6 Steps to Reaching Financial Freedom as a Married Couple
For most people, marriage is a union where two people who love each other share everything.
Life’s burdens are so much easier when you have another to take up some of the load, and joys are twofold when the person you love more than anyone is by your side.
The one wrench in the works is money.
The tax benefits and sharing of expenses may not quite be enough to make up for the pressure of sharing each other’s debts as well, but working together can strengthen your union and give you something to work toward together.
Cultivating willingness in the direction of obtaining financial freedom in a relationship, taking proactive steps to achieve financial freedom in marriage, and learning financial management in marriage or close relationships, can go a long way in reducing the chances of money fights in family relationships.
Steps to financial freedom
Talking about money before marriage is unromantic and many couples do not even think about it before they tie the knot, but making sure you are on the same financial page is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. So, how to achieve financial freedom?
Understanding each other’s spending style and financial goals, and coming up with a mutual plan can save a lot of future arguments and heartache.
Most married couples can agree that they would like financial freedom.
Creating a financial freedom game plan gives both parties a clear path to success and fewer reasons to fight.
In this article, we will examine some important steps to take so you and your spouse understand each other’s goals and are equipped to support the work it will take to get there.
1. Start the conversation
Maybe you are newlyweds and still basking in the warm glow of the commitment you just made to each other.
Maybe you have been married for a while and no longer have any qualms about telling your spouse they have morning breath.
Either way, starting the money conversation can be difficult, but you cannot get on the right path without the first step.
Don’t spring the subject on each other at the end of a long workday while the two of you are hangry and trying to make dinner.
Instead, communicate that you would like to talk about your financial future and plan a time to do it distraction-free. Ask your spouse to think about and write down what financial freedom means to them.
2. Agree on goals
Hopefully, you and your spouse have similar visions of what financial freedom means. If not, then you will need to find a way to either come together and compromise or agree to separate your finances.
The rest of this article will focus on how you can support each other in your goals no matter which path you choose.
Just know that if you two have vastly different goals and separate your path, there may be more tension down the road unless you come up with some detailed boundaries for spending and saving.
3. Figure out what you need
Chances for success are greater when you write down a detailed vision of what your future will look like. Do you want the basics of being debt-free, owning your home, being able to pay your bills comfortably, and saving for retirement and emergencies?
Or are you interested in something more extravagant like early retirement and world travel?
No matter where you are right now, both options are achievable if you make a plan, stick to it, and support each other along the way.
The key is to support each other. Even if you have decided to separate your finances and pursue different goals, you can be a cheerleader for your spouse and increase their chance for success.
4. Figure out what you have
Now it is time to look at your current financial status. Evaluate all of your bills and all of your spending.
Figure out where your priorities are, and what you can change about your habits to reach your goals faster. If you and your spouse have agreed to share the same financial journey, this may be your first sticking point.
Maybe your spouse feels like a Netflix subscription is essential, and you do not. If there are expenditures you disagree on, there are ways to resolve financial conflict without feeling like you are giving up anything you really need.
It will just take patience and a willingness to be open and honest about your needs and motivations.
5. Keep an open line of dialogue
Regardless of your decision to follow the same financial path, it is essential to keep an open line of communication going about the direction you are both headed.
Schedule regular financial check-ins so you can cheer each other on in your successes, and look for ways to solve any problems that may come up together.
If you are both working on the same financial plan, now is the time to look at how far you have come and evaluate where you are going. Your future is something worth celebrating, and doing it together makes it even more exciting.
6. Uplift each other
One of the points of marriage is to have someone to cherish and support, sharing in their joys and carrying some of the load when things are hard.
Make sure you are rooting for each other no matter what, and you will have an excellent start on your path to financial freedom.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.