A successful relationship requires hard work and a lot of money. OK, just kidding -- well, mostly kidding. The reality is that money is ingrained and intertwined with a lot that goes on in any lasting partnership.
Is it all about money? No, but from covering basic expenses to affording you the opportunity to do and have what you want, money is a big player. It's important to do your best to make it a force multiplier, not a detractor.
That's why I never miss out on an opportunity to point out the importance of agreeing upon and establishing goals, setting up your various accounts to facilitate success, building preset spending thresholds and, of course, having regular and open money communications.
In my mind, those are all part of a solid money foundation. The following, though, represent a few more nuanced points that may help you prosper as a couple.
1. Understand Each Other
Duh, right? But it can be easy to think everyone views the world in general, and with respect to money, through the same lens you do. And that includes your significant other. However, they may have a different set of what I'll call "money baggage" rooted in their experiences around money. Whether it's spending, saving, risk-taking or some other behavior, understanding each other's background and experiences can help bridge to a better future.
2. Share Intel
Again, this would seem like a no-brainer, but failing to share may just be a function of a life moving fast. When I was in the Army Reserve, we maintained a deployment file with an updated list of all our accounts, coverages, sign-in credentials and points of contact. Well, it's been years since we needed that file, and it's out of date. The other day, my wife and I were having a conversation, and I realized an update to that file was long overdue. Make sure your partner is in the know. Lesson learned, check.
3. Start Communications on a Positive Note
Hopefully, most people have heard of active or reflective listening. This is simplifying, but basically, it's reframing or paraphrasing what your conversation partner just said to you to demonstrate that you are listening. If you haven't tried it, give it a shot; it works.
It's also important to note that you probably won't create a beautiful outcome if you start your next conversation in attack mode. Don't just communicate; communicate well to help reduce financial stress.
4. Mark Your Calendar
I don't know about you, but our calendar rules our lives. Something is not real until it is on the calendar. Put a financial spin on yours. That means marking your money huddles, annotating your progress check-ins on paying off debt or savings goals, noting when you will rebalance your portfolio, etc. Make sure your calendar offers the financial reminders you need to stay on track.
You can't control everything, but when it comes to your marriage and your money, proactively manage your approach for success.
Get the Latest Financial Tips
Whether you're trying to balance your budget, build up your credit, select a good life insurance program or are gearing up for a home purchase, Military.com has you covered. Subscribe to Military.com and get the latest military benefit updates and tips delivered straight to your inbox.