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All relationships take work to succeed and that work has to be shared, preferably equally.  If a relationship involves a financial link, then it’s important that the people involved stay on the same financial track.  Here are some tips to help make that happen.

Clean your own financial house first

The best way to have a productive discussion with someone is to go into that discussion well-prepared.  In the context of financial discussions that typically means:

  • Knowing what your goal is
  • Having taken any steps you reasonably can to make progress towards your goal yourself
  • Knowing what further steps you need to take yourself to progress your goal
  • Knowing that you want the other person to do

As is generally the case in life, the clearer you can be about your goal and your path towards it, the easier you’re likely to find it to communicate with someone else.  At the same time, however, it’s preferable to be able to show some flexibility.

One of the keys to achieving this is to be able to articulate why your goal matters to you.  If you know this, you’ll be better able to assess alternative suggestions.

Putting your own house in order can actually be more of a challenge than discussing the situation with the other person.  You may find the process a lot easier if you get outside help.  This doesn’t have to mean professional help, although that can be useful.  It just means a fresh pair of eyes to take a fresh look at the situation.

Touch base regularly

If you and the other party end up going in different financial directions, then you need to identify the fact as quickly as possible.  The less your financial paths diverge, the less ground you’ll need to cover to get them reconnected.

Make time to have your financial discussions in a suitable environment.  That means choosing somewhere you are both comfortable but still able to put yourselves in a “work” frame of mind.  You’ll also need the environment to be quiet enough that you can talk comfortably.

Sometimes it’s best to go outside the home but that’s not always convenient.  If you are having a financial discussion at home then a dining room or living room is likely to be a better choice than a bedroom.  If you want to be sure of privacy (or at least not being interrupted) then think ahead about possible distractions and deal with them.

Get professional help

Most people can manage their everyday finances quite capably themselves.  When it comes to major decisions, however, professional advice can be literally invaluable.  Similarly, when it comes to growing your money, professional advice can be very helpful.

You may not need (or want) guidance on how to build an investment portfolio.  You may, however, need (or just want) guidance on how to manage the tax liability that will come along with it.  Making full use of tax allowances can make a significant difference to your overall investment profits.

Agree on how you’ll track your progress

You need some method to keep track of your progress towards your goals and it has to work for both of you.  With that said, there is nothing to stop you from using your tools of choice individually and then combining the records in a shared tool on a regular basis.  Technically, this creates a bit more work but it can be worth it.

On a similar note, make sure that both of you have all relevant account details for any joint financial products you own.  Even if one person does take care of most (or all) of the financial administration, the other party may still need access.

For debt advice, please get in touch.

Blackpool: 01253 299 399 | Carlisle: 01228 558 899