Asked on 30 May 2019
We are of the same age, and graduated locally. I am looking to start work soon while my other half is still studying. Any financial advice for us?
I have two friends(they are a couple) who were in the exact same situation as you are in now. It’s definitely not easy for both of you as you will both be in different life stages temporarily.
What my friends did were (I will list down 3 crucial area, hope it helps!):
Their communication also set out plans for their future taking both their current life stages into consideration.
This helps them to be involved and accountable towards themselves and one another on their future.
Both can still be involved even if life stages are different. ☺️
The two of you will grow stronger in the relationship from this time, I believe!
Hit me up if you need more info. ☺️
Interestingly, I knew of a couple who were in the same situation - they talked alot about such things, even down to how many kids they wanted and the placement of furniture in their future home - only to split up a few years later.
It turned out that they were in disagreement over many things, and could not reconcile those differences.
The reason why I mention it is that over and above the finances, its critical to have both parties be aligned in terms of financial habits and goals.
Understand what your individual financial goals are, and then your joint goals.
If you both agree to work towards joint goals, identify any changes you need to make to lifestyle. For eg. if you have a certain savings goal, it makes sense to cut down on certain expenses.
Discuss how expenses will be split. With one person working in a job earlier than the other, will this change how you split expenses?
Like Clarence said, it's all about communication and being aligned as a couple.
I was in the same situation 10 years plus ago. Same age but in NS so wife was 2 years ahead. All the conversations around our finances and hopes definitely helped, but they were all theoretical. When one starts working and getting an income, the practical experience will change one's perspective. So what I can suggest is this: if the still-studying one is able to cope academically, why not get him/her to start part time jobs at the same time the other half starts working?
While the income will allow you to contribute to expenses on some level vis-a-vis your other half, the main benefit is the working experience which basically aligns both your perspectives about income and expenses. This common practical ground will help to reduce the gap between your thinking and his/hers, and make it easier to work things out financially.