Being on the same page financially really helps to strengthen your finances and your relationship. Use these four steps to help you get started.
List needs and wants. Take the time to make a list of short-term and longer-term needs and wants. You can brainstorm these separately or together. For example, you may have the goal of buying a car within a year and your spouse or partner may want to pay off their debt.Together, you as a couple want to buy a house within three years. How might you prioritize these goals or make a plan to work toward all of them concurrently?
Consider the cost to achieve goals. Determine the cost of each goal and the amount that needs to be saved each month to achieve it on time. For example, if you want $10,000 for the down payment and closing costs on a house in three years, you need to save $278 a month ($10,000 divided by 36).
Develop a spending plan. Be sure to include regular savings for financial goals. As an initial financial goal, plan to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses for emergencies, such as unemployment or car repairs.
Reassess. Remember to look back on your goals on a regular basis to make sure they're still relevant. You might set calendar reminders or plan to touch base about goals at certain times of year, such as tax time. Add new goals and calculate amounts that need to be saved to reach them.