Valentine’s Day is next week, and what better time of year than to sit down with your partner and talk about your financial goals as a couple and make plans for your monetary future?
The first step in achieving your financial goals together as a couple, is to talk to each other. Communication is one of the most significant components of any relationship, and discussing your finances together is super important. As you’re both talking, you’ll each want to mention the goals you both have for the two of you, your individual financial goals, and be sure to jot everything down or save them on a note in your phone or on the computer.
As you’re discussing, be sure you’re each respectful of what the other is saying. If you don’t understand something, ask questions – but you never want to make your partner feel bad about one of their goals or that it’ll never happen. Your financial situation as a couple is something you’ll both need to communicate about, see what’s realistic and what isn’t, and find ways to achieve your goals together.
Once your financial goals have been agreed upon and written down, it’s time to prioritize the order of how and when to achieve them. An important component of prioritizing your goals together is to decide which ones are must-haves, and which ones are nice-to-haves. For example, if your family is growing and you no longer have the space to live in a condo – buying a single family home would be a must-have goal. An annual cruise vacation is a nice-to-have. You’ll both also want to do the same with your individual goals.
Another part of prioritizing is how long it might take to reach your goals. Short-term goals are typically ones that can be completed in under a year (for instance, buying new appliances for your kitchen). Long-term goals typically take anywhere from 3-5 years or more to accomplish (boosting your retirement savings or renovating your home). Once you’ve prioritized your list, you’ll want to choose the first goal to achieve. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this, just as long as you both are on the same wavelength.
Now it’s time to plan out how you’ll achieve your financial goals together. The best way to do this is to be specific about what the goal is, measure the goal and track your progress, decide on a way to attain your goal, be realistic about if it’s possible to achieve this goal, and set a time for when you’d like to have the goal completed by. Once your goals are planned out, you can officially begin to put money aside and start working on achieving them as a couple.
Check in on your progress
Once your plan is set and you’ve begun working on your financial goals, it’s important to keep track of your progress and potentially reconfigure your plan if you need to. You’ll want to do this at least once a month if possible. For example, maybe you both have realized you didn’t save as much money during a certain month and didn’t meet your monthly savings goal – but when you went back and reviewed your expenses, you saw that you went out to dinner or bought takeout several times a week. For the next month, try to plan to eat at home instead of dining out. You can meal prep together and plan all your meals in advance so you don’t get tempted to order out if you both come home too tired to cook one night. It’s okay to make mistakes and readjust your budget together – the most important thing is that you are both monitoring your spending, communicating, and changing your financial habits for the better moving forward.
As always, the team at First Financial can help you better manage your money and reach your financial goals. Call us at 732.312.1500 or stop by any of our local branches.
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Article Source: CUInsight.com