There are 3 critical discussions you need to have with your spouse or partner – being a parent –to ensure a financially sound and happy home life. Whether you’re newly married or been together for decades, these 3 topics are essential and if you’ve haven’t already, you should set aside some time to go over and discuss viewpoints on each.
There is no right or wrong answer but rather your answers will reflect your thoughts, dreams, goals, outlook for the future. While the ideal of course would be for the 2 of you to share the same viewpoints; a difference of opinion isn’t catastrophic, it just means you need to work to find a mutually agreeable compromise.
Whatever the outcome of these conversations is, it’s important to be completely honest and communicate openly with each other sharing your thoughts. One of the most toxic things in a relationship is unspoken unfulfilled expectations and assumptions.
You’re together for love, so what does money have to do with it? Well unfortunately money problems are the number 1 reason for divorces worldwide. Taking the time to plan out goals together can help you cross over and navigate this potential minefield. When both of you have the same goals and you begin to view them as ‘Our Goals’ then you create a unity of purpose that is powerful foundational bedrock for your relationship. I urge you to not only have this conversation but to actually commit to and write these goals on paper. On top of that come back to these goals from time to time to refresh them in your memory or revise them as needed. I’d also say to celebrate your accomplishments as you achieve them.
What do your goals look like? Short-term? Medium-term? Long-term? Retirement planning? Investing and saving? Vacation fund? New home or car?
Children & Family
Having children and raising a family are major investments in emotions, time, energy, money and resources. Children are a major responsibility and it’s important both parents are in agreement on the many topics involved.
Questions like: How many children? Public or Private School? Rules of the house? Discipline? Parental responsibilities?
All these are critical discussions to have and communicate each other’s viewpoints. It can be very toxic when one or both of the parents have assumptions on the roles and responsibilities of the other and then feel the other party isn’t living up to their end of the bargain – even if these assumptions were never verbalized to the other, people will still feel let down and disappointed. For example, at times, you and your life-partner may mutually end up thinking of borrowing quick loans to fund your child’s schooling activities, but the repayment capacity should be evaluated keeping in view both of yours’ financials.
Lifestyle & Career Goals
Your lifestyle and career goals are in many ways an outgrowth of your financial goals. Some people are savers and others are spenders. Some people are workaholics others just want to do enough to get by and get their fulfillment outside of work.
How do you deal with this? Well handle your money in percentages; certain percentage goes to savings, investing, paying down debt, living, and a certain amount is set aside for splurges. Sometimes the amount in that fund is a lot and others not so much but this set up helps satisfy the desire to splurge, and desire to save and always makes sure you are on track to meet your financial goals.
In the end of this, conversation it’s all about how you want to make and spend your money!