- Being on the same page about money in a relationship can help you reach your financial goals quicker, have a better experience working with a financial planner, and keep money from putting a strain on your relationship.
- If you’ve had discussions about spending, have looked at your finances, and know what your partner values financially and personally, you might be on the same page.
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Being on the same page about finances as your partner isn’t always easy, but it is important.
“I’d say more often than not, people probably aren’t exactly on the same page,” says Christine Centino, a financial planner with over 11 years of experience.
But when they are on the same page, it’s obvious.
Here are the top seven signs a couple is on the same page about money, according to financial planners.
1. You’ve got the same goals
In a couple, it takes two to reach any financial goals.
Centino tells Business Insider that generally, couples who are on the same page about their finances come into her office with an objective they both agree on.
She says these couples come in asking questions like: “‘We want to buy a house, or we want to save for this, or can we retire?”
2. You’re saving for the same goals
Centino says she can tell when couples are on the same page by their attitudes.
And usually, this comes out in attitudes towards saving, whether that means prioritising retirement savings or signing up for a 401(k) at work.
When couples have the same attitude towards saving, and both agree on what they’re saving for, Centino says they’re generally on the same page.
3. You value the same things
If you both value the same things in life, you’re both likely to value the same things financially. And that’s an important part of being in agreement about money, says Colin Moynahan, a financial planner based in South Carolina.
In his years as a financial planner, he’s seen this play out in many ways. In one example, he says, “You have couples where one really values education and the other one doesn’t value it as much.” When both don’t have the same values, it can be tough to make decisions on how to save, spend, and invest.
4. You’ve talked about your spending habits, and you know what your partner would expect
Being on the same page also means that you’re in agreement about spending. Usually, this comes down to having had conversations about spending patterns, and knowing what your partner would prefer you to do before making big choices on your own.
“Where people differ the most is on the spending piece, where they have different conceptions of what constitutes a big purchase and when they need to ask permission,” Centino says.
5. You’ve discussed your responsibilities
Part of knowing what you want to do with your money as a couple is knowing who is doing what.
Centino says that many people who are on the same page have discussed who handles which financial tasks. “They might be like splitting everything, but somebody ultimately is taking care of paying the bills or investing,” she says. “You don’t have both people going into all the accounts to do everything simultaneously.”
6. You’ve gotten organised together
Centino says that when a couple has looked over their finances and taken the time to get organised before meeting with her, she knows they’re on the same page. Her favourite tangible sign of this is a simple spreadsheet.
“They have both gone through this spreadsheet,” she says. “They have all the numbers and they’re like, ‘here’s what we want to do.'”
7. You’re both on task
Moynahan says that if both people in a couple are getting things done quickly, it’s a sign they’re in agreement.
If someone is dragging their feet, however, the couple probably isn’t on the same page.
For instance, he says, “The husband’s taking his time tracking spending and the wife’s super engaged, and I hear back very quickly. And I do find that usually when I reach out to the one that’s been slower and ask, ‘What’s taking so long?’, they say ‘Well, you know, I’ve been so busy,’ or it’s more questions,” he continues. “From an advisory standpoint, that’s the most telling of the signs.”
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