When you enter a relationship, your goals for the future can change. You may be looking to save for your first home, a wedding, or even paying down existing debt before starting on a savings journey. Whether one or both of you came into the relationship with debts, by making the most of your combined incomes you can tackle debt faster and then focus on saving money in the long term.
One of the first steps in managing finances in a relationship is to both understand what your goals are, as well as the time frame to achieving them:
- Write down what your couple and individual goals are for the year and the next five years
- Rate them on how important they are, so you know which ones to prioritise
- Estimate how much each goal will cost; over-estimating can help ensure you’ll have enough to achieve exactly what you want
- Think about how long it might take to reach each goal. A goal-based calculator can help – check out ours here. Consider whether the goals are realistic and achievable
- Create a plan to work towards one or more of your goals by breaking them into small milestones or tasks (such as a weekly savings or debt repayment commitment).
Some of the goals you might be considering include:
Upskilling for the future
Investing in an education can really pay dividends over the course of your career. If you or your partner wants to retrain or improve skills in a current career, that could be a good financial goal to work towards as a couple.
Whether it’s taking a luxury holiday or backpacking around the world, travel can be a highlight of your relationship. Putting a little money aside into a travel fund could get you one step closer to your dream destination.
Destination wedding? Big party for all the friends and family? Or just the registry office? Weddings can come in all shapes and sizes and a lot of them can cost a decent amount of money so the budget can also vary greatly. Whatever the plan you might like to start saving for a wedding together.
Starting a family
Babies are costly little bundles of joy. Having a savings buffer before you start a family can take some of the financial stress out of becoming parents.
Could you afford to buy a home together?
If home ownership is one of your goals, as a couple you may now be in a stronger borrowing position. With two incomes, reduced living costs and potentially both your KiwiSaver savings, a home can become more affordable, particularly if you’re prepared to have flatmates help pay the mortgage or are lucky enough to have family that can help pay your deposit.
If you’re interested in learning whether you’re able to buy a home together, we can help. Before you start looking at homes, you can talk to a Mobile Mortgage Manager or call us on 0800 177 277 to give you an idea of what you might be able to afford. There are tools and calculators online to help you work out if you’re able to apply for a home loan. You could start with one of our home loan calculators.