In every relationship, romantic and otherwise, the question of finances always arises for better or for worse. Whether you're talking to a spouse, a friend, or even a parent, discussions about finances are often about more than money, they're about delicate balances of power and responsibility.
Talks (and arguments) about money can range widely in topic from debts and cash management to emergency funds and retirement savings. However, no matter who you are talking to and what the tension seems to be, there are a handful of tips that any relationship can use for successful, stress-free financial planning. In most cases, these points of conversation should be covered as soon as possible. Even if it feels uncomfortable in the moment, hard-hitting conversations about financial planning are imperative for a healthy checkbook and healthy relationships involving money.
1. Communication: When it comes to money, the most important thing to do is to communicate clearly. Beyond the day to day minutia, have a larger conversation about financial goals. Be open about spending habits, and don't be afraid to share your unique perspective so you can come to an agreement.
2. Long term goals: In order to achieve long term financial goals, you must begin to work towards them today. Whether you want to buy a house, send your kids to college, or retire early, determine the goal then make a plan together to find a way to get there.
3. Shared responsibility: A family's financial life is complex. Beyond income, you're dealing with savings, bills, investments and more, which is a lot for one person to keep up with. To ease the stress and make sure that everyone is on the same page, try dividing up these "chores" between partners so everyone does their fair share.
4. Plan B: No matter how mindful you are about your financial health, something can always go awry. In these situations, it's always a good idea to have a plan B emergency fund. From sudden illness, death or loss of income, every BuDhaGirl knows they should be prepared for the unexpected. Should these events happen, your financial preparedness will put less stress on your most important relationships. After all, at the end of the day when life goes unaccording to plan, it's important to focus on our relationships, and not to our checkbooks, to rebuild and recalibrate.