What are some goals for couples?
It is okay to take baby steps. You can work your way up to the big conversations.
Debt reduction. Creating a united front and tackling debt can be a big achievement. Reviewing your budget and finding ways to pay off debt quickly is important. For instance, you could consider consolidating the debt, freeing up credit if needed later.
Re-training/study. Some people find their passion later in life, while others choose to up-skill throughout their current employment. Learning a new trade or gaining a new or different tertiary qualification generally costs a good deal of money. Deciding whether you save for future study or fund it via a loan will depend on your individual circumstances and what you decide as a couple.
Travel. Whether it’s a short break or an epic adventure, work out how much you need for your trip together so you can get saving as a couple. Need travel tips? Visit the Westpac Travel hub.
Home deposit. Having a home of your own and planting roots is a wonderful milestone. Doing research on where you want to live, what type of property you want to buy and what you could realistically afford will determine how much you will need to save for a deposit. Read more about buying a home here.
Children. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, it costs almost $1000 per week to raise a child (in 2018) and almost $1200 per week for two children. Having extra money saved before the baby is born could help lighten financial pressures. Many families choose to save a set amount per week to cover education or health costs, such as dental, after birth. Read more about planning for a baby here.
Wedding. Having a plan and saving for the big day saves you from starting your marriage in debt or adding to current debt. Refer to our wedding planning checklist to help you create your own wedding budget.
Honeymoon. Many couples pay for their own honeymoon. In some cases, they enjoy a smaller, shorter honeymoon after the wedding and plan for a bigger trip in the first year or two of marriage. See more here.
Renovations. Transforming your home to reflect your needs and style is an exciting step in any relationship and requires thorough planning and budgeting.
How do you set your goals with your partner?
In each instance above, reviewing your budget, your ability to repay loans and how much you could put towards savings will depend on your own personal circumstances. These are the important steps to remember when you set your relationship goals.
If you have any issues, talk to your accountant or financial adviser about what will work best for your situation. And of course, we’re here to help.
Many couples will have at least one shared financial goal – for example, saving for a holiday, buying or paying off a house. Partners can also have individual goals such as studying to further a career or taking a year off to develop a business idea. As a couple, it’s important to work out how to support these goals, beyond sorting out your various regular living expenses.
Sounds easier than it might be, so we’ve developed a series of questions that you can work through that will help you set up your finances to support your relationship goals while not forgetting your needs as an individual.
What is a goal planner?
You and your partner might like to complete the goal planner (PDF 143KB) to help develop and prioritise both your personal and couple goals. Each column represents one of the following statements. Putting your answers to the questions in the table can help you get an overall picture of your shared goals, their priority, cost, etc.
- What are your individual and couple financial goals for the next five years?
- Rate each goal according to how important it is (most to least).
- Decide is the goal short, medium or long term.
Tip: You can do this together or think about it individually and then talk your goals through to reach some agreement on which goals are important and their rating.
- How much will each goal cost? (A rough idea is okay for now – this can change over time.)
- How long will it take to achieve each goal?
- How much will you need to save each week/month to achieve each goal? (Amount needed divided by the time in weeks/months equals your saving amount). The Westpac savings calculator can help.
- What other steps do you need to take to achieve these goals? (Are you considering a loan, will you start a side hustle to earn more money?)
Tip: Take a step back now and look at each of the goals in your table. Given the information in the table and your current financial situation, are your goals realistic and achievable?
Tip: Do you need to rework your priorities or change the amount of time you need to reach the goal or think about ways you can save on the final cost of the goal? It’s all about what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it, together.
Tip: Celebrating milestones is important. Create a regular ‘money date’ and check in on the progress you’ve made towards your financial goals.