As the sweetness of our relationship thickened, it became essential to think about finances. For us, taking big decisions as a couple embellished the need of having a tabulated, joint financial model on Google Sheets. We wanted to account for our current earnings and expenses, model our future earning and spending potential, and build a view of what our financial future would look like.
Considering the global economic outlook, we knew we had to account for factors such as inflation and return on investments as well as future decisions such as buying vs renting and having kids. We designed such a Google Sheet and called it “Our Relationship Model”. Here are some interesting insights we learned from creating and maintaining it for the last 5 months.
We’ve made our sheet available as a template for anyone to download, so if you’re interested, visit our shop link at the end of this article.
Planning Our Big Dreams
The image of grey hair and wrinkled skin pops up when we talk about retirement age. But, if you keep track of your finances, you can pull the plug early. Mapping out our retirement ages on our Relationship Model was life-changing. We added not only one but two ways to find the retirement age. Either you can decide the age at which you will retire or find out by which year you will have enough money to call a retirement. The organized setup and well structure were miracles for our finances. Now, whoever retires first gets to call dibs on the never-s0-tiring role of a cook in your house. Be it a slice of burnt bread or a three-course meal, the other needs to enjoy it like the cake on his/her 1st birthday.
Planning Our Big Dreams
Making a car roar or building a permanent roof can seem to be a long-stretched dream. But when we planned our budgets and adhered to them, a lot of room was found for huge investments. You and your partner can simply log in the assets, debts along with other expenses. When the figures are before your eyes, you can make cuts on your present budgets to save for huge investments in the future. We configured our spreadsheet to account for external variables such as inflation rate, lifestyle inflation, and other factors beyond our control. We made sure that these values were kept configurable so that we could account for worst-case and best-case scenarios.
Taking the World by Storm
The many hours of work that you put in do demand a vacation for your mind and soul. You might be burning the midnight oil while your travel magazines gather dust. It is time that you and your partner shift to vacation mode. Traveling is not expensive if you plan it right. Your favorable destinations await your auspicious presence. We filled the columns on the excel sheet and adjusted our monthly expenses and the savings for vacations. Be it small monthly vacations or a big yearly vacation, the planner has helped us find out where we can make some cuts. So pack your luggage, before the train leaves the station.
Finding The Right Time
Agreeing on the right time to marry or have kids has a lot to do with finance.
The time when we are not only emotionally stable but also financially stable matters a lot in making life-changing moves. Together we made the decision when we would like to tie the knot and expand our family by tracking the savings. If you feel that you and your partner have not made the decision yet then keep it ‘Not Planned’ on our template. We solemnly understand the expenses that can come after the right time.
Thus, the excel sheet also lets you fill-up the cost of raising a child or home renovations before you swing into your honeymoon. We went the extra mile and made our template in such a way that it calculates the cost of raising a child across 17 years for you, based on your place of residence.
Looking After Parents
Taking care of parents is one of those expenses you least expect (Image by iStockPhoto.com)
While we nurture a budding family, it is also necessary to take care of our parents. Holding their hands and assuring them that they would get elderly care gives them happiness. After a certain age of your parents, the yearly expense of insurance and others will start to be roughly the same. We found that having a space to contain all the nitty-gritty of expenses that we provide for your parents is essential.
Tailoring Your Cost of Living
If the cost of living is burning a hole in your pocket then you can move into a new place and lower the expenses of rent, groceries, electricity bill, and more.
The quality of living varies from one place to the other and if you and your partner are absolutely okay with changing the location, go for it. Save some money by shifting to the countryside or Tier II cities. Just make sure that you carry enough oxygen and food if you want to settle on Mars and make your cost of living zero.
Get Your Hands on The Couple’s Financial Planner Today!
Forecasting our finances has helped us lay the foundation for building a family together. You can download the planner from our shop and unravel the all-in-one financial model. From pocket pinches to holiday hinges, your partner and you can get your savings back on track. We would be over the Moon if you connect with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest and share your experience. Cheers!
This post was previously published on medium.com.
You may also like these posts on The Good Men Project:
|White Fragility: Talking to White People About Racism||Escape the “Act Like a Man” Box||The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer||What We Talk About When We Talk About Men|
Photo credit: iStockPhoto.com