If you’ve every tried to have a conversation about money with a girlfriend, fiancee, partner, husband or significant other, the best advice you’ll ever receive is “good luck.”
So, in actuality, there are better ways to approach this topic, although you have to keep in mind that most marriages and partnerships struggle with the idea of money, both how to spend, save, budget and all things that go along with it.
The truth is most young, upstart couples simply want to build as much wealth as possible, but that often time is easier said then done. Saving money can be hard enough as it is, and now you have to throw in the potential of having to deal with someone else’s money habits (good or bad) or their philosophy on what they believe to be fair terms as far as how it’s used or, in some cases, abused.
The easiest path is to have that discussion from almost the beginning, when you start to get to that point in the relationship where sharing money and bank accounts is going to be a reality. You want to be sure that you’re not saving for retirement on one hand and spending money hand over fist on the other. You have to have the same goals, and as much as you want to believe that isn’t going to be a make or break endeavor in a relationship, it almost certainly ends up being just that.
The best advice you’ll receive as someone who is new to sharing money with someone is to get as much information and education on the topic as possible. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything or that financial planning is something that the rich or upper class do, and you and your significant other will just “figure it out.”
That thought process is a recipe for disaster and one that you simply can’t move forward with in order to really save the proper way.
The process of budgeting is also paramount in that you can’t just have one person do it, and instead must make this a process for all parties involved. By one person simply going rogue and coming up with what the two of you can spend, you’re not only limiting spending to someone who doesn’t believe money is an issue (which can cause overspending) but also almost turning this into a subtle (and eventually not so subtle) me versus you mentality on money.
Building wealth isn’t something you should overlook, even if the person you’re with wants to just bury their head in the sand. The key to longevity from a relationship mixed with money standpoint is to tackle it head on and know exactly what both of you truly wants financially.
Previous: Easy Does It: How to simply fix your credit score Next: Bad Advice: Why not all advice about money is worth taking