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Setting shared goals

There’s no way around it: life costs money. You need to discuss the goals you share now so you can ensure you’ll have the funds to achieve them later. On this page, we explore some common goals that are worth discussing early on in a relationship.

Ensuring that funds are available when you anticipate needing them is an important part of budgeting, planning and timing in a relationship.

It might be worth thinking about what your future aspirations are and what you’re you saving for as a couple. Common big-ticket items include:

Wedding, honeymoon and travel

Planning ahead and saving for the big day spares you from starting your marriage in debt. It is important that your wedding budget reflects what both you and your fiancé want while not sending you deep into debt. How you and your fiancé manage the financial discussions, budget and planning of your wedding day, could be a wonderful and enjoyable first financial test for your marriage.

Having a clear budget, shared goals, realistic perspective and a commitment to creative solutions, will make for an amazing wedding day. There are a number of templates available on the internet or you could create your own to plan your wedding budget.

Most couples also pay for their own honeymoon or extended travel. 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.

Home deposit and renovation budgets

Having a home of your own, planting roots, is a wonderful family 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. Take time to conduct some property market research and read more about Westpac Home Loans. Transforming your home to reflect your needs and style is an exciting step in the relationship and worth discussing early on.

Children

According to new estimates of the costs of children1 from the Australian Institute of Family Studies , it costs almost $1,000 per week to raise a child (in 2018) and almost $1,200 per week for two children. Having extra funds saved before baby is born could help lighten financial pressures. Many families choose to save $20 or $50 per week for education or other expenses after birth. Read more about planning to have a baby.

Debt reduction

Creating a united front and tackling the debt can be an exciting achievement. Reviewing your budget and finding ways to pay it off quickly is important. For instance, you could consider consolidating the debt to free-up credit if needed later on.

Re-training/study

Some people find their passion later in life, while others choose to up-skill. To do this, it generally costs money. Deciding whether you save for future study or whether to apply for a loan and pay it off will depend on your individual circumstances.

In each instance above, your budget, your ability to pay-off loans and the amount you could put towards savings will depend on your own personal circumstances. Talk to your accountant, financial adviser and bank about what is suitable to your situation.

 

1. The Australian Institute of Family Studies 2018