Talking about finances isn’t always fun, but it’s an important thing for couples to do. If you and your partner take this step, you’ll be glad you did!
Money can be a sensitive subject for any couple. You can agree on everything from movie preferences to dream vacation destinations yet have difficulty deciding on shared financial priorities.
By taking steps to ensure you and your partner are on the same page, you can reduce your stress significantly. Here are a few tips.
To begin the process, think about what’s most important to you. What do you want? Think beyond, “I want to pay off the mortgage.” If the mortgage were paid off, what would you be able to do that you can’t do now? Why would it feel good?
Once you start communicating about what your ideal life looks like, the real conversation can begin.
Having these discussions during a meeting with a Certified Financial Planner® professional or Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professional can be especially helpful. This step will enable you to draw upon the knowledge of an expert as you define your short and long term goals and create a strong financial plan.
Once your goals have been established, creating a clear plan will help you achieve them. Whether or not your goals are the same as your partner’s, work with your financial planner to lay out options for getting from A to B and choose a strategy together.
For example, imagine you both want to save for a big vacation next year. Perhaps you plan to cut down on dining out while your partner would rather find a cheaper place to live. A financial planner can help you develop a plan that will allow you to meet your goals. After assessing your financial situation, they can assist with the following:
Once you’re able to have a conversation about what’s meaningful to you as individuals and as a couple, you’ll be well-positioned to start making decisions.
To start working toward meeting your goals and reducing your financial stress, it’s important to conduct check-ins – both with your partner and with your planner.
The truth is, regardless of gender and sexuality, the two individuals within a partnership may experience financial stress in unique ways.
The data bears this out. According to FP Canada’s 2022 Financial Stress Index, women are more likely to lose sleep over money stress than men (46% compared to 39%).
To reduce financial stress, couples should ensure that they’re communicating about money. Consider the following steps:
Creating a comprehensive financial plan will help you make the best choices for you and your family. At every stage of the conversation, a professional financial planner can help.
To find the right Certified Financial Planner® professional or Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professional, use our Find Your Planner tool.
Sara McCullough, CFP®, is the Owner at WD Development, which offers advice-only financial planning