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How to be a financially compatible couple

financially compatible couplefinancially compatible couple
financially compatible couplefinancially compatible couple

How to be a financially compatible couple

Every couple has the potential to be financially compatible. It all starts with a conversation, followed by an agreement and words put into action. It’s not always easy to talk about finances when you start dating someone, but as soon as things get serious, you owe it to your relationship to start talking.

Money is one of the main culprits of divorce. Don’t start your relationship or marriage on the wrong financial foot. Follow these steps and you and your partner can be financially compatible and able to tackle anything life throws at you.

 

Talk about money

It’s not easy, comfortable or an average conversation starter, but talking about money in a relationship is so important. If you know that this relationship is more than “just hanging out”, you’re basically living together or you’re literally a few weeks away from walking down the aisle, it’s definitely time to mention salaries. Salaries are an easy place to start. And when you can start taking note of their spending habits versus their income figure, you open a new branch of discussion.

While you’re not sharing any financial responsibilities, it’s easy to say “it’s your money, do what you want”. But when you have rent, groceries, a wedding (quite the expense you’ll come to find) and the like, it becomes “our money” and bad spending habits will have to go. If there are financial decisions that bother you or don’t make sense, confront your partner and ask them about it. They may not even realise the consequences of their spending actions.

But, you know what that means? Once you open that can of worms, you’re exposing yourself to your partner’s opinions of how you handle your finances. But don’t be negative about it. In the future, you’ll need to make financial decisions together, so you may as well start early by sharing your opinions on each other’s spending habits.

 

Don’t lie about debt

A more serious and difficult topic of finance to try and openly talk about are your debts. All the pre-marriage counsellors will tell you that it’s important to be honest about your financial situations and any financial baggage you may be bringing into the marriage.  

You may be ashamed of the student loan, car loan or personal loan debt that you’re still struggling to pay off, but you need to come clean about it. It will affect the relationship in the long run when you keep turning down events because you can’t afford it or feel bad because you can’t spoil your significant other the way you’d like to and they don’t understand why you’re always upset about it.

The minute you’re honest about your debt (or even just your finances in general), your partner will be able to help you. If not financially, they’ll be able to help you figure it out at least. You may both be struggling with debt and not say anything – that is setting your marriage up for failure. You need to be able to talk about the all the issues at hand and work through them together, you’re a team after all.

 

Budget together

Speaking of being a team, at some point you’re going to need to discuss how the finances will work in the household. Who will be responsible for groceries, who will cover the rent, what memberships and amenities you’ll need to organise and so on.

You’ll need to come up with a household budget together where you consider what is absolutely necessary, what needs to be saved every month and where you can afford to treat yourselves every now and then. Make use of vehicle finance calculators and other financial calculators to give you an idea of what to expect from your combined monthly expenses.

The banking options as a married couple usually comprise of a shared account, as well as each person still having their own accounts. Then, the cost of living responsibilities are shared (if both parties are working) or come from the joint account and personal items are bought from the individual’s account.

You will never figure out a system that works for your family unless you talk about it and come up with something together. This is also your opportunity to discuss what each other’s financial values are. What one thinks is important and what another completely disregards as a necessity. By discussing these values, your budget can be comprehensive, realistic and a product of love instead of greed and selfishness.

 

Credit scores are important

Another possibly embarrassing financial situation you’ll need to come clean about, above your debt, is your credit score. Credit scores are important and if you want to get anywhere in this world in your life together, you’re going to need to work on improving your credit scores collectively. It will help when you start looking for a home or want to take out a loan with a kind interest rate.

Working on your finances to be financially compatible should be seen as another aspect of your relationship that the both of you can thrive in. Start as early as possible without it seeming over-eager for a future and you’ll be preparing your relationship to productively handle future financial stress.

financially compatible couple