Whether you've been together one year or five or 10, you and your significant other have built a life together. This Valentine's Day, celebrate that life and the possibilities it holds -- not with teddy bears or chocolates but with a simple commitment to take one financial step together.
We're all in different stages of life and facing different financial challenges, but here are four examples of what that first step might look like:
A conversation about the future. Communication is a big relationship booster. It's also essential to your financial security. Take some time out around Valentine's Day to discuss your financial goals. Beyond mere survival, what are you really trying to accomplish? Your kids' college educations, your transition from the military, your money-saving strategies or getting debt under control all begin with a first step -- establishing a goal. You won't figure out every step in a single conversation, but you can make a commitment to work toward your goals, and that's the most important step.
Saving for an experience. I don't know about you, but I've come to recognize that the time and experiences we share together as a couple and family are priceless. However, they can come with a price tag. Much of travel has been put on hold and may be for a bit longer because of the pandemic. To prepare for my family's last long-awaited trip, our first step toward making the trip a reality actually started two years prior, when we set up an automatic transfer into a savings account specifically for the trip. No matter what experience you've got your eyes on, make this your opportunity to start saving for it.
A step toward stress reduction. I often jokingly refer to an emergency fund -- the money you've set aside in a savings account -- as a relationship-saving fund. But if you think about it, being prepared for the unexpected could allow you to avoid money arguments before they get started. What's the one step you need to take to avoid financial stress? It could be as easy as setting up that savings account or establishing an allotment to fund it.
Early retirement. My wife and I get excited talking about what retirement looks like. This Valentine's Day, take one step toward securing your financial future. This could mean signing up for the Thrift Savings Plan, contributing to a Roth IRA or just spending time discussing what you envision for your future together and what it will take to get there.
Even a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. So, this Valentine's Day grab the hand of your partner on this journey and start moving forward.
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