3 Financial Habits Couples Need for a Strong Relationship
by Lyle Daly | Aug. 20, 2019
For most couples, money isn't exactly their favorite subject. It can be a source of tension, and occasionally it's an outright battlefield, causing all kinds of stress and arguments between partners. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Finances can be something that strengthens the bond between you and your partner. All it takes is for you both to commit to a few good financial habits.
When we researched the financial timeline of relationships, we asked respondents in relationships their top financial advice for new couples. Based on those responses, we've pinpointed the three most important financial habits every couple needs to share.
1. Open communication
The one thing you and your partner absolutely can't do without is open communication about money. Here are the pieces of financial advice related to communication and how many of our respondents suggested each one:
- Be honest about purchases (66.8%)
- Be open about your financial situation (58.2%)
- Conduct weekly money meetings (11.5%)
While not everyone thought that weekly money meetings were a necessity, honesty about purchases and openness about your financial situation topped the list as the most popular pieces of advice.
You need to have trust for a strong relationship, and being open about money is one way that you build trust. It shows you respect your partner enough to be honest with them, and that also encourages them to do the same.
Lying about purchases or acting secretively about your financial situation, on the other hand, can make it more difficult for your partner to trust you. As anyone who has experienced it can attest, once trust between two people is broken, it's very difficult to rebuild.
2. Work on financial goals together
Our respondents offered quite a few pieces of advice that involved working together to reach financial goals, including:
- Prioritize paying off debt (56.8%)
- Set financial goals (52.7%)
- Build an emergency fund (46.9%)
- Save for retirement (36.6%)
- Plan for retirement (29.4%)
While all these suggestions are a bit different, they revolve around the same concept of attacking your financial goals as a team.
The advice that you and your partner follow depends more than anything on where the two of you are at financially. If either of you has debt, then that should be the priority, because paying it down will reduce stress and free up more money to focus on your relationship. After that, saving for an emergency fund is a good idea, because it will help you stay calm even when dealing with sudden expenses.
Not only does working together allow you and your partner to reach financial goals more quickly, but it will also bring you closer together.
3. Smart spending
The final financial habit we suggest is being smart about how you spend money. Our respondents mentioned this idea in a couple ways:
- Monitor spending (56.3%)
- Design a joint budgeting sheet (53.1%)
These are habits that you hopefully already had when you were single, but once a relationship gets serious, it's good to start practicing them with your partner.
Even if you decide to keep separate bank accounts, it's still smart to put together a joint budget and check spending regularly. It helps facilitate communication between the two of you, and it can also help you both stay on track towards the financial goals you're working on.
In addition to those benefits, these tips also make it more likely that you both spend money wisely. That could prevent potential problems, such as one partner spending way too much, before they start.
Three keys to a happy relationship
The great thing about these financial habits is that you and your partner can adopt all of them regardless of how much money you make or your current financial situations. None are difficult to follow; they just require you both to be open with each other about money.
While good financial habits won't guarantee a perfect relationship, they certainly make it much more likely that you'll both be happy. You'll avoid a lot of fights about money, and each habit can make your relationship stronger.
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