You’re probably aware that when you get married to someone, you’re merging almost every aspect of your life with them, including your finances. While this includes things like paying for household expenses and getting through financial emergencies it also means planning for the future. In other words, you and your partner will need to know
How to set Financial Goals as a Couple
This can be intimidating, especially if you’re more used to setting goals on your own. If you just keep three points in mind, however, you’ll find that setting financial goals with your partner will bring both of you closer than ever.
Start by Talking With Your Partner About Your Goals
How do you set financial goals in a relationship? The first step is simply to talk with your partner about what both your goals are. Communication is a vital part of any couple’s relationship, and talking about money matters is especially important.
When you and your partner have some free time, let them know you’d like to talk with them about their goals and what they’d like to accomplish. Be sure to:
- Talk about the goals you have for both of you
- Discuss your individual financial goals
- Have your partner tell you about their individual goals
- Make sure to record all these goals, either on a piece of paper or on a notes app
Share your goals, as well, and also be sure to discuss your individual financial goals. While you’re talking, be sure to make a record of you and your partners’ desires.
If you have this conversation, make sure you and your partner are respectful of each other’s goals. If you don’t understand why your partner wants a certain goal, feel free to ask questions, but don’t tell them that any of their desires are unrealistic. You should also feel safe telling your partner your goals.
This vulnerability can be uncomfortable at first, but the more you talk with your partner, the closer the both of you will become. Don’t forget, it can also be fun to talk about your financial goals.
Got questions about financial goals? Ask us!
Prioritize Your Goals
Once you’ve made a list of your partner’s and your financial goals, prioritize them. Split your joint financial goals into the ones that must be accomplished, versus the ones that it would be nice to accomplish. For instance, buying a bigger house might be a “must-have” if your family has outgrown your old one, while a vacation in Cancun probably qualifies as a “nice-to-have”.
As you’re sorting out your couple’s goals, you might want sort out your own as well. Figure out what goals are important to you and which ones would just be nice to achieve. Make sure your partner does the same.
You may also want to divide these goals by how long saving for them will take.
- Short-term goals can be saved up for in under a year
- Mid-term goals can be accomplished in 1-5 years
- Long-term goals will take at least five years to accomplish.
When you’ve prioritized your goals, it’s time to select the first one you and your partner would like to accomplish. If you and your partner are both unsure of how to set personal financial goals, you might want to start slow and pick an easy goal you can reach together. Some good first goals are:
- Buying a new appliance
- Doing a minor remodeling project
- Going on a nice vacation
There’s no right or wrong way to prioritize these goals. Just make sure that you and your partner are on the same page. It’s worth pointing out that you can also save for multiple goals at the same time.
Plan out Your Goals
Once you and your partner have selected your goals, it’s time to figure out how you’ll achieve them. The absolute best way to do this is to make your goals SMART. In other words, they should be:
- Specific—you should have a clear idea of what your goal is
- Measurable—make sure you can track your progress
- Attainable—you know how you can achieve your goal
- Realistic—you’re sure it’s possible to achieve your goal
- Time-Bound –you know when you’d like to achieve your goal
Once you have these aspects of your goal figured out, you can start setting money aside for it based on your plan.
Get started setting financial goals today!
Regularly Check on Your Progress
Once you and your partner have your plan in place, make sure to keep track of your progress on a regular basis, at least once a month. Make sure to put a reminder in place for this, whether it’s a note on a wall calendar on an alert on your smartphone.
If you see you’re not making the progress you’d like, talk with your partner and try to find out what’s going wrong. No matter what, though, make sure that both you and your partner can feel safe while talking about it. No one likes being blamed when a project hits a snag, and besides, if you’re the one at fault, you’d like your partner to be nice about it.
While you’re talking with your partner, try to figure out what went wrong, and readjust your goals. Maybe you’ll need a little longer to reach your goal, or you might be able to find some extra money in your budget to put toward it.
Reach Your Couples Financial Goals With First Alliance Credit Union
Creating financial goals with your partner isn’t just a great way to improve your financial situation—it can also bring you and your partner closer. The most important thing you need to remember about setting financial goals with your partner is that communication is key. Everything else, from prioritizing your goals to keeping track of your progress, stems from successfully communicating with your partner.
You and your partner can get also get help achieving your financial goals by becoming members of First Alliance Credit Union. You can open up a joint savings account to let you both contribute to your financial goals, take advantage of our free downloadable S.M.A.R.T. goals guide and even transfer your funds to a high-yield savings account to get a better interest rate!`