Maintaining a successful long-term relationship, and continuing to thrive over the long haul, is a team effort. One key to success is balancing love and money by managing joint finances.
There is no ‘best way’ for couples to manage their money – it depends on what works for them. The truth is many approaches can work, but no matter what approach you choose, open and honest communication is critical as some financial details become intertwined when you’re married.
Three financial topics you and your significant other should discuss to better manage your finances together include:
- Commingling Credit: Once you’re married, your credit score no longer stands alone. Be honest about existing debt, from the beginning, so there are no surprises down the road.
- Drafting a Budget Together: Lay out your joint income and expenses – both combined and separate. Once you have a realistic idea of your cash flow, work together to create a monthly budget that works for both of you.
- Planning for the Future: Be honest about your long-term financial goals. If you want to retire to a secluded log cabin in the mountains or travel the world with your significant other, communicate those dreams so that you can prepare for the future together.
Whether it’s coming up with an investment strategy, a debt payoff plan or a monthly budgeting approach, the most important thing is that you are doing it together. If making an effective plan feels like tricky terrain, a CFP® professional can help you and your partner clarify your goals and get on the right track together. Communication is key. From there, it’s about managing your money as a team.
This blog post is originally posted on LetsMakeAPlan.org.