It can be tough to keep your financial life in order when you’re on your own. Adding another person to the equation can make it near impossible, or you can work on it together and do more than either could on your own, which is a great thing about being a team. But with all kinds of romantic relationships out there, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to joint finances.
There are, however, some good rules of thumb to help you come up with a system that works for both members of your relationship. I wish you the best in love (and money). Here’s how the best money/lovers do it.
3 Tips For Budgeting With A Significant Other
Don’t Go Too Fast, Or Too Slow
Some people have the tendency to get overly involved very quickly in a new relationship. Lots of people move in together and get a joint bank account before one really knows the other. In a situation like this, you leave your finances (not to mention your emotions) vulnerable to a situation that may not ultimately work out. In that amount of time, a partner who is not judicious with money may make your personal finances suffer, a problem that will still be lingering once the relationship is long gone.
On the other hand, it’s altogether appropriate to have joint finances if you are going to stick together for a long time. If you have such a relationship, honor it by giving your partner access to your money. It’ll build trust and ultimately strengthen the relationship, as long as you are on the same page.
Contribute The Same Percentage, Not The Same Amount
Most relationships have one member who makes more money than the other. While toxic relationships will find this a source of finger-pointing and frustration, generous couples understand that the amount of money you make does not determine the value you bring to a relationship. But there should still be some sort of equitability, even if both member don’t have the same pay.
By each person contributing a set percentage of the money they do make to specific budgeted categories, you will achieve fairness without making unreasonable demands of either party. So figure out how much you’re both going to contribute to groceries, bills, savings, investments, and stick to your percentages in good times and bad.
Be Open About How You Use Your Money
Secret spending is bad for most relationships. While many couples maintain areas of privacy in their lives, it’s best not to be deceptive with a partner about how money is spent. So early in the relationship, when all is going well and you are optimistic for your shared future, lay everything out on the table: your debts, your CMC market investments, your broker funds, you subscriptions, the stuff you spend money on when you’re broke. Offer these truths generously, and your partner will probably receive them graciously. Now that everything is out on the table, build a shared financial future together.
There are plenty of other ways to make a good financial life with your partner, but honesty, budgeting, and shared responsibility and communication are the best foundations, moving forward. You’ll learn a lot when you both work on your finances together. It’ll mean a better future, for your lifestyle and your relationship.
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Compounding Pennies. I’ve been interested in personal finance since high school and love writing and talking about it. You can learn more about me in the Authors section of this site.