Coupling Your Finances
7/5/2017 8:55:19 AM



Coupling your Finances

Tips for Talking Money in a Relationship


Finances may not be romantic, but it’s an important topic to discuss with your partner if you’re in a serious relationship or considering taking steps toward a serious relationship. One of the biggest financial mistakes couples can make is hiding financial information from one another. A 2016 survey by the American Psychological Association reported money as a top cause for stress among Americans. But financial discussions with your partner don’t have to be stressful. Below are stress-free tips to help you and your partner achieve and maintain financial success and stability. 

 

Talk openly and honestly about your finances, and make discussion of finances a priority. This includes talking about financial goals, long term and short term. Consider the big items you want to buy or debt you want to pay off. If you struggle with saving money, your partner may be able to help you achieve financial goals. Talk to your partner about spending habits and keep track of future transactions with a budget. Be sure to evaluate the value of purchases and always look for ways to save money. In addition to discussing finances, you should both be managing any shared accounts or responsibilities. Experts advise against situations where only one of you understands the finances. It’s important that you both know where money is being spent. Regardless of whether you’re sharing a bank account with your partner or not, discussing finances is essential for a healthy and long lasting relationship. 


Discuss banking options. Decide if you want to open a joint account, maintain separate personal accounts, or both. Don’t feel obligated to share an account if you’re married. You can each have your own account in addition to one that is shared. This allows for each of you to manage personal spending while sharing joint responsibilities, like household expenses. But if you and your partner plan on merging bank accounts, be sure to discuss a budget.


Use a budget. Whether you’re budgeting your own bank account or a shared account with your partner, a budget can ease stress and allow you to make smart financial decisions. In addition, a budget can act as a visual aid for your spending habits and allow you to see where your money is going. Keeping track of spending habits doesn’t have to be time consuming. There are budgeting apps available to download on your smartphone for quick and easy access to your finances. 


Don’t ignore your finances. If you share a bank account with your partner, you both need to be aware of financial situations. In addition, it’s important to know your credit score. Knowing your credit score can help you set and achieve financial goals. Keeping track of your credit score doesn’t have to be stressful. Many credit card companies offer a free monthly credit score report with statements, and the IRS offers one free credit report a year. Keep track of this score along side your budget. 


Establish a Solid Credit Rating.

Lisa Johnson, Vice President and Mortgage Loan Department Manager at JD Bank, recommends young couples establish a strong credit rating, especially if they plan to buy a home in the near future. She says the best way to build credit is to carry one installment loan, such as a credit union loan; an auto loan; and revolving debt, such as a credit card. "Having these three items will help establish a decent credit score. Each account needs at least twelve months history. Do everything you can to make payments on a timely basis. Also, do not create any new debt just prior to applying for a mortgage or during the mortgage application process.”


Make smart investments for your future. When planning and saving for your financial future, it is suggested by experts to save at least 10% of each paycheck. If you’re interested in investing some of your savings, be sure to discuss investment options and risks with your partner, especially if you’re sharing bank accounts. If one of you isn’t interested in investing due to possible risks, compromise and invest a portion of the money.

Posted by: Felicite Toney | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Finances

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