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12 Financial Habits for Couples



1. Increase How Much You Can Earn


According to a 2017 GoBankingRates survey, two-thirds of young millennials have less than $1000 in their bank accounts, and about 46% have nothing at all. This number decreases for older millennials. It is important to realize that the costs of living only seem to be rising, and as you grow and possibly create a family or achieve or couple goals, you will need to have a substantial amount saved up.



2. Talk Things Through


Conversations with your partner about how you use money are crucial. Someone who is poor at saving and investing can break down the resolve of someone who is more committed, if there is little to no teamwork involved in this aspect of the relationship. Sometimes, how a person spends money can be tied to unresolved issues regarding authority and being in control; this can have a great effect on the quality of the relationship overall.



3. Share Your Own Personal Goals


Be sure to share your own goals and what you would like to accomplish. Once you and your partner are on the same page financially, it becomes easier to support each other’s individual efforts, and makes the couple goal of being frugal more enticing.



4. Socialization Matters


It has been found that how a child learns about money while growing up with their parents significantly impacts their habits as they become older and have relationships of their own. This means that if parents don’t make a habit of teaching their offspring as they grow, then they are left to assume for themselves and learn from other sources that are possibly less reliable. A study, for example, found that Asian American parents tend not to discuss finances with their children; however, parents of international students travelling to America from Asia were given more direct and explicit instructions regarding financial care.


5. Listen to Each Other’s Needs


It has been found that in a traditional households, the wife tends to be more financially disadvantaged than her husband, no matter who is in control of managing the money. If the husband is in charge, he tends to have a greater say in the budgeting and ends up with more personal funds. If the wife leads, she takes on more sacrifices in terms of acquiring things for herself. However, it was also noted that when the husband makes significantly more money, the household tended to be more financially stable.



6. Deal With Debt Together


In order to build trust, be transparent about the debt you may have incurred; statistics show that in 86% of marriages, at least one person has debt. The more frank and honest you are in these discussions, the easier it will be to clear away what you owe and work on your financial goals together.



7. Try a Joint Account, or Joint Credit Card


A recommendation for those who are hesitant about joint accounts is to try a joint credit card for at least 6 months. The bill can be split between both people, and can be paid off using your separate chequing accounts. If things seem under control after this timeframe, then going for a joint account can be the next logical step. This can be used for payments such as the rent, home utilities, etc.


8. Discuss How to Split the Bills


Every relationship is different, and this also extends to how one can split the bills for the home. Generally, a 50/50 split may be suggested; however, it is possible for one partner to pay much more or much less. Other factors will need to be considered, such as who takes care of the household engineering (cleaning, cooking, etc). The partner doing more housework can agree to pay a lower amount per month.



9. Have a Team Finance Meeting on a Regular Basis


If you own a joint account, you can meet once a month; if you have separate accounts, then it would make sense to meet more often so you can really be in sync. These meetings help to keep you both on the same track in terms of your financial standing.



10. Have an Emergency Fund


In preparation for any accidents or unexpected situations that may arise, it is advisable that couples plan ahead and have a substantial amount set aside. This way, you can both be prepared for when you have stressful time periods in your lives, and this will strengthen your bond and trust in each other.



11. Seek Professional Help


It is good to consider going to counselling or therapy together. Having an expert point out why you have some of the habits and thoughts that you do can greatly increase your understanding of how you think and act. This ties in greatly to how much money you can earn and keep, and how best to communicate with your partner about financial issues.



12. Consider a Prenup


One study found that among millennial married couples, about 14% of them have a prenup; boomers, in comparison, only amount to about 3%. This conversation may be difficult to have, but if you can be honest about all that you risk by entering into marriage (assets, debt, savings, etc) then you can move forward much more confidently with this decision, knowing that you will be protected in the case that divorce does happen.



The Takeaway


Paying attention to these 12 Financial Habits will greatly improve your individual life, and life with your partner as well. They encourage accountability, integrity, honesty, stability and security. We wish you all the best!


Sources:

1. Yoni Blumberg, “Dating an Over-Spender Actually Lowers Your Quality of Life, Science Confirms”. Cnbc.com. April 6, 2018

2. Kevin Cross, “Balancing Values: How Attitudes about Money Affect Relationships”. Research.umn.edu. May 30, 2019

3. Candance Manriquez Wrenn, “Study: Managing Money Together Can Lead To A Happier Marriage”. News.azpm.org. December 19, 2018

4. Maggie Puniewska, “9 Money Secrets of Happy Couples”. Realsimple.com. May 12, 2020

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