From first dates to financial goals: Money tips for relationships

19 February 2024 by Lifetime

From first dates to financial goals: Money tips for relationships

Navigating the exciting waters of romance? Brilliant! But here's the not-so-sexy bit: let's talk money. 

Discussing dough isn't exactly the highlight of a budding relationship, but it's crucial if you want your love story to thrive in the long run.

Why bother?

Well, money troubles are like jointly assembling flat pack furniture – they can cause a real strain. In fact, research in 2020 suggests that about one in five Kiwis reckon money woes put pressure on their relationships. And for those aged 18-34, that number jumps to one in four. 

But it's not all doom and gloom.

Here's how you can tackle the money convo together:

Get your money mindsets aligned

Money's a personal thing, and we all have our quirks about it. Your partner might be a saver, a spender or somewhere in between – and that's okay. Have a talk about how you both view and handle money. This doesn't mean you have to agree on everything but understanding each other's perspectives can make those money chats less of a headache.

Set goals together

Dreaming of a house? Yearning for a world trip? Or eyeing a career switch? It's important to be on the same page about your big goals. Different dreams don't spell disaster, but they do call for communication and planning. Be clear about your goals, timelines and how it'll affect your lives together.

Remember, it's a two-way street – listen to their dreams with an open mind too! If you both know where you want to end up, it makes the journey that bit easier.

Open up about your financial reality

Honesty is the bedrock of any solid relationship. No need to spill your financial beans on the first date or put your salary in your dating bio, but as things get serious, being open about your earnings, debts and credit history matters. This isn't just about transparency; it's about building a foundation of trust and understanding. It helps plan for the future, highlights any hurdles that you may face together and avoids any surprises that could be a strain later.

Create a joint budget (but keep it flexible)

Let's be real: the perks of a relationship go way beyond saving money. You know things are serious when you’re moving in together. It’s a big step in a relationship and exciting for lots of reasons. The money-saving potential shouldn’t be driving this decision. However, sharing costs on things like groceries, rent or getaways is a nice bonus. Pooling your resources can open doors to new experiences and opportunities.

Talking about finances will be important for setting a household budget. How much do you want to spend on rent?

How much do you want to put aside for your long-term goals? What about spending on groceries, bills and nights out? Just like for an individual, having a budget is an exercise in financial discipline. If you can master it, it could help you reach your goals faster.

Just remember to leave some wiggle room in your budget – life's too short for penny-pinching all the time. We all crave independence. And checking in with your partner about every cup of coffee or little luxury can be wearing. You can make a rule that major purchases are discussed but you trust each other to not splash out too often on those $50 buys.

Whether it's your first or fiftieth date, remember that tackling money matters together can strengthen your bond.

So, there you have it. Whether it's your first or fiftieth date, remember that tackling money matters together can strengthen your bond. Honesty, openness and transparency help make a relationship last and money needs to be part of the conversation. Talking and listening in an accepting environment will help keep your shared goals and needs in sight and on target. Plus, it’s way better than having those awkward money conversations down the track.

Article originally published by Booster

Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for the purpose of providing general information, without taking into consideration any particular person's objectives, financial situation or needs. Any opinions contained in it are held by the author as at the report date and are subject to change without notice.

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