Love And Money: Financial Planning Considerations For Couples

By Jeff Gilbert

When you’re part of a couple, you’re a team. You plan vacations together and support each other’s pursuits, but do you manage your money as a team? Whether you have joint or separate accounts, are savers or spenders, enjoy talking about money or would rather stick your head in the sand, you’ve probably experienced the tension that finances can cause in a relationship.

Is it even possible for love and money to peacefully coexist? Here are a few simple strategies that may help couples avoid financial friction.

Be Honest

As nice as it would be, financial honesty isn’t a guarantee in a relationship. It’s important for both partners to offer full disclosure of their finances. You and your spouse should be aware of how you spend your money, especially when it comes to significant expenses, loans, or ongoing fees. By maintaining an open line of communication regarding spending habits and upcoming bills, you may be able to keep financial arguments at bay.

Time It Right

Since conversations about money are often emotionally charged, choose a time to talk about your financial situation or make decisions when both of you are at your best. Don’t wait until the end of a long, stressful day or right before you have to walk out the door. It’s also important to be preemptive, having discussions to set boundaries and expectations to avoid future problems. In other words, don’t wait until one of you splurges on a new TV or you go over budget on a vacation to set limits on spending.

Take Ownership 

Most often, one spouse acts as the Chief Financial Officer of the household, managing all bills, budgets, savings, investments, and insurance policies. However, it can be helpful for both partners to understand their financial situation. If time allows, sit down together once a month for a financial check-in to review credit card statements, account transactions, and other bills and check for any possible errors. Ongoing input from both partners will strengthen your relationship and create a true partnership.

Find The Right Fit

You don’t have to go far to find financial advice, but not every system or philosophy will work for your relationship. Glean ideas from experts, family members, or friends, but be flexible, allowing yourself to experiment and find a financial framework in which you both can thrive. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods of budgeting, saving, or debt payoff, and remember that as life changes, you may need to adapt your finances to your new circumstances. 

Reward Yourself

Set aside a portion of pocket money that you and your spouse can each spend every month on something you love, whether it’s a massage, a round of golf, or a steak dinner. Along with saving for long-term goals, set small objectives you can reasonably accomplish each month and celebrate your success.

Bring In A Third Party

Sometimes the best way to ease money tensions is to work with an objective third party, whether that’s a financial professional, a marriage counselor, or both. A financial professional can work with you and your spouse to review your financial landscape, identify any gaps in your insurance coverage, assist you in establishing short-term and long-term goals, help you stay on track, and provide professional and knowledgeable advice.

Although the topic of finance can occasionally cause tension, money doesn’t have to become a constant source of concern in a relationship. Invest the time to address spending habits and savings goals, uphold transparency regarding purchases, and communicate effectively.

How We Can Help

At Balboa Wealth Partners, we care about your relationship. We want to help you and your partner by walking you through the challenges of life and acting as your advocate as you pursue your financial goals together. If you know that your relationship and your finances would benefit from the objectivity and experience of a professional, we are here to help. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com to set up a no-obligation appointment and start down the road to financial harmony. 

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals and to worry less about their finances and more on their passions in life. Based in Orange County, he works with clients throughout Southern California, as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

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