Your Financial Relationships: How Much Should We Save?
This post is part of our Your Financial Relationships series. A series designed to help you discover the financial topics you should discuss with your significant other in order to have a financially healthy relationship. Today, we’ll take a look at “how much should you save?” You and your significant other need to agree an on rough amount, and there are several ways to do so.
Couples, married or not, need to arrive at a consensus on how much money they set aside as savings to further mutual and individual goals. You see, saving money is an important step in any relationship. It demonstrates to each partner that they share not only the present, but also the future. Of course, meaningful answers to the savings question are predicated on the couple having reached an agreement on what their goals are. When you have a goal, you have a purpose. Having a purpose—a vision for the future, makes the arduous task of saving money much easier.
Relationships are not all that different from business partnerships, and running a household is not radically different from running a business. Generally speaking, there is much less sex in a business partnership and in the day to day operations of a business, but that aside, there are many parallels.
The point is, you wouldn’t open a business without first drafting a business plan and creating a mission statement explaining what the business plans to accomplish. A business can’t succeed without a plan and a mission. I don’t believe a relationship can either.
We Are Snowflakes
Easing into a conversation on the subject of savings can be more difficult for some than for others. Just as no two people are alike, no two couples are alike. It would be poor judgment on the part of either partner to avoid addressing this issue until frustrations and concerns reach a flash point. Nothing will be resolved by an angry, frustrated partner. When tempers flare, reason goes by the wayside.
I believe one viable way to open a conversation on the subject of how much a couple should save is by focusing on something tangible; something that one or both parties have recently expressed an interest in acquiring. For example, she might want a new bedroom suite… maybe he hopes to buy a second car… or maybe they both may aspire to become homeowners.
Using this present need or want as the basis for the discussion on how much to save, is an excellent way to open the door to a broader discussion of how much can be set aside to achieve this and other goals.
In Point of Fact
The “how much should we save?” question is fundamental to every subsequent topic Jim and I will be addressing in this series. Savings is the linchpin of any financial planning strategy because saving is the precursor necessary to raise capital for investment.
If you truly aspire to grow your wealth, investment is the means to achieve the goals you have established as a couple. Absent savings, there is precious little capital to invest.
It’s a Rung on a Ladder
Consider this series to be a ladder, allowing you to reach the heights a successful financial relationship can offer. Each article is a rung on that ladder, bringing you closer to your goals and aspirations. In my view, this rung is one of the most important. A workable, realistic savings plan, agreed upon and supported by both partners in the relationship, creates a solid foundation for all future financial endeavors.
What about You?
Have you and your partner reached an agreement on how much to save? If so, how did you come to an agreement?