Money and Relationships: Agreeing on the Price of Your First Big Purchase

Money and Relationships: Agreeing on the Price of Your First Big Purchase

As we continue to delve into our money and relationships series, we find ourselves standing in front of the first big joint purchase. Now, it doesn't matter whether a couple's first virgin joint spending is on the wedding ring combo, the wedding, a car or a house; the same nervousness and excitement are sure to be present.

How then can the pair transcend the butterflies to purchase that first rainbow? Let's take a look at some of the ways a new team can decide on the spending limit for the first joint financial venture.

Shop Around

When considering how much to spend on any purchase, a couple must first figure out what is available at what price. For example, if the lovebirds' first joint financial purchase is the wedding rings, most people don't know how many carats are available at different price points. So figuring out which ring would be ideal may be the best place to start.

Determine How Much is Affordable

After a dream price point is determined, many couples may have to determine if the ideal is affordable. Here, looking over the newly joint budget may help the dynamic duo decide if that $5,000 wedding ring set, for example, is feasible.

This is where many financial software programs can help. Moneydance and Quicken are both excellent programs that allow the lovebirds to display both incomes and both sets of bills, which makes determining what payment is affordable much easier.

Also, talking to each other in depth about dreams for the future can help couples set aside enough for big ticket items while purchasing a more affordable first joint item. The trick is to balance and compromise.

Enlist Outside Help

If deciding on the price point of the first joint purchase is still overwhelming, the lovebirds can find help in many forms. From banks to parents to counselors, financial help abounds in many places:

  • Banks: For really large purchases, like houses and cars, banks and credit unions can help the couple steer in the right direction. With their own repayment in mind, banks and credit unions will not allow their customer to overextend beyond their maximum means (corner lenders, on the other hand, are another story – and the biggest reason for our most recent financial crash). In any case, as advised in our post latest post, "How to Talk About Money Rationally," lovers seeking bank advice should also consider their own personal comfort levels with repayment.
  • Relatives: Parents and other relatives are also usually excellent sources of knowledge. If you are comfortable asking your parents for financial advice in your new joint finances, discuss your first large purchase with them. Ask for their advice on peacefully purchasing your first large item together. They may be just the wealth of information you need.
  • Counselors: Financial counselors could also assist in putting you and your spouse on the right path to wealth and financial harmony. Many people consider financial counselors a last resort to financial concerns, but they can help couples find harmony before discord can take hold. Speak to a financial counselor at your church, bank or local counseling service company to start yourselves off on the right foot in your first joint venture.

Although the first large purchase as a twosomee can seem daunting, shopping around, determining affordability and enlisting the help of others can help any lovebirds find a perfect compromise.

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MoneyCone's picture

MoneyCone wrote:

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 15:37 Comment #: 1

When it comes to big purchases, education is the key. There are always gotchas *and* deals! Never go impulsive when the purchase is big.

Great tips!

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 15:37 Comment #: 2

Definitely, Moneycone! "Deals" on large purchases are usually too good to be true!

Weekend Reading: Evil Still Exists Edition | Invest It Wisel's picture

Weekend Reading: Evil Still Exists Edition | Invest It Wisel wrote:

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 12:56 Comment #: 3

[...] Money and Relationships: Agreeing on the Price of Your First Big Purchase (MomVesting) [...]

jeff @ Sustainable life blog's picture

jeff @ Sustainable life blog wrote:

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 20:20 Comment #: 4

I think looking outside the home is a great deal, but before that happens couples need to identify priorities. Is a 5k ring set what they want, or would they rather take a trip to south america or purchase a new bedroom set?

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Sat, 05/14/2011 - 19:49 Comment #: 5

Jeff, definitely agreed: couples need to decide together where their priorities lie in big purchases. Great point!

Goals Update and Weekly Round-Up #20 « Life And My's picture

Goals Update and Weekly Round-Up #20 « Life And My wrote:

Sun, 05/15/2011 - 08:22 Comment #: 6

[...] [...]