How to enjoy the freedom of financial peace of mind as a couple

Some of the great joys of being in a relationship are planning for exciting moments in life like taking holidays, buying a home or having children. By being financially secure while you navigate the twists and turns of your life together, you can help alleviate unwanted stress and pressure and focus on the things that really matter.

And while it’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness, it can certainly go a long way towards helping you feel secure about your future. Simply taking the time to discuss your goals as a couple and ensuring you have a plan in place to reach them means you’ll be well prepared to make joint life decisions with the freedom of financial peace of mind.

Setting goals requires taking stock of your current situation, accessing what needs to be done, working out a plan and sticking to it!

Make sure you thoroughly research your options and consider what is going to be the best fit for your needs, or consider booking a consultation with a qualified financial adviser, who will be able to offer you professional insights and advice and work with you to set a realistic plan including a specific timeframe for achieving your goals.

Once you have a plan in place, it’s essential to give it the TLC it needs in order to thrive. That means monitoring and making adjustments where necessary as your circumstances change.

To help get you started on the path to financial freedom here are some essential things to consider starting with setting a budget and clearing debt.

Working within your budget is key when it comes to getting yourself on a solid financial track. Initially keeping a one month track of your expenses to get a sense of your ‘money in’ compared with your ‘money out’, will allow you to assess any areas where you could cut back on spending and how much you can realistically save.

To clear any debt, first split your debt into two types: ‘Good debt’ which can make you money if used to purchase savvy investments like education and property; and ‘Bad debt’ including non-income generating assets and items which decline in value such as credit cards and car loans.

Work on clearing any bad debt by writing the balance of the debt and the applicable interest rate. Look at the list and determine which debts are costing you the most.  Those are the debts you should aim to clear first.

Negotiate discounts wherever possible on everything from a better interest rate on your mortgage to a discount on everyday purchases. There’s no harm in asking and you might be surprised how often you can get a better deal and how quickly the savings can add up.

Health, car and travel insurance are something most people are familiar with and have had experience using, however it’s also worth considering taking out life insurance. In life, there are certain times, such as getting married or starting a family that you realise that life itself is what’s most important and  that’s worth protecting.

Life Insurance provides you with the financial support to protect your family’s financial security and way of life should the unforeseen arise.  It’s there to support you as you grow, and help you navigate any unexpected twists in the road.  In short, you want your Life Insurance to change as you do.
It’s worth doing your research when it comes to what would work best for you and your family.

When it comes to super it’s vital to understand the scope of insurance offered your cover, as super policies can often be limited. Too often couples fall into the trap of believing they are fully protected, where there might be gaps.

It’s usually best to have only one super account to avoid paying fees across several funds. You can request the Australian Tax Office to find all your super accounts and a financial advisor will be able to help you decide which provider best meets your needs.

Finally, consider having a ‘rainy day fund’ to allow yourself some breathing space to deal with the unexpected, such as needing to buy a new fridge or settle medical bills. The more savings you have available, the more financial breathing space you’ll have. Think about what might be required if the washing machine or a car broke down and start by aiming to save that amount.

By taking these steps and scheduling time to monitor and adjust your situation as your life changes, you’ll be well on the way to financial security for your family and a few steps closer to your dreams.

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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.