If you’ve recently gone from managing your money solo to managing it with a partner, it can be an adjustment. After all, you went from being able to blow your paycheck guilt-free on shoes/video games/omakase sushi meals to having to think of another person in your spending habits. Not to mention all the boring but necessary decisions you’ll need to make together, e.g.finding the best debt consolidation loan rates.
Managing money as a pair might take some trial and error, but there are some suggestions you can follow to make it a better process.
How to manage money as a couple
- You should both be in the know
It’s best if you share in financial planning together. After all, the decisions affect both of you. Making big plans alone or hiding financial details is a recipe for financial and relationship disaster. Working together as a team can help avoid these fights.
- Be open about debt
It’s important to be open with your partner about loans, debts, and your credit score. While disclosing such financial information can feel scary and put you in a vulnerable position, you’ll avoid unwanted surprises later on.
3. Talk about your money feelings
Equally important to disclosing debts is discussing your feelings around money. This includes things like your earliest memories about finances, how your parentsapproached the topic of money, spending weaknesses in your past, and money habits that you’d like to improve.
- Express your money goals
Keeping spreadsheets and talking about budgeting minutiae can feel like a drag sometimes. But keeping the ‘what’ and ‘why’ in mind—as in what you’re saving for and why you’re working so hard—can help you both stay motivated. Creating money goals together can help keep these two ‘w’s top of mind.
- Have regular money meetings
Who needs a candlelit dinner when you can whisper sweet nothings about compound interest and asset allocations? Yeah, we know, finance isn’t usually known for its sex appeal. But having regular meetings to make sure you’re both staying on the same page can help keep your bank account and relationship healthy.
- Consider meeting with a financial planner
Don’t know what to do about certain money decisions? Meeting with an objective party can help you wade through any financial quagmires you might encounter. You and your partner can meet with a financial planner to help resolve any disagreements. A financial planner can also offer expert advice that you may not have considered.
- Create a shared budget
If one of you loves to buy venti-iced cappuccinos twiceadayand the other sticks with instant coffee to save cash, it’s probably a good idea to create and stick to a shared budget. Agreeing on where you’ll spend and where you’ll save can help you avoid making unnecessary discretionary purchases. Plus, who wants to get into a blowout fight about coffee?
- Divvy up the responsibilities
Decide who does what when it comes to the finances. For example, who makes the car and rent payments each month? Which one of you checks the credit card to make sure there hasn’t been any fraud? How will you handle taxes? (That might be a completely different conversation.)
It can take some time to find the best way for you and your partner to work together on your finances. By following the above steps, you’ll be well on your way to achieving financial nirvana together.
By Stefanie Gordon
Stefanie Gordon is a content strategist with over a decade of professional writing experience. She is a former financial journalist who has spent the last several years working in digital marketing. She specializes in content strategy and creation for large and small businesses in finance and technology.