This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with finance tips.
It’s important that when you’re in a relationship with someone and you’ve taken the plunge to get a property together or perhaps you’ve just got engaged, that you do finances together. It’s essential if you’ve both spoken openly about getting married and settling down. Here are some tips for doing your finances as a couple.
Tips For Doing Your Finances As A Couple
Be Honest With Your Budget
When it comes to your budget, it’s important to be open and honest as a pair. What are your monthly expenditures currently? Discuss these with your partner so that you’re aware of what you both spend as a couple and what you both spend apart.
A lot of your bills and expenditures might already come out together, but if they don’t, then it’s worth knowing what each of you is spending so that there are no nasty surprises if you’ve not been honest with one another. This can be especially important if you’re trying to save for something too.
Budgeting can be difficult, especially if it’s something that you’re not particularly used to doing, and it’s made harder when you have a partner to deal with financially too. Sit down together regularly so that you can go through the necessary costs.
Clear Any Debt ASAP
If you’re just starting the serious talk about sharing your money, then a financial compatibility quiz can certainly be beneficial. However, one thing that you must do to avoid arguments is to clear any debts you have as soon as possible. If it’s not so easy to clear the debt up, then you want to be honest with your partner about the timeline and how long it will take to clear that debt too.
Open A Joint Account
When you’re handling money, having to do it from separate accounts can make it challenging. One thing that’s worth doing is opening a joint account so that every expenditure can go out one way, and the income you both have can go into one place. It just makes it a lot easier, and if you’re both comfortable with doing so, then it can be helpful to introduce.
You need to be able to trust each other though, to spend the right amount each month. The last thing you want is for one of you to be spending a lot more and putting you both under financial pressure. That’s not going to do anything good for your relationship.
It’s good to share responsibilities when it comes to money. If one of you is better at handling bills or sourcing new bill providers that are more affordable, then it’s better to hand out the roles to whoever is better at it. Make sure it’s an equal responsibility as you both want to be in control of your money, even though you might be sharing it in the one pot.
Doing your finances as a couple can certainly be a challenge for your relationship as it might be something that’s very new and perhaps you’ve not done previously.
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Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.