Relationships are one of the most fundamental parts of our lives as human beings. We all want a companion in some form, shape and size. But, even though a relationship can be awesome, it can be tricky to get on the same page.
Below we're sharing 3 cornerstone tips on how you can build a healthy budget together as a couple!
We're not here to play Dr Phil or be your relationship guru. But, we do know that getting tripped up on how you manage your finances as a couple can be one of those tricky parts to building the relationship! Who needs the extra tension right?
Fortunately, we took some time and also put together a basic template any couple can use to categorise their finances! It will respect both parties' cash flow, and show you where you can help each other out.
Read our 3 cornerstone tips below, share the infographic with your couple friends, and let's make better financial decisions together :-)
1. It will always come back to communication
Communication is not only the key to a healthy relationship but to the financial success of a relationship as well.
Every couple wants to live a life they desire. Whether it's back-to-nature basic or ultra-luxury, we want to enjoy the lifestyle we dream about! This means you want that pesky budget to tick your lifestyle need boxes.
Communicating and managing expectations (not only expenses) around the income and expenses you both are bringing to the relationship table is key to building a lifestyle you both enjoy.
One thing is certain. Getting home with a fancy HD television set that exceeds your credit facility when your partner was trying to save up for a weekend away, will lead to chaos. Get your tongue un-twisted and communicate about your budget!
2. Cash flow = opportunities
We're all too familiar with the typical "too much month at the end of the money".
Couples have a unique advantage when it comes to managing cash flow. When you bring two or more income streams together, it means you have the opportunity to better balance your total cash flow as a couple.
Sometimes a due date on a bill or a super slick (Black Friday) deal just doesn't work with your cash flow. In this case, two heads are better than one!
Set up your cash flow so that NB debit orders or due bills will go off on a timely manner from the partner who brings in a fixed, dependable income every month. You can allocate other fixed categories to this income stream as well and then turn your second income stream into your average expenses or disposable cash flow stream.
As humans, we can more easily process information when it is broken into understandable and consumable pieces. Doing the above with your cash flow will help you to stick to your budget more effectively. No one wants to sit with a transaction sheet and a bunch of bills at the end of the month and argue about who bought what.
3. Set up goals that match your relationship goals
A ship in the ocean that isn't being steered or that has no course direction will end up anywhere. This is true for relationships as well and especially your finances as a couple.
The simplest way to direct how you spend your money as a couple is to create some financial goals together. Ideally, this should match some of your relationship goals so that your financial wellbeing assists your relationship growth. Ask these simple questions:
- What big purchase would we like to make in the next few months
- What is our ideal lifestyle? Home-cooked dinners or eating out all the time?
- Where do we want to travel a year from now?
- Where should our kids go to school? Can we afford to send them to college if we spend money as we do now?
- What is our ideal home?
- Do we want a better car or a bigger family car?
There are tons of questions you can ask each other when it comes to creating some financial goals. The answers to these questions will help you set up some awesome financial goals. Compare your financial goals with some of these goals below:
- A year from now we want to travel to another country, so we're eating out less every month.
- We want to buy a new car when we start a family so we're spending less on weekend away trips.
- We need a new fridge so fewer takeaway meals and more home-cooked meals.
- I want to treat my partner to an awesome birthday weekend so I am spending less on coffees.
Applying these cornerstone tips will help you to budget better together as a couple. We might have gone a little Dr Phil up there, but we're sure you are going to be thankful as a couple.
Remember, communicate about your expectations, talk about your future and manage your cash flow to get you there ;-) Our couple's budget spreadsheet tool will help you make the journey. Share the infographic below with your friends so we can all grow together!