1 Key to Personal Finance Partnership
There are so many great ideas for improving one’s personal financial situation. But that’s just it. A lot of those tips are for “one,” not for partners. There are some books (e.g. Financial Bliss by Bambi Holzer) and studies out there regarding love and money, but not enough.
However, I personally believe that one simple step, more than everything else, would do more good in a couple’s personal finances than anything else. And in spite of the fact that we teach budgeting every day at the National Financial Education Center at Debt Reduction Services Inc, it’s not a budget.
- Both partners must simply write down mutually agreed upon goals that are then posted where they can be seen by both partners regularly
First of all, this turns the couples’ finances into a team effort. That’s part of a relationship after all, isn’t it? To partner and work together?
If financial goals are not discussed, not agreed upon, not reviewed, not tracked, then finances can all too easily devolve into a competition or, worse, a grudge match. When it comes to money and relationships, rather than one-on-one (where there is only one winner), think one-and-one (where there are at least two winners).
So the next time you think that money is the cause of most divorces in this country, remember that money is a tool. Don’t blame the poor workmanship on the tool.
Here’s a link to our budget planner. It’s still on a budget that I think is most important in marital financial bliss, but rather the shared financial goals. That’s why at the very top of this planner, you’ll find a place to write down 3 financial goals. Write them down and agree to them with your partner. You’ll never regret it.
Director of Education