Whether you are popping the question, moving in with your partner, or on your way to walking down the aisle to start a new journey as a married couple, being on the same page when it comes to your finances is essential.
Bringing up the topic of money whilst in the honeymoon phase can be considered a mood killer, but it can also prevent financial infidelity later on where you discover your partner hiding a secret account or realise how much debt they are in. Here are a couple of handy tips to get you started on the right foot.
Bare it all
You are not the same as the next couple, which means that you and your partner have a different financial set-up than the next. The common thread that all couples have is how honest they are with each other when it comes to their finances.
Communicating and being on the same page is vital to ensuring that you do not end up burning a hole through your budget, which can cause most people to spiral into debt. Be honest about your income and any debt that you may have. It can help you set a realistic budget and target to manage debit orders and debt that needs to be paid.
This doesn't mean that you will have to report on every purchase that you make, but if it is a big-ticket item then its best to discuss and plan it with your partner.
Plan your purchases
Impulse purchases are the death of many budgets. Some people go as far as convincing themselves that they will pay themselves back, which hardly happens. Instead, they end up playing catch up to make up for small impulse purchases that eventually snowballed out of control.
The solution? Plan, plan, plan. Having a budget in place and spacing out major purchases will give you enough wiggle room. Consider starting an emergency savings account to act as a buffer for those unexpected expenses.
Live within your means
According to MoneyWeb, there are 25 million active credit card users in South Africa, and 10 million of these active users are behind on their payments.
Combine this with two people who are possibly in different financial standings, could be a good thing to help you fast track your way towards purchasing your own home, a car, or paying off loans, or it could be a recipe for disaster.
One of the keys to reaching your couple goals is living within your means. Understanding what you can and cannot afford based on your combined income can prevent you from finding yourself in a situation where you have bitten off more than you can chew.
Speaking to a financial advisor is some of the ways in which you can create a financial plan that works for you and grows your money instead of leaving you in the red.
Consider having policies that protect what matters the most
We all like to think that we are invincible when we are still healthy, have a job, and have our loved ones loving and supporting us. However, nothing is promised in life which is why it is important to protect yours and your loved one's financial future.
Creating a safety net with your partner by taking out life cover, retirement annuities and disability funds can ease the financial strain that comes with drastic changes such as losing a job, death, becoming disabled or critically ill.