Good Morning Green Panda friends.  If you are in your 20’s then you may be getting ready to graduate from college or you may be getting ready to get married.  Whether you are moving in with your college sweetheart or you are engaged and getting ready to move in with the man of your dreams one thing that all couples should do before taking the next step in their relationship is have the money talk.

Sometimes having the money talk with your significant other can be uncomfortable, especially if you don’t share the same money value or earn the same income. However having the money talk sooner rather than later can save you a lot of grief in your relationship.

I started dating my boyfriend during our first year of college.  We didn’t have the money talk when we met because we didn’t have a lot of money.  As we grew up together we learned how to manage our money as individuals as well as a couple and things just kind of worked out.  However if you are already set in your money ways then it is better to have the money talk with your significant other to make sure that you are both on the same financial page.

Have the Money Talk with Your Significant Other:

1. Talk about money.  It’s important to openly discuss your income because then you can set your standard of living.  If you and your significant other earn a different income then you can decide how to allocate your monthly expenses.  An easy and fair way to determine how much each person should contribute towards your monthly couple’s expenses is to base the amount as a percentage of your total income. This way each person contributes equally towards the monthly expenses.

2. Live on a couple’s budget.  Once you know how much money you having coming in each month from your couple’s income you can then set your monthly expenses and spending budget. Living on a couple’s budget makes sure that each person is contributing equally towards the expenses; it also eliminates the possibility of overspending by one person.  Setting a couples budget not only allows you to track your income and your expenses, it also allows couples to save together for their goals.

3. Set couples goals.  When you move in with your boyfriend, get engaged to your fiancé or marry your husband (or wife) your personal and financial goals will change. The key to being financially happy as a couple is to plan as a couple but don’t forget about yourself.  As your lives merge so will your finances, but you must not forget about your own personal goals while you are working towards your joint goals as a couple. Setting goals and prioritizing them in order of importance and cost will help you work towards and achieve your goals faster and together.  If your goal is to become debt free and your significant others goal is to save for a down payment on a home then you can work towards one goal together, achieve it and move on to the next one.

Photo by snowkissessky