Building wealth in a relationship can be as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest. On second thought, climbing a mountain may be less stressful and time consuming. This is the major issue leading to many broken homes. When Gwen Guthrie 80's hit, "Ain't Nothing Going On, but the Rent" alluded to no romance without finance, she was not lying. There are a few ground rules to building a successful financial road map with your partner. First, you and your partner must have similar financial goals and secondly, you must be willing to make the sacrifices to see your desired results come to fruition. Communication is essential if you and your partner have similar goals, but different approaches in reaching them. Planning and communication is imperative.
It all starts with open and honest communication about one's individual finances. The more willing you are to share your finances with your partner, the better the chances you have in sustaining a healthy, loving relationship. Too often, couples sit down with a financial advisor and realize, at that very moment, they really do not know much about each other financial histories. Furthermore, the varying financial pasts/lifestyles can expose opposing future plans for the collective. Varying opinions does not have to mean the end of a relationship. Compromises can be made to accommodate both people in the relationship. For example, "I'll keep my million in my personal account and you can keep your million in your own account."
The second step is articulating to your partner what your idea for your future financially looks like, including all personal agendas as well. You can be married or in a long term relationship, but that does not have to mean that you should not have individual goals that may require planning and funding. So, always add your own personal goals within the overall plan. The plan should consist of most, if not all, of the following goals:
These are the serious financial issues that should be in the plan and completely laid-out on the table. Unless you are extremely wealthy with expendable money, you are going to need a smart, well-thought out and executed plan to accomplish any or all these your goals. As a couple you can certainly create a plan and execute it to perfection, but like some, it may be best to get advice from a professional financial advisor who can create a plan catered to the both of you, while keeping you on a reachable, successful course.
At one time or another, we lack discipline. You must, I stress must, stay disciplined of whichever financial course you chose to achieve the goal of building wealth as a couple. Whatever the set budget is, that is what you should live by. When you deviate from the set plan, overspend, or do some impulse shopping, there are definite setbacks. It's not to say that you can't decide to make some purchases that is not within the plan, but you should go back to the communication mode to thoroughly assess and refocus on the goals and steps toward them. Discuss with your partner the unplanned purchases or any factors that were not originally integrated in the plan, so that both of you understand how this will impact your overall financial goals.
The final stage should be the absolute most important of all the stages previously mentioned. Have fun! Let face it, if you have the most solid financial planning and outlook in the works, but you and your partner do not have the opportunity to enjoy your days together and create a comfortable lifestyle that you both will enjoy, then you are doing something wrong. Most financial advisors will create a budget that will require you to do some sacrificing; however, little affordable extras should be budgeted as well. Including personal treats, even small ones, can make the saving and wealth building less frustrating. You do not want to have a miserable life due to financial restraints simply to live a comfortable life in retirement. Remember: tomorrow is not owed to anyone so enjoy all your living days because your life's mantra should be health, wealth, and above all, happiness.