- To get on the same page about money in a relationship, making a spreadsheet together is a great way to start.
- It not only helps as a visual to look at spending and saving, but it also starts conversations about money topics and goals.
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Getting on the same page about money in a relationship isn’t always easy, but it is an essential part of making it work.
Having discussions about how you and your partner would both prefer to save and spend up front can help prevent lots of headaches in the future. But there’s one tool that could make these discussions much easier: a simple spreadsheet.
As a financial planner with over 10 years of experience, Christine Centeno says that she’s seen many couples come and go from her office, but couples who have talked about their finances over spreadsheets are often the ones who are the most on the same page about their money.
“I’ve had couples who have done this before, where both of them were really on the same page with this because they have both gone through this spreadsheet,” she says.
Making a spreadsheet can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, from just a plain breakdown of all of your accounts to a more involved breakout including your income and expenditures each month.
Sitting down and actually making the spreadsheet together is the key – this gives you time to actually see where you are financially as a couple and creates a tool for talking. It can start discussions about how you’d like to see your money used and what goals you might have for the future.
And, by making it together, it also means that both partners will know where the money is and how all your accounts come together. If one person makes it, a spreadsheet likely won’t have the same educating effect that it could if you both work on it.
Centeno says she sees cases where one person has made the spreadsheet and gathered the information, and the other hasn’t helped at all. And she says she can tell who’s done what. “You might have one person in the couple that is the spreadsheet person, then another person that goes, ‘we have what account?'” says Centeno.
As you both work through creating a spreadsheet, it can help make sure you’re both aware of where your money goes, and be on the same page about how your money works towards your goals.
A spreadsheet is a simple thing, but its effects are something that this financial planner says she notices. And whether you’re preparing for an appointment with a financial adviser or just looking to have a better outlook on money within your relationship, it seems that a spreadsheet is the best tool to make that happen.
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