Get on the Same Page Financially (273/365)
Yesterday, we discussed how valuable it is to start off with financial equality in your relationship. There should be one pool of money and an understanding that debts affect both partners in the relationship. Without the trust that is required for this, a relationship will have a hard time.
This solves the issue of making sure there is no sense of inequality in the relationship, but there’s another major challenge that couples have to overcome in establishing their financial path.
Where are you two headed?
One of the most important discussions a couple can have is one that establishes the goals they have in common along with the things they’ll do to get there.
This isn’t just a one-time discussion, either. It’s an ongoing conversation that every couple needs to have.
For starters, both partners need to lay their goals on the table. Where do you each see yourselves in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?
Those visions for the future won’t always be perfectly in sync, and that’s where the discussions begin. Instead of looking at the differences, focus on the things those visions have in common.
For example, I’d love to have a home with a large open “parlor” for guests, with perhaps a kitchenette and a wall full of board games, a big table, and a few chairs and couches along with a television. It’s something I would enjoy.
Sarah? Not so much. Her “big feature” in a home is a very large master bedroom with two walk-in closets and a walk-in shower. It’s not something that appeals to me very much.
What we have in common, though, is a desire to stay in the area we’re at for the time being and eventually move to the country. This is what we have in common, so it’s our focus. What can we do to make sure this becomes a reality?
Sure, I’d love to have a “parlor” and Sarah would love to have a big bedroom, but they just pale in comparison to goals that we both have. When we share a goal, there’s incentive to push each other to the finish line instead of grumbling about the effort wasted toward something one of us doesn’t care about.
Get on the same page. It makes everything else easier.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. Images courtesy of Brittany Lynne Photography, the proprietor of which is my “photography intern” for this project.