Couples and Money- Work Together To Make The Most Of Your Money (Part 1)
Each make good salaries and, somehow, they’ve managed to divy up the household bills to their satisfaction. Both are comfortable that they have their financial lives in decent order, especially compared with their friends. However, neither knows what the other has in their bank accounts, RRSP’s or other investments (if any). They have little trouble paying their monthly bills and have some left over for “fun stuff” like entertainment and a small trip each year. Sarah, a marketing manager for a large, international company earns a fair bit more than Andy, a web designer for a small technology company. Therefore, Sarah, has felt compelled to pay the lion’s share of the family expenses.
Andy and Sarah feel fortunate that their lives are progressing well. Neither is very interested in personal finance or investing. “There is much more to life than worrying about money”, Sarah says. “The last thing I want to be doing on a Saturday afternoon is wading through my bank balances or investments” Andy declares. They are adamant; “We do not want to be one of the many couples we know that fight about money.”
On the other hand, the couple wonders if they could be doing more with their money? “We have big dreams although we’re not necessarily on the same page yet” says Sarah. They’re thinking of starting a family- a big step that Sarah is more comfortable with than Andy. And, they’d love to travel more but realize that it may need to wait. Andy admits that their large mortgage is a bit concerning to him. The sooner they become debt-free, the faster they could have money for more important things.
Andy and Sarah tell me they are in it for the long haul and willing to make whatever sacrifices are needed. Their marriage and happiness are the most important things to both of them. They’ve read many scary statistics on money problems and divorce and are determined NOT to become one of them.
Immediately, I am impressed with the maturity of this young couple. They are optimistic about the future yet realistic at the same time- great role models for other young couples. While they don’t share all the same goals, they recognize the value of teamwork. Sarah asks “Have we been ignoring our money for too long to avoid tackling differences that might arise between us”?
It pays to know where you stand as a couple. Teamwork is as important to your personal finances as it is to success in your career or on the soccer field. It’s a critical ingredient for long term financial success. A well-understood strategy that each partner is on board with can go a long way to making the most of your money together.
I’ve really enjoyed working with Andy and Sarah. And, I’m hoping to enlighten you, too, with some common findings around couples and money. Over the next few weeks, I’ll explore things that Andy and Sarah have learned and hope to do differently with their money. Who knows what you might find out, so stay tuned. Ideas to maximize your wealth as a couple can never hurt any relationship!
Next week: Ways to improve Andy and Sarah’s banking and credit habits
Photo courtesy of romanticactoftheday.blogspot.com