It is crucial to be on the same page as your spouse when it comes to finances. While you may think that it is easy to discuss finances as they come up, the reality is that life often gets in the way and these discussions move to the backburner. In order to keep communication open, it is a good idea to institute regular financial planning dates with your spouse. Here is what you need to know about implementing this strategy.
How to Prepare
You do not want to head into your financial planning date unprepared for the conversation that lies ahead. Financial experts recommend downloading and printing a pre-made financial worksheet to help keep you on task and make sure you’re looking at the right data. Be sure that you have access to all your accounts with you at the meeting. You will need to know exact numbers so that you can put an accurate budgeting plan in place. Be sure to go into the meeting with the mindset that this is a partnership, both parties will need to be flexible.
What to Talk About
There is no shortage of important issues to discuss when out on your financial date, according to Ramit Sethi. The first thing to go over is your mutual long-term financial goals. Laying these out in detail will provide a solid, guiding framework to direct your efforts. Your short-term goals should all work toward meeting your life financial goals. Once these are all in place, you can begin creating a budget. Other issues to discuss include rules on how much you can spend without consulting your partner, investment strategies and financial tasks specific to each person.
How Often to Follow Up
Despite the best-laid plans, it is easy to fall into complacency when it comes to sticking to a budget. For this reason, it is a good idea to make regular dates to re-evaluate your financial goals and processes. This consistency will ensure that your goals are kept on track. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that once you have had your initial date, you can simply touch base as needed. Monthly meetings, away from the distractions of home life, will yield the best results for your financial future together.
Keeping an open dialogue about finances is a major key to a happy and healthy relationship. Not only will your bank account reward you for this diligence, but so will your overall relational satisfaction.
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