Planning your new financial life together to get the best return on investment
Love and money are inseparable! Love, whether within a committed relationship or in a marriage, introduces changes to your financial life as a couple. From personal financial goals, to each person’s financial history and relationship with money — there are so many factors that will bring change and often, change can be a challenge to navigate.
Navigating these changes and challenges isn’t always easy but, if you can plan together, you can succeed together as a couple. So, where to start? Here are 4 important questions that can serve as conversation starters when you sit down to plan your new financial life with your partner.
- When should we talk about money?
Communication plays an important role in effectively managing your finances together as a couple. The sooner you can start talking about money and your finances, the easier it will be to begin planning your new life as a couple. Delaying the money talk can lead to stress and a lack of understanding of each other’s relationship with money later on.
- Will you have a joint account or keep them separate?
An important and often tricky question to tackle in any new marriage is deciding whether you’ll keep your accounts separate or have a joint bank account. Here are the benefits of having a joint account:
- It fosters accountability and honesty
- It can be used for family expenses where you can both contribute money
- You can save together for your financial goals
- A joint account can simplify each person’s financial roles in the relationship
- You can save on monthly banking fees
If you choose to open a new account together, make sure you open an account with SA’s lowest banking fees. You need something that allows you the flexibility of making short-term deposits for recurring expenses — for instance, a 32 day notice account which allows you to save money and gives you quick access in case of an emergency.
- How do we plan for the future?
To win in life and in your new marriage, you and your partner have to be on the same team. This means you both need to share your goals and dreams for the future — both for yourself and for you two as a couple. Only then can you start to create a plan to help you get there together. As you're working together to determine the goals you can set together, consider where you want to be financially , a year, 5 years, and even ten years from now.
Don’t forget to also plan for your retirement. There are many different high interest investment accounts offering a great return on investment for you to take advantage of. We put together some of these options here.
4. How will we budget?
The success of your plans for the future rests on how much money you can allocate towards reaching those goals. You or your spouse may be earning less than the other, may be coming into the relationship with debt, or even with a child that must receive financial support. So a budget will help you to piece your financial worlds together.To start the ‘budget’ conversation, each of you should first detail what your income vs expenses ratio looks like as individuals. Then, you can move on to what it looks like together as a couple. Don’t be surprised if your lifestyle has to take a knock — it’s a compromise you may have to make to enjoy a peaceful life in your marriage.
Marriage and money can be tricky. Your surest route to a happy life together is to talk about your finances as early on in your relationship as possible, before deciding on the best course of action.