savvy can manage the accounts.
- Discuss your ideas on savings, investments, travel plans etc. so as to have an idea on how the things should be after your marriage or from the time you both decide.
- Always plan to part your bills, on who will pay which bills, like for electricity bill, water bill, house rent, repaying loans, rents, mortgages etc.
- Always plan your monthly budget bills. Plan every single expense in advance including your individual goals and joint goals too.
- Negotiate with ongoing bills to cut down rate of interest or get rid of fees. Then go back and revise your budget.
- Build an emergency fund, which is an essential thing to do.
Important Things to be Kept in Mind
It is always important to know how we are doing with our daily expenses compared to what we hope to spend in a month. The two important aspects of having a good hold on your monetary things are planning for future and being prepared for some unexpected crisis.
Plan for Future
Our future goals and plans denote our vision. Our financial priorities for the coming year should always be planned ahead. The purchases to be made, the expected expenditures, the savings etc. should all be well planned. Our financial values and our long term goals should be as clear as possible. Preparing financially means to be prepared for everything.
Print your financial documents like credit reports, account balances and credit card debit etc. get an idea on your credits and debts in union. Make sure both of you have a clear idea on what’s going on and how can you work to pay those off to meet your future targets. If anyone of you is planning to do a course or some program oriented to your career growth, plan the finances for that too.
Let your partner know about your bad habits and credit card usages. These bad habits can be included from smoking, excessive drinking etc. to being a shopaholic. Both of you should be aware of the expenses that are inevitable and that need to be cut off. At the same time, don’t point a finger on those bad habits and mark your spouse as a culprit. That hits a big blow on your marriage.
Prepare for Crisis
Emergencies and Crisis are something that comes as a surprise for everyone. We never know what we may come across suddenly in our life. Just in case, what if one of you loses a job? We need to have a backup plan or say it as a plan B of finance. Prepare yourself for the unexpected crisis. Remember the valuable words of Warren Buffet, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work till you die.”
One should expect the unexpected. Both of you should discuss on this. Prepare in advance for any accidents or mishaps to you or in the family. Such events are most likely avoided when planned in advance.
Communication is the Tool
Whatever the topic that has to be conveyed, both of you should be in a peaceful mood. Prepare yourself and your spouse for such kind of discussion in advance, giving some hints that you are interested in planning for future. Fix a date and serene place to discuss. Let them talk about their ideas and you come up with yours. Write all your ideas and plans like investing in stocks or business or something like that. Always, listen to understand, but not to reply. This improves the communication a lot.
Wish you all the best. If you have any queries or need counselling on any aspect like relationships or marital counseling, we are here to help you out. Our expert psychologists can extend a genuine help solving the root cause of the problem. Book an appointment, today.