How to Manage Finances as a Couple: 5 Important Advice

Managing finances as a new couple can be excruciating. Once the infatuation rubs off, harsh reality comes in. Girls on say that the reason for breakups is often money issues.

How do you divide the costs for a living? Who pays for what? What if someone gets a bigger salary, do they contribute more? Who covers a water bill? Don’t worry, this dilemma is not as terrible as it sounds. If you talk about it beforehand, there should be no problems. Here is a list of legitimate financial advice for you and your partner.

Step 1: decide on your financial model

There are two main financial models for couples and families: two separate accounts, and one joint account.

Let’s say you want to have separate accounts. It sounds like a win-win situation because no one owes each other anything. But you need to realize that paying for bills 50/50 is a huge responsibility because if one partner has spending problems, the more responsible person still loses. If you pay rent together and one of you is unable to cover the bill, you will still have to fill in that gap not to get kicked out of the apartment.

A joint bank account means all the money earned by two partners is placed into one pot and distributed for the most essential needs, such as bills, mortgage, and medical expenses. You’ll need to have similar spending habits for this one too. This model allows partners who make less to get a fair share.  They still contribute to the bank account, but financial abilities proportionally rely on their salary.

Step 2: define equality and trust

If you choose to open a joint account as a couple, debts and overdrafts are now a shared problem. Even if finances are not your forte, it’s best not to allow one partner to distribute all the money and manage every account. The other partner should always know what’s going on in your bank account, so if emergencies happen, they won’t be confused.

Another thing you should work on is equality. What is “equal” in your understanding? You can divide rent 50/50%, but if one of you makes two times more, this might not sound right.

Step 3: always track your budget together

Surveys show that couples are embarrassed to talk about their spending habits because they don’t want to sound too frugal/profligate. Unfortunately, the majority of financial problems happen because both partners want to seem “better” before they move in together. The best way to save your budget is to track money together. Always enlist your purchases and don’t hide anything.

Step 4: set your goals together

Every reasonable purchase requires communication. Each time you buy electrical appliances, gadgets, expensive clothes, and especially vehicles – these expenses should be conformed to during a family council. There can be times when one partner wants a new car and another one finds this purchase unreasonable. These are the cases when a sensible approach and mutual planning can lead to financial stability. Planning a big purchase? Discuss how you can increase productivity by re-planning and restructuring your spending habits as a couple.

Step 5: save spare money as a couple

Whenever one of you gets an increase or a paycheck/royalties, there might be a temptation to stash the money as it doesn’t belong to a budgeting plan. But think about it from a time perspective. Saving 10% of the money will and stacking it together buck by buck will lead to a new grill in no time. You still can spend cash on your needs, but always try to contribute to the family budget. If you plan a big purchase, save at least 20% if it doesn’t involve paying rent/if you have no sudden expenses this month.