How To Not Let Money Ruin Your Relationship
Contrary to how hard most people think their finances will get after marriage (especially when they already have kids), it doesn’t actually have to! As the saying goes: two heads are better than one. However, before you get to that stage, it’s going to get tough before it gets easy.
Despite being a couple, you are both different individuals and may have differences in priorities and perceptions in life. Some things that might be important to you may not be equally important for your partner and vice versa. You may think that you should be putting more money aside than how much your partner thinks is ideal. Or, you simply have different spending habits, and the list goes on and on.
There are many things that change once you are married, and for couples who are just starting out a life together, managing their finances will be an inevitable struggle at first. As time goes by, it will only get easier if you’re able to get past these relationship milestones necessary for both of your financial maturity.
Determine your role
Money and finances tend to be a sensitive topic even for couples, but financial obligations are going to be constant and inevitable. That is why, as a couple, you should openly talk about your finances, including your spending habit and financial priorities. Then, start determining your role: who will do the budgeting? Who will track the expenses? Or who will do the groceries? Both of you should be involved in planning your expenses.
Identify your spending habits
You should both be aware of your partner’s consumerism and spending habits before you decide on a strategy for building your wealth. It’s important for both of you to be aware of each other’s financial behavior, so that you could come up with a plan that you both agree on that will not compromise your finances as a couple. Getting rid of a negative spending habit can be quite a struggle, but if your partner is there to help you manage it, it will be less difficult.
Be honest with your struggles
Building trust and exercising fairness and equality is a must. Always be open for a talk and constructive dialogue with your partner about your financial whereabouts and further courses of action. If you’re in a financial dilemma prior to your marriage, let your partner know. Your finances will eventually affect your partner’s finances. Thus, it’s better to let your partner know about it so that you can set proper expectations with him/her when you’re sorting out your monthly budget.
There are many options available to help you manage your money together depending on what level of fairness and trust is achieved between the two of you. If you two are comfortable enough to have a joint account, it’s a good sign of faith in each other. If you don’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean otherwise.
1. Same joint account
- For couples who believe to know each other very well tend to resort to this strategy. Sharing your account with someone can be a big step, so it is advisable to run some kind of a test account first.
2. Completely separate accounts
- Both partners enjoy high level of integrity and independence in this one. However, keep in mind that this could harm your chances of going together when bigger amount of money is needed. Perhaps there will be a time when you’ll have to get a joint loan money together.
3. Separate accounts besides family budget
- This is perhaps the most common strategy. It goes with decent level of independence but it calls for a responsibility and a requisite to deposit a certain sum each month into a joint account. That money should serve for ongoing expenses, paying bills and some minor investments around the house.
Whichever way that you decide to save your funds, you should know that there is no ‘’one size fits all’’ solution for this. It’s all about what will work best with your financial practice.