When you add another person into the mix, managing your money can get more complex. Are you going to split expenses? Which ones? Will you split them 50-50? Do you have to split them 50-50?
And discussing expenses is just skimming the surface. Couples who share their lives together are likely to have lots of other financial decisions to tackle together too. Your financial and savings goals may not be just your own any more.
Every couple will have their own approach to managing their money. Some may choose to open a joint bank account, while others will decide to keep their money separate. Here are five tips that can help you get started when you’re figuring out how to save together.
We all feel differently about money. You may have been brought up being told to ‘watch the pennies’, while your other half may like to live in the moment. Although you may not agree completely, an open and honest conversation about how you’re going to approach your finances can help remove some of the stress.
When you do sit down to talk, commit to being transparent about all of your finances – not just the good parts. It may feel like a tricky topic to bring up, but having a real picture of your financial circumstances could help you plan better for shared future goals, like saving for a holiday, buying a house or having children.
Once you’ve established where you each stand financially, it’s likely to be a good idea to talk about how you’ll split any shared expenses. This may include things like:
There are things you may be planning to do together in the short-term – like going on holiday, or buying a new sofa. And there are also longer term things to consider:
Some couples will find talking about money frustrating, so it can help to understand what you’re both best at, and share the responsibilities that way. For example, one of you may be more skilled at handling investments, while the other is more disciplined when it comes to budgeting.
Understanding where each of your strengths lies when it comes to money, and tackling your savings goals together head-on, could help set a positive and supportive tone to your relationship for years to come.