This will probably be hard for some people to believe, but the best thing my husband and I have done for our relationship was to start communicating about money.
As I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I started budgeting about 6 months into our marriage… and learned just how much we didn’t know about each other’s financial goals. I know it sounds crazy, but we were fortunate to have some early financial issues that caused us to get serious about living debt free and saving for the future. Was it pleasant at the time? Not so much. But it did cause us to have frequent important conversations that allowed us to change our mindset from individual goals and develop shared goals for the future of our money.
The thing is, after we started talking about money issues, it opened up our lines of communication everywhere. It brought amazing conversations about places we’d like to visit, home ownership, and the number of children we’d like to have. In short? We found that after we could speak freely about money, we could speak freely about almost anything.
The most important thing we do is have weekly budget meetings on Sunday nights. Although they are much shorter these days, they allow us to ensure we are on track for the week and keep everyone’s expectations in line. A lot of time, I feel like I’m the “no” person in our relationship, but if we have our budget meeting, we both know what kind of entertainment funds we have available for the week and it’s easier to stay on track together.
I don’t believe communication about budgeting is strictly for married folks, but I do believe that it’s especially important when you are in a relationship. Being on the same page financially will avoid a lot of issues that can arise. Here are a few great questions to ask each other and get your financial communication started:
What are your travel dreams?
What would you do if money was no object?
What do you want to do when you retire?
When do you want to own a home?
Are there any major purchases you’d like to make at some point?
What do you think our net worth is?
Money is one of the topics that many couples fight about, so the earlier you start, the better! If you are on the same page, there is a lot less to argue about.
Do you have any tried and true communication tips for budgeting?