The advice comes from a “Love and Money” workshop as part of MetLife’s PlanSmart Financial Education series for employees. The series, which began in 2008, provides a variety of workshops for employees of various ages and stages of their careers. The workshops address employees’ interest in financial education and planning assistance in the workplace, and cover a wide range of topics such as Investing 101, college planning, and estate and retirement planning.
Top 10 MetLife PlanSmart Financial Tips for Couples
- Before entering into a long-term relationship, learn about your partner’s financial situation. Discuss their credit score, debt, and how you intend to handle larger financial issues as a couple.
- When it comes to joint accounts, use the “yours, mine, and ours” approach. Set up a joint account to manage your money together, with monthly payments directed to individual accounts that allow each person to spend some money as they see fit.
- Based on your talents and needs, decide who will be in charge of paying bills, balancing the checking account, and researching large purchases. It’s fine to make changes as you go if one person becomes overburdened or isn’t doing a good job.
- Establish shared financial goals for the short and long term, as well as how you and your partner will work together to achieve them. Seek the help of a financial professional if necessary to help you set your priorities.
- Create a budget that allows you to track how much money you spend as a couple while also reflecting your individual spending habits. Don’t use the budget to impose your own habits on your partner or to blame them for overspending.
- Collaborate to repay existing debt and understand the distinction between good and bad debt. Take care not to incur too much debt, good or bad, as too much of either type will harm your financial security.
- Discuss your individual risk tolerance levels and find a level that you are both comfortable with. Take into consideration the time horizon for your investments.
- Avoid keeping financial secrets from your partner, as this can lead to feelings of betrayal and distrust. It is best to communicate about money in an open and honest manner.
- Work well with others. If you and your partner earn different salaries, don’t make fun of your partner’s lack of earnings or brag about your own. Consider the other contributions made to the household by the lower-earning partner.
- Set aside at least four times a year to have specific discussions about your financial situation and how to improve it.
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