Setting financial goals with your partner

Lifestyle | May 2022

To help you and your partner get on the same page financially, having goals for your money is vital.

And that requires making time to discuss these together. While some of us are happier to put these decisions off, it doesn't make good financial sense.

"The sooner you do something, the longer you have for it to kick in and be effective. Small things started early are often better than large things later," financial advisor Lisa Dudson says.

Goals can be divided into three: short term (bills, holidays), medium term (house deposit, house renovations), and long term (retirement).

Getting invested emotionally in your goals leads to more determination and 'buy in'. Give your accounts tangible names like 'Nelson Summer Holiday' or 'Warm House for the Whānau'.

"It should be something you both really want and buy into, so you can really feel excited as the money grows, like you're both really in it," Dudson says.

Establishing joint accounts when you are ready is also a way to feel connected, and like you are both contributing. Dudson generally advises to have joint accounts for this reason.

If one person is earning money or earning significantly more than the other, it is easy for resentment to creep in. Consider having a discretionary budget for each person to spend on what they want - per week or per month - without accountability.

"If it gets you where you want to go, great," says Dudson.

And while it might not sound romantic, creating a household budget helps keep things in balance for couples. However, only about one-third of couples have one.

Sara Chatwin, a clinical psychologist, says it's best to be open and honest about spending, debts and 'financial baggage'.

"Be courageous and honest. It's more difficult in people's minds than it actually is," she says.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the individual featured, speaking in their individual capacity and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of State/IAG New Zealand. These advertisements do not offer specific advice and you are responsible for your own decisions about financial planning, investment and risk. All information presented is of a general nature, merely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional and/or financial advice. Should you decide to act upon any of the information presented, you do so at your own risk.

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