Start Talking Money with Your Partner Now
So, Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and you're racking your brain to think of a great gift to give your mate… Well, before you break the bank on fancy chocolates and Champagne, we suggest actually TALKING about the bank - because having a money talk is sort of like a fabulous bikini wax - painful at first, but then well worth it!
It's easy to put off these financial convos, so we advise making Valentine's Day your deadline - and since no one wants to have the Money Talk ON Valentine's Day itself, you'd better get on it right now! But where to start? Check out these great tips from our fab friend, President and CEO of Women & Co., Linda Descano! We love her suggestions on how to talk money with your honey:
Talking about money can be an emotionally charged subject, but it's an important conversation for couples to have regularly. No, it's not romantic in the traditional sense. And yes, you may disagree, but it's better to figure out all of the "rules" to your financial relationship before a big bill comes in the mail or a hot financial issue arises. Whether you're a new couple thinking about the next steps or already settled in a happy marriage, it's never too early or too late to have the talk. So remove the emotion by treating the conversation like you would a business meeting: set a date, prepare, and establish some ground rules to help foster a stronger dialogue.
Figure Out Your Financial Styles
Just like you have your own personal style, you probably also have your own financial style. Are you a saver, but your partner lives paycheck to paycheck? What are each of your short-term and long-term financial goals? When do you use your credit cards? The answer to all of these questions can shed some light on your individual financial styles.
Disclose Your Financial Past
When it comes to finances, you can't just bury your past. Be honest and disclose EVERYTHING. Let each other know how much debt you each have, whether or not you have ever filed for bankruptcy, and where you stand financially -in general- in order to create a clearer picture of how you can build a future together.
Along with other legal documents, review who you would each like your beneficiaries to be on life insurance policies, IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans and pensions.
Sharing a Bank Account
It's important to talk about how you plan to share expenses and assets. Decide if you want to open a joint bank account, keep separate accounts, or have a combo of both. There is no right or wrong answer for which is best, it's about what works for you as a couple, but it's healthy to foster an open dialogue so that each of you feels good about the decision.
Who Pays for What?
If you opt for separate accounts, consider how you want to handle the daily finances and who will pay for what. This helps foster a sense of shared responsibility, but it also helps you stay organized and on top of bills.
Set Up a Finance Review Schedule
Once a month go through where you are on each of your accounts- together. And once a year do a "deep dive" into all accounts to review your progress towards your goals.
Keep Love In The Financial Equation
Many thanks to Linda Descano and Women & Co. for these tips on what might seem like a less-than-lovey-dovey topic. Though money is the number one source of conflict for couples, not talking about it is a surer road to divorce court than having a few painful conversations to set you on the right path. You know what they say: Love Hurts! So this week,-show your bank account some love and talk it out with your partner. Trust us- it will save you a lot of heartache - and money - down the road!
Read more at Fabandfru.com