We are pleased to share with you a special piece from renowned Australian money educator Vanessa Stoykov.
Below, Vanessa discusses ways to help you and your partner get on the same page with money.
3 ways to get your partner on board with money plans by Vanessa Stoykov
I have been asked many times, by both women and men, about how to get your other half ‘on board’ with financial plans that have long-term benefits, but short-term changes seen as sacrifices.
For any harmonious relationship to prosper in terms of money, we all know that both people need to identify a common goal and understand what they need to do to get there.
So often, people just aren’t on the same page with the way they feel about money. Which is why we often see one partner is saving diligently, while the other is spending time at the pub, shopping or eating out. Usually, the saver has identified security—such as a home or an investment, as important to them. Many others, however, choose to live for today and not face their tomorrow just yet. This can create a huge divide in relationships.
I have found there are three essential things you need to do with your partner to have a chance to get on the same page with money. And they have nothing to do with a budget.
1) Step 1 – Identify.
What do you both want from life? In 5 years? In 10 years? Beyond that? A hard question to answer, but it helps if you consider it a game together. Write down three things each on small slips of paper, and then swap them with your partner. (Yes, wine, beer, and nibbles are a fun way to get this vibe going). Read them out and spend three minutes explaining your why, while the other listens. (Time it on your phone). They then get to ask you three questions to clarify. This exercise is going to identify what is really important to each of you. Whether it’s travel, kids, work, legacy, or health and vitality, listen closely to your partner. These are your real clues as to where their money plans are headed.
2) Find common ground.
This means looking at the goals—do they match? Can you both achieve them separately and together? Do your longer-term values feel compatible? If you can carve out a common ground future that makes you both excited, you are ready for the final stage.
3) Put your cards on the table.
What do you both have in terms of debts and savings? What is your realistic potential earnings over the next year or two? How do you feel about your current financial situation? Do you share funds? If not, why not? What is fair in terms of earning and work between you both? How will you manage children if that is part of the plan?
This one is the hardest. It’s realism and life planning at its best. But it works, and it keeps your relationship alive—with a shared vision.
If you can undergo these three steps—no matter how long you have been in a relationship, and get to this point, I believe strongly that it is then time to see a financial planner.
With all this information and your goals, they have the smarts to help you get there.
Wishing you all the best on this journey.
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