Relationships alone can be difficult. Introduce the topic of finance and things can really start to get interesting. Money ranks as one of the top most fought over subjects in relationships so there is no question that it should be discussed with your significant other if it hasn’t been already. Open communication in any subject can save you a lot of heartbreak and frustration, so it is no surprise that this concept applies to finances in relationships as well.
Fortunately, getting everything out on the table and communicating openly about your personal finances is a relatively easy task, especially if you are in a committed relationship. Many people may see finances as one of the subject areas that does not need to be shared, but if you are on the road to marriage, chances are you will share your finances eventually. Knowing what each other’s goals and habits are when it comes to money will make this transition much easier.
Review Your Expenses Together
In almost any process, the first step is to analyze the current state. When it comes to personal finances, this means categorizing your purchases and outgoing money to determine just how your money is being spent from month to month. This is not only an eye opening exercise on a personal level, but it definitely sheds light on how your significant other views their finances.
Determine What Your Joint Goals Are
The fun part of sharing your finances with a significant other is communicating each other’s goals. It is a good way to plan for the future and perhaps brainstorm ways of collaborating and helping your significant other reach his or her goals sooner.
If your relationship is at the stage where it makes sense to share certain items, this can possibly end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Taking advantage of deals on utilities such as family plans and family discounts might make sense if you are on the road to joining your lives anyways. Not to mention the efficiency that comes with sharing finances and bills is valuable in and of itself.
Create a Budget
The most important ingredient in financial success is creating a budget. After a thorough analysis of cash flows is done and you have openly communicated goals to each other, you can start to build a budget that works for both you and your significant other. This should not be viewed as anything but an opportunity to be on a level playing field with your finances and perhaps save a little money in the process.
As is the key in any relationship, the most important thing to do is to communicate frequently and openly. Even if it may not seem important to you, it may still be a good idea to share with your significant other. Money is a touchy subject, and the last thing you want is for your otherwise healthy relationship to suffer because of it.