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How to Navigate Finances as a New Couple

How to navigate finances as a new couple
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Money is one of the most uncomfortable things to talk about for couples. Particularly when you’re dating and trying to put your best self forward, you may not be eager to jump into conversations about finances. However, having those conversations early and often in your relationship can help you and your partner avoid a lot of problems. And it can help you build a stronger relationship in the long run.

If you and your partner are getting serious, it’s time to talk about money. That way, you can discover each other’s financial goals, habits, and overall position regarding finances. And you can air out any differences before they cause a rift in the relationship. Here is some practical information and advice about navigating finances as a couple. 

Approach money talk with grace

Having a conversation about money can expose a lot of emotions. After all, money is the most common cause of arguments between couples.

You and your partner might feel angry, embarrassed or vulnerable while revealing your financial lives. That’s why it’s so important to approach these conversations with love, respect, and open-mindedness.

Furthermore, both of you should share your financial picture so that one is not prying into the other. Remember that money is a touchy subject for many couples, so be gracious with one another!

Navigating finances as a couple

Spending habits

Perhaps the most practical topic to start navigating finances as a couple is your personal spending approaches. No matter how detailed your long-term financial goals are, the day-to-day stuff will ultimately determine your success. You may already have an idea of each other’s spending habits, but it’s essential to know precisely what money you have coming in and what you’re spending.

There are many different ways to manage your daily spending, so talk with your partner about which approach will work best for your relationship. You could keep a journal to monitor every penny, or you could use the 50/30/20 rule to stay on track, among many other budgeting and saving methods. The way your parents dealt with money likely has an influence on how you deal with it, so talk about that too!

Current financial standing

For some couples, talking about how one another feels about their current financial situation can be the most vulnerable. But it’s necessary. Discuss whether or not you have debt and if you have plans in place to pay it off. Most people end up accruing debt to some degree, and getting rid of it will significantly impact the amount of money you have for saving and spending.

If one or both of you have debt, and (e.g., credit cards, car finance, student loans, etc.), take note of the balances and interest rates. Then, come up with a plan for eliminating it. If you don’t have an emergency fund established between the two of you, build up a savings account of at least $/£1,000 for unexpected expenses.

Moreover, determine whether you or your significant other can cut costs or boost your income. If you have experience in a knowledge-based speciality, you could make some extra money by picking up freelance gigs or starting a side hustle. Look to online job boards like Fiverr and Upwork to start building a client base.

Relationship finances

Long-term dreams

Lastly, dreaming together is crucial for any romantic relationship. You and your partner need to know that you are working towards things that will help you navigate finances as a couple and lead healthy, happy lives. Do you want to move in together relatively soon? Maybe you even want to purchase a home in a few years? Start writing down your dreams and savings goals so you can direct your steps accordingly.

For example, you’ll need to save for a deposit to qualify for a mortgage with a good interest rate. You may even want to think about how you can start planning for retirement. Perhaps it’s time to start contributing to a workplace pension, or investment account and pursuing a job with better benefits.

Navigating finances as a couple

Most couples don’t look forward to the money talk, which is why so many avoid it for too long. But if your relationship is getting serious, now is the time to air out any financial differences and develop strategies. Follow the couple finances tips above for a strong start, and remember to treat each other with love and respect as you navigate the challenges ahead!


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Louise Donnelly-Dave
14 days ago

Love this! So important to talk about finances early on in a relationship.

Ashley
14 days ago

Great post! Money is a huge stressor in many relationships. It is so important to be open and talk about your financial habits, debt, and goals as a couple.

Malaika Archer
13 days ago

Talking about finances can be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is important to avoid issues down the line.

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