4 MONEY HABITS FOR COUPLES

 4 MONEY HABITS FOR COUPLES

‘Money is the number one cause of discord in most romantic relationships. Stay ahead of the curve by following our recommended money habits that will save you and your spouse a lot of heartache.’
Money. That one word rules our lives. From the time we become able to talk coherently and express our wishes for material things, the knowledge of money flows into our brains. And then, once we start earning we must all keep a tab on our finances. Save, invest, spend, have a good life, earn more, spend more, get that promotion, go up in life, and so on and so forth.
In our romantic relationships too, money plays a huge role. More conflict occurs between spouses over money than over anything else. Today we’ll give you a list of habits that you can put into action as a couple to smoothen some of those ruffled feathers.
1. Agree on a saving rate
Different people have different priorities. For some, the security that comes with planning for the future is important. Others prefer to live in the moment and not worry too much about the future. Being in the extreme is bad no matter which way you swing. So sit down with your partner early on in the relationship and agree upon a saving rate together. The saving rate is a percentage figure that you both agree to save out of your income every month. Aim for an absolute minimum of 10%, and go up as high as 30%. Whatever number you agree upon, make sure you stick to it without getting tempted to spend it.
2. Agree on a spending rate
After all, life is not just about looking at the future. It is also about living. Have a meeting with your partner every now and then to ascertain their spending goals and to align your goals with theirs. Spending can happen on entertainment, leisure, art, travel, essentials that are to be bought for the house etc. Draw up a spending plan for each month together, and like you did for the saving rate, decide together upon a spending rate, which is again a percentage of your income. Do not go over 30% of your income by any means. For most people, 20% is a healthy spending rate.
3. Agree on investment timelines and approach
Sometimes, couples can go through a bad time when one person assumes the role of the ‘investor’ and allocates funds to different vehicles without the knowledge of the other person. Generally, this is the male in a family. To avoid distance and ignorance, make sure that your partner always knows what your investment approach is, what your goals are, and more importantly, what your timelines are. At any given time, both you and your partner should know exactly how much of your wealth has been invested in which asset, for what purpose, and aligned to what financial goal.
4. Prioritise together
As your savings grow and the question of prioritisation comes in, take your partner along with you on the ride. For some, saving for children’s education may be more important, while others may be more comfortable allowing their children to take an education loan and instead save for their own retirement. There are no right or wrong answers with many of these, so talk to your partner, discuss the pros and cons of each approach, and decide together where funds are best utilised.

Daisy Akhtar

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