They say money is the true test of every couple. For the most part, this is true, as a majority of couples divorce because of financial problems. It is the top reason second only to infidelity. Guess money does tend to bring out the worst in some people.
Times are hard and money sure is tight these days. But we believe that there are ways in which you can manage your finances without fighting with your partner. Whether you’re a long-time couple or a new one, these tips below will show you how.
When you’re living together, you don’t have to struggle with paying for things because you don’t have to always buy two of everything. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything in your house but for the most part, you could get away with purchasing just one item that the two of you could share. Like a shared Netflix account, a single load of laundry, and a single trip to the grocery store.
Moving in together also determines whether you are compatible with one another. That way you could easily get used to each other’s quirks long before you get married.
Open Up a Joint Account
One way to deal with finances is if you open up a joint account. This way there would be no more arguments about whose money it is because it is both your money. But this would only work if you trust one another implicitly.
Besides, given the numerous online banks and digital wallets, it will be easier to take care of your financial health nowadays.
You could easily keep track of deposits and withdrawals made with just the click of a button. How convenient is that!
You Don’t Always Have to Split Expenses 50-50
Generally, couples split their expenses 50-50. But following this to the letter could be problematic particularly if there is a sizable gap in both of your incomes. Not to mention this could breed resentment and jealousy in the long run.
A way to augment this is to have the person with the bigger salary cover a majority of the expenses. Depending on both of your salaries, this split could be 60-40 or 70-30. The idea is to balance it out.
For example, the person with the higher income could cover rent and the bills while the other person could cover the groceries and other miscellaneous expenses. That way, everybody gets to contribute.
Be Open About Your Purchases
This doesn’t mean reporting every single cent to the other but being honest when you’ve made a rather big purchase. Couples fight when they learn someone went and bought a new television set when the money was supposed to be covering this month’s rent.
It is being blindsided by things like those that escalate and could lead to full-blown arguments. Eventually, you’re going to be at each other’s throats when you try to outdo which person spent more.
You don’t necessarily have to control their spending like a kid. But do be mindful enough to inform them of any of your upcoming purchases, especially big ones, which brings us to the next point.
Communication Is Key
Honest and open communication is the key to a better relationship. It does not just apply to finances. For instance, if one of you is a spender and money is tight, then it would serve you well to have an honest discussion with your partner about being more careful about spending money.
Don’t just bottle up your frustrations because that would only make you resent your partner. It is easier to deal with your problems now than when they have snowballed into something bigger.
Think About the Things You Can Do Without
Most people think saving money is hard enough considering all your expenses. But it doesn’t have to be. Managing your finances doesn’t mean all your money has to go into savings.
It can even be as simple as re-evaluating your expenses. This is where your wants versus your needs come in. Think about the things you could do without. For example, do you need that cable subscription when you’re practically attuned to Netflix anyways?
Do you have to have takeout every day? You could limit it to once a week instead. It is all about compromises like these so you don’t have to completely deprive yourself and still save money.
Make It a Habit To Track Your Spending
Every couple most likely sets a budget but it would help if you keep track of how much you spend. This shows you the areas you spend the most, that way you could determine how to manage your budget to cover both your essentials like rent, utilities, and food.
You could start by tracking your expenses at the end of the week. List down everything you spend money on. When you tally them, you might even be surprised by how much money you spend that’s not part of your budget.
Set Aside an Allowance as Fun Money
Managing your finances doesn’t have to be all work and no play. That said, you could set aside an allowance as fun money for the both of you. This could be separate or a single fund. But the idea is to save money for yourself. Treat yourselves.
This money could go towards date nights, to buy the latest gadget your partner has been raving about, or a skincare item your partner wants.
Dealing with your finances as a couple can be tough. But with the right attitude towards money and open communication, you can manage your expenses and leave enough wiggle room for you to enjoy yourselves.