You are in a relationship with a significant other whose growth you are fully devoted to. You want to protect and provide for each other. You can’t imagine a future without the other. You routinely finish each others’ sentences and think it gets funnier each time it happens. You are definitely ready to plan a special evening dedicated to gazing at each others’ financial souls.
Call me a hopeless romantic! Before combining your resources, knowing that you can live in fiscal harmony is essential.
- Current Financial Condition – Income, Expenses, Assets & Liabilities –“Show me your balance sheet.” Could this actually be a great icebreaker on a date?
- Views on Budgeting and Spending – Does your partner have a huge nest egg, but no ‘stuff’ like jewelry, tools, a board game…anything even remotely for fun only? Or, does his or her budget philosophy sound more like this: “I’ve got to have cable, a smart phone and restaurant lunches. I may be a little late on the rent since I don’t get paid this week.”
- Savings and Investment Temperament – How do each of you view risk and return? How knowledgeable are you about your current investments and your investment options?
- Your views on how to manage debt and credit –When you marry someone, you are also marrying their credit rating. If your partner has poor credit, you could both end up paying a higher interest rate when buying a home or getting any other joint loans.
The good news is you are not alone when it comes to preparing for a healthy financial future. A wealth of resources exists to help you with managing money and credit, including interactive games and quizzes.
Once you’ve developed an enduring relationship with your partner, you may also consider developing a combined relationship with your bank by consolidating your accounts with one institution. This is an easy way to have access to information on all your deposit and loan accounts. Your banker can also meet with you to discuss your long- and short-term financial goals and help you achieve them.
It’s true that money can’t buy happiness, but having open and honest discussions about money is a key to happiness in a relationship.
What are your suggestions for building a financially healthy relationship?
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