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Want to build your marriage and wealth? Here are five powerful financial goals couples should have on their list!
Want to make this your best year ever?
Most couples do, but many times we fall short of our intentions because we don't have a target we're striving towards.
This time of year, people are making resolutions and looking at the numbers, many of them will fail.
That doesn't mean making goals is pointless.
It means you two have to find a meaningful goal that excites you and one that can help in a big way.
Giving your finances a boost is typically a very smart move, but what if you're stuck on figuring out a goal that is right for you?
Here are five crucial ones that can help you two build your marriage and wealth!
5 Powerful Financial Goals for Couples
Couples can benefit from setting financial goals together. Here are five powerful goals to consider:
Create a Sustainable Budget
Start by tracking your actual income and expenses. Then, set a budget that works for both of you.
Dump Your Debt
I don't believe I've ever met a couple who loved being in debt. Unfortunately too many are dealing with it every day.
Revolving credit card balances are up to $420.22 billion with the average family who has it carrying a balance of $6,929.
The average family who has car payments has a loan that's just over $28,000.
For those families also carrying student loans, the average balance carried is around $32,731.
Every month a huge chunk of their money is being used for debt.
Paying off your debts can free up money for other goals and lower your essential monthly expenses.
Choose to pay down or off your debts this year (using the debt snowball or avalanche method) and give yourselves some breathing room.
If you need ideas on how to find money in your budget to pay off your debt faster, please sign up for my free course 5 Days to $5K.
It'll take you through how you can find, save, and make extra money to get rid of your debts.
A debt-free life can also give you more options (maybe you want to be able to stay at home with the kids, become financially independent, and/or start a business).
Paying off debt brings you closer to your goals.
Build Up Your Financial Cushion
There are also many things in life we can't control. However, we can give ourselves some breathing room and cushion for many of bumps by creating a buffer.
Last year we had several unexpected trips to visit friends and family who were sick or in the hospital.
Having some money stashed away allowed us to focused on being there for our loved ones and not on the bills.
Start off by having $1,000 or one month's worth of essential expenses saved up. You can then build it from there.
Automate transfers into saving so you're not tempted to spend the money. Tools like Qapital, Personal Capital, and M1 are really handy when you're saving for a specific goal.
If you're looking for a place to stash your cash, here are my picks for best savings accounts for couples.
Grow Your Gap
Hat tip to Jeff from Good Financial Cents with this goal. No matter how much you make, learning to live on less is a crucial money move.
Whether you're trying to retire early or go the traditional route, being able to build that gap between what you earn and what you live on can pay huge dividends (literally!) in life.
By taking steps to adjust your spending to be lower than your income, you can have more money available to save and invest.
As your savings grow, you can more options start opening up, such as travelling, pivoting your career, or volunteering for a cause close to your heart. For some couples, this margin gives them a chance to create a passive income stream that can provide more financial stability.
Ultimately, creating and growing this gap between what you earn and what you spend can be a hugely beneficial tool for achieving your financial goals.
Have Giving a Core Part of Your Budget
Speaking of volunteering more, just know you don’t have to wait to give more. Giving is one of those ways you can enrich your lives and others.
There are so many ways you can show your support for the projects that matter most to you.
You two may decide that you want to make room in your budget to give financial support or you may decide that you’d rather adjust your schedule so you can volunteer.
Either way, making giving a bigger part of your lives can be a wonderful way to connect with each other and help your community.
Prepare and Protect Your Family with Insurance
Alright, let’s just say it – insurance isn’t an exciting or romantic goal, but it’s still crucial.
Life happens and when it does, you can get some peace of mind knowing that your family's financial needs are taken care of during an emergency.
Make sure you understand any and all benefits that your job offers so you can take advantage of them if needed.
Double-check, review, and update your will and your insurance coverage.
And if you haven't already, please create an ICE (in case of emergency) folder with all the necessary documents so your loved ones have what they need and avoid a financial disaster.
Be SMART with Your Goals
Whatever goal you choose, make sure you frame it as a SMART goal that reflects your circumstances and style.
SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
I have a few episodes built around how you can make them, but I’ll share a quick example.
Usually couples like to set a goal of ‘paying of debt’.
That’s a wonderful thing to work towards, but it doesn’t cover your exact plan to follow through on that. Turning it to s SMART goal means it would be more like:
We’re paying off $4,000 of credit card debt by the end of this year.
Now you have a specific amount you can easily track. By giving yourselves a deadline, you can then work backward and budget a monthly amount to knock it down.
Automating your payments can help you stay on track and achieve them.
Jumpstart Your Marriage and Money
Creating goals together is a wonderful first step to reaching achieving them. However, there's still more to do if you want to knock them out this year.
It's easy to get track when you have busy lives. Having a system to take care of your finances will help you keep on the path.
If you're looking for an effective way to set up your finances, grab a copy of Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money!
It is designed for busy couples to set up their finances in 4 weeks.
Get tips and tools that have worked for other couples on their journey of building their marriage and wealth together!
Your Financial and Relationship Goals for this Year
I'd love to hear from you. What big money goals are you working towards this year?
This post was originally published in January 2018. It has been updated in January 2023.
Photo by Leah Kelley