Last week, we discussed how financial planning could help keep your romance alive. So while Valentine’s Day may not be the day to sit down and talk finance with your sweetheart, this is something you need to do sooner rather than later.
In “Talking Finances With Your Valentine,” Jay Alderman writes, “…many couples don’t make time to plan ahead and are later caught off guard around issues like having children, aging parents, planning for emergencies and changing career and retirement goals.”
Alderman offers tips for having a “financial heart-to-heart,” including:
Set up financial “dates.” This is a time for one (or both) of you to let the other know what is going on. If only one of you is in charge of the family finances, the other should be aware and know where important financial documents are kept.
Re-examine your goals. The goals you set five years ago or even last year may not apply and may need to be adjusted for your current situation. For example, if one of you still thinks you should save for a new house but the other doesn’t, you need to reassess that goal.
Balance the budget. Alderman observes that “Some of the worst marital disagreements occur when one or both parties sabotage the family budget.” This is true of married or cohabitating couples that have a budget…but when you don’t have one, there can be even more disagreements. He suggests taking advantage of free online tools like www.mymoney.gov, a money management website sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Get expert help. When your car isn’t running correctly, you find someone to help you get it going. The same idea can apply to your financial life. If you are having difficulty managing your finances, consult a financial planner.
Clarity Financial Planning takes an all-inclusive approach to your situation and goals, understanding your need for financial security and independence. When you aren’t sure what you need or how much guidance is right for your situation, start with a 2-hour Financial Fitness Review.