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Money Talks Every Couple Should Have Financial Compatibility

December 30, 2017 Useful Articles

Money affects everything—your career, lifestyle, even your children. It also tends to be at the root of many divorces. Opposites can attract but if partners are opposites in the financial arena, divorce may be more likely to follow. Imagine a conflict, where one is a saver and other is a spender. One is focused on the future while the other believes in living for today. Over time, such disagreements may cause couples to separate.

Here are some crucial topics that every couple can have to keep their hearts and wallets in blissful alignment:

1. Set financial priorities together

It’s important for couples to write their own sets of financial goals to compare where their goals may overlap. List your top concerns, for example, saving for retirement, travel, house rent or monthly auto installments. Once you have your own individual financial goals, you can compare them and create a shared plan but you don’t have to share everything. Some people are spenders, some are savers, for instance, share a bank account, but consider having your own as well. This isn’t a license to keep secrets—financial deception is as damaging as any other kind—but it offers some independence.

2. Expect the unexpected when it comes to career paths

Transition can happen due to loss of job or change in career paths. Suppose you are married to a doctor, who now wants to teach at kindergarten. Or what if one of you is laid off? Couples should ask ‘what if?’ If you build up your savings, you’ll be able to address that question.

Many career changes are actually lifestyle changes; the choice may not be to make more money, but to shrink your budget down to match your salary. There are tradeoffs. If your wife wants to go from being a lawyer to a teacher, it may not be easy to accept, but happiness is as important as a paycheck.

3. Discuss kids—and finances concerning them

The decision to have a child is one of the most significant decisions for all couples. Expectations differ: How many kids? What type of education? Most people want to give their kids the very best, however, experts say if you are spending every last dirham on them, you can’t prepare for retirement or build an emergency fund. And that wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors.

The bottom line is ‘Pick your battles’—or better yet, don’t battle. Couples tend to run over the same ground, and they don’t get anywhere. Go back to your shared goals list once a month or so. It’s a safe way of broaching hot topics that you can then negotiate. And that shared approach is what marriage is all about.

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