Navigating the delicate balance between individual and shared financial goals in a relationship can be challenging. To help you find the right approach, we've gathered nine expert tips from founders, CEOs, and other professionals. From communicating and budgeting together to allocating income for individual and shared goals, these insights will guide you toward financial harmony in your relationship.
Tips for Creating Individual and Shared Financial Goals in a Relationship
Communicate and Budget Together
Balancing individual financial goals with shared goals can be tricky in a relationship. One tip I can offer is to have open and honest communication about your financial values and priorities. This means discussing your long-term goals, such as saving for a house or retirement, and your short-term goals, such as paying off credit card debt or taking a vacation together.
It's important to work together to create a budget that supports your goals while prioritizing your shared goals. Additionally, it's helpful to regularly revisit your financial plan and adjust it as needed to ensure you are both on track to achieving your goals.
Georgi Todorov, Founder, ThriveMyWay
See my feature in How to Begin the Process of Combining Finances
Allow Individual Spending Freedom
Allocate a certain amount of money every month that you can each spend on whatever you want, no questions asked. This way, you don't feel guilty about spending money on a hobby or indulgence, and it also helps prevent any resentment from building up.
Of course, this doesn't mean you shouldn't plan and budget together for bigger expenses like vacations or buying a house. But having some wiggle room for individual spending can make the whole process feel less restrictive and more enjoyable.
Remember - money doesn't have to be a source of stress in your relationship.
Johannes Larsson, Founder and CEO, JohannesLarsson.com
Adopt a "Yours, Mine, Ours" Approach
Using a "yours, mine, and ours" approach to budgeting and financial management can help individuals maintain financial autonomy while contributing to shared expenses and priorities. This approach can help prevent conflicts over money and promote a sense of fairness and balance in the relationship.
For example, each individual can have their own personal account for individual expenses and then contribute a certain amount to a joint account for shared expenses such as rent, utilities, and groceries. This way, both individuals can maintain some control over their personal finances while also contributing to shared responsibilities.
Roy Lau, Co-founder, 28 Mortgage
See my feature in 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Get a Joint Bank Account With Your Partner
Understand and Align Money Perspectives
Building a solid financial foundation in a relationship requires a deep understanding of each other's distinct money perspectives. Acknowledging and adapting to the individual money personalities within the couple is vital. By doing so, couples can balance their personal financial goals and the shared objectives they aim to achieve together.
This approach fosters harmony, cooperation, and effective financial management. It also promotes improved communication, enabling couples to navigate financial decisions more quickly and clearly. This understanding and alignment ultimately create a stronger financial footing, nurturing a healthier and more resilient relationship.
With this in mind, couples should work together to create a financial plan that is mutually beneficial and promotes their shared goals.
Hilary Kozak, VP of Marketing, LivSmooth
Practice Monthly "Money Dating"
One tip to balance personal and shared financial goals in a relationship is to practice "money dating."
Once a month, sit down with your partner for a "money date." This isn't the typical dinner-and-movie night; it's a dedicated time where you discuss your financial situation, individual financial goals, and shared goals. It's like a meeting but casual and relaxed.
On these money dates, you can share updates about your personal financial goals and discuss progress on your shared goals. This practice helps balance personal and shared goals and encourages regular communication about finances, which is often overlooked in relationships.
Remember, the idea is to keep it light and open. This isn't a time for accusations or heated arguments. The goal is to understand each other better financially, align your goals, and move forward together.
Simon Niklaus, Founder, simonniklaus.com
Support Each Other's Financial Goals
Couples should acknowledge and respect each other's autonomy and individual financial goals to create a healthy balance between shared and individual financial goals. By supporting each other's financial endeavors, individuals will feel valued, which can lead to a stronger relationship.
For example, if one partner wants to save for a down payment on a house while the other wants to invest in a new business venture, they can allocate their respective funds accordingly while contributing to shared expenses and goals.
Ben Lau, Founder, Featured SEO Company
Prioritize Regular Financial Discussions
Regular financial discussions are my best tip for balancing individual financial goals with shared goals in a relationship. Openly talking about your individual and shared goals can foster understanding, set clear expectations, and establish a unified financial plan.
During these conversations, discuss your financial aspirations alongside shared objectives like homeownership, vacations, or retirement plans. By acknowledging and respecting each other's goals while working towards shared ones, you can build a healthy financial life catering to both partners' needs and aspirations.
Michael Sena, Founder and CEO, SENACEA
Embrace Financial Empathy
Often, financial disagreements stem from a lack of understanding of each other's financial perspectives, priorities, and anxieties.
Financial empathy involves understanding your partner's financial goals and appreciating the values, experiences, and aspirations that shape these goals. It means creating a safe space for open, judgment-free conversations about money. This might require patience, as money can be a sensitive topic, riddled with personal insecurities and societal pressures.
Once you've established this mutual understanding, creating a financial roadmap that respects individual goals while working towards shared dreams is easier. This might involve compromise, prioritization, and setting timelines.
For instance, you may allocate a certain percentage of your income towards shared goals like buying a home or saving for a vacation. At the same time, another portion goes towards individual goals like starting a business or pursuing further education.
John Cammidge, PPC Trainer, Jcammidge
Allocate Income for Individual and Shared Goals
One tip for balancing individual financial goals with shared financial goals in a relationship is to allocate a portion of income towards individual financial goals and another portion towards shared goals. This allows each partner to pursue their own financial objectives while contributing to shared goals such as a joint savings account or a down payment for a house.
For example, partners could allocate 70% of their income towards shared goals and 30% towards individual goals. This ensures that both individuals are working towards their financial goals and prevents resentment or conflict surrounding money.
Jason Cheung, Operations Manager, Credit KO