Money Talks: A Couple’s Guide to Prioritizing Financial Goals

Money matters can be a major source of stress in relationships, especially if you and your partner have different financial habits and priorities. But don’t despair. With open communication, clear goals, and a touch of compromise, you can align your financial visions and build a prosperous future together. Here’s your roadmap to achieving financial harmony:

Why Shared Financial Goals Matter

Whether you’re just starting out together, or you’ve been around the sun a few times together, think of your financial goals as a shared adventure. Just like planning a trip, you need to agree on the destination (goals) and how you’ll get there (strategy). Shared financial goals create a sense of teamwork, build trust, and reduce conflict.They also provide a clear roadmap for your future, ensuring you’re both working towards a common vision.

Couple holding hands

The Money Talk: Laying the Groundwork

Schedule a Money Date: This may not seem romantic, but there’s also not much (comparatively) that sucks the romance out of a relationship like financial stress. Choose a time when you’re both relaxed and can focus without distractions. Make it fun! Order takeout (within budget) or make a meal together. Just focus on creating a comfortable atmosphere for open communication.

Share Your Money Stories: Talk about your individual experiences with money, especially when this is a new commitment as a couple, and open up about any financial baggage you may be carrying from childhood or past relationships. This helps you understand each other’s values and attitudes towards money.

Be Honest and Open: This is especially relevant to those of you that are just starting out this journey together: Share your income, expenses, debts, and savings. Transparency is key to building trust and creating a realistic financial plan.

Identify Your Individual Goals: What are your dreams and aspirations? Do you want to buy a house, travel the world, retire early, start or grow your family? Write down your individual goals, then share and discuss them with your partner.

Align Your Values: Discuss your shared values around money. Are you savers or spenders? Do you prioritize experiences or material possessions? Understanding your values can help you make joint financial decisions that feel aligned and fulfilling.

Date night cooking

Creating Your Financial Roadmap:

Set SMART Goals: Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Instead of saying, “We want to save for retirement,” say, “We want to save $500,000 for retirement by age 60.”

Prioritize Your Goals: Not all goals are created equal. Some may be more urgent or important than others. Rank your goals in order of priority, considering factors like timeline, financial impact, and personal significance. This may take some time to find alignment, so patience with each other is key.

Create a Budget: A budget is your financial GPS, guiding you towards your destination. Track your income and expenses, categorize your spending, and identify areas where you can cut back or save more. We’ve mentioned before that this isn’t just about saving your way to wealth, but ask yourself whether you really need twelve streaming subscriptions, especially if there are services that overlap in what they offer.

Automate Your Savings: Make saving a no-brainer by setting up automatic transfers to your savings and investment accounts. Most payroll systems will allow you to split your direct deposits among different accounts. This takes the willpower out of the equation and ensures you’re consistently working towards your goals.

Regularly Review and Adjust: As much as you may think this is set in stone, your financial situation and goals will evolve over time, so it’s important to revisit your budget and financial plan regularly. Whether you received a promotion at work, you’ve decided to scale back, or if you added in a small side business, make adjustments as needed to stay on track.


Guidance for Achieving Your Goals:

  • Debt Management: After your health needs are met (always a priority), if you are carrying high-interest debt, prioritize paying it off as quickly as possible. We’re not encouraging you to open up new credit cards for spending, however consider consolidating debt to a 0% interest card to help pay this down even quicker. Again, this shouldn’t be a card that you’re also spending on.
  • Emergency Fund: We discussed saving your first $1,000, but once you’ve hit that goal it’s time to set your sites on having 3-6 months of living expenses saved in an easily accessible account for unexpected events because they will happen.
  • Retirement Savings: Take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans and contribute enough to get the full match. If your employer doesn’t offer a plan, consider opening an IRA.
  • Investing: Invest for long-term goals like retirement or buying a house. Consider diversifying your investments to manage risk.
  • Regular Communication: Circling back to the original money dates, continue to schedule regular check-ins to discuss your progress, address any concerns, and make adjustments to your plan as needed. By doing this on the regular, you’re likely to minimize any build up of tension when you’re discussing these matters because you’re both making that routine effort.


Financial planning is a journey, and there will be times where it feels like a rollercoaster, but try to hang tight because the destination can be worth it. Keep this a two-way street and willingness to compromise when and where needed. By working together as a team, you can achieve your financial dreams and build a stronger, more secure future for both of you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Open communication is essential for aligning financial goals with your partner.
  • Create SMART goals and prioritize them based on your shared values and priorities.
  • Develop a budget and automate your savings to make reaching your goals easier.
  • Regularly review and adjust your financial plan as needed to stay on track. Seek guidance from a financial advisor if you need additional support. Some employers provide this service as a benefit.

By following these tips and making a commitment to financial collaboration, you can strengthen your relationship and build a financially secure future together.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to celebrate your financial milestones along the way! Whether it’s paying off a debt, reaching a savings goal, or simply sticking to your budget for a month, take the time to acknowledge your progress and enjoy the fruits of your labor together.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top