While it isn’t the most romantic subject, talking about money with your partner is necessary if you want to live in financial harmony.
Once you get married or move in with your partner, focusing on areas of agreement can lead to a sense of harmony. That said, while you and your partner may agree on everything from what’s for dinner to favourite movies, it’s possible that your financial styles won’t match. One of you could be a disciplined saver while the other one is a big spender.
Don’t worry—this isn’t an uncommon situation! Luckily, working with a QAFP® professional or CFP® professional can help you find a balance between your financial styles.
Making your finances a priority as a couple is crucial to building financial harmony. The first step is having an open and honest discussion with your partner about your individual and combined finances. Being transparent about your expenses, debt, savings goals, and financial styles early on can help reduce conflict and feelings of resentment down the road.
“Talking about money when times are good is more likely to lead to a positive outcome, rather than leaving it until things come to a head,” says Alim Dhanji, a CFP professional and financial advisor with Assante Wealth Management in Vancouver, B.C.
It’s a discussion you should have with your partner sooner rather than later, he notes. “Mismatched financial styles really don’t matter as long as a couple can find common ground. Budgeting and establishing goals together can help bridge the gap between a spender and a saver.”
Below, Dhanji shares four easy tips for how you and your partner can start enjoying improved financial well-being together.
It can be as simple as writing down expenses on a calendar or using a spreadsheet or app to track your finances. Review the numbers together regularly and identify areas that may need addressing if you hope to reach your goals. For example, dining out may have to be cut to save for a first home, a retirement fund, or another joint goal.
Typically, one person is the keeper of all household bills. The problem is, if circumstances change for any number of reasons, one partner is forced to re-establish their credit rating. This can make it difficult to obtain a loan, lease a car, or rent an apartment in the future.
Everyone hopes to achieve happily ever after with their partner. So, it may be difficult to discuss what each party would want to hold onto if a breakup were to occur. While not the most pleasant conversation, deciding what would happen to the house, shared investments, and pets under these circumstances will make a split less stressful if it happens.
An objective CFP professional or QAFP professional can guide you through all the financial considerations associated with long-term romantic partnership, including the uncomfortable ones. Your financial planner can also help you develop a road map for achieving shared goals. These may include owning a home, welcoming children, and enjoying a financially sound retirement, as a few examples.
Becoming a couple doesn’t have to mean completely changing your financial style or giving up the things you enjoy in life. Fortunately, creating a plan with the help of a professional financial planner can help you find the financial path that’s right for you both. With this helpful tool, you can enjoy life to the fullest together, right from the start.
To find a CFP professional or QAFP professional who can help you and your partner achieve financial harmony, use our Find Your Planner tool.