Sharing money as a couple can present challenges, but with a good plan and a willingness to make it work, these challenges are not insurmountable. Here are some tips we found on Thebalance.com to help you navigate the joint finances path.
Discuss your finances and agree on your priorities
Before you can agree on your budget, you need to know what your joint financial position is. Arrange a ‘finances’ meeting, where you can both discuss individual and joint spending and savings requirements.
While it might be easier to leave it to the other person to manage, agreeing your finances together helps you to iron out any different perspectives about where your money goes.
It’s a good idea to ensure one of you has responsibility for paying the bills on time though (or set up regular payments), to avoid the ‘I thought you were doing it’ conversation.
Just as you need to be on the same page to agree on a spending budget, deciding what you’re saving for is equally important. Are you saving for a house, or an overseas holiday, or maybe both? Make sure you have factored in a rainy-day fund, as well as the focus of what you’re saving for; sparks might fly if you dip into the house fund to fix the car.
Agree on a budget
It is important you are both on the same page when it comes to what you are spending your hard-earned money on. By having a budget, you can track your spending, and compare what you actually spend with what you both originally agreed would happen.
Without regular conversations about your budget, and checking in to see whether you are generally sticking to it, savings or debt reduction goals can quickly be missed.
Know your debt
For joint finances to work, you need to know about each other's financial situation.
While it may be a bit daunting to admit to having a credit card that you have not yet paid off, you need to have a plan as a couple on how you will pay off all your debt.
Working on a debt repayment plan, as well as savings, will help you build a strong financial future. Tackling debt together means you can start saving for your life plans a lot sooner, and you will feel focused on a future as a couple.
Consider having individual accounts as well as joint
Surprising your partner with some flowers or new cufflinks doesn’t have quite the same ‘gift’ element, if the money is just coming out of your joint account. Not only that, if you have ‘your own’ money, there are likely to be fewer money conflicts, as you can decide what you want to spend that money on.
This is also useful if one of you is a spender, and one is a saver. If you don’t have your own money, you might get anxious if you feel you’re not saving enough as a couple, or frustrated if you don’t feel able to buy things when you want them. It’s important to plan ahead and save, but also equally important to enjoy life and your money.
Different money personalities can cause challenges when managing your finances jointly. With a little bit of discussion and agreement, you can have your money and spend (or save) it too.
If together you decide a personal loan will help you get your finances in order, talk to the team at AA Finance about your finance needs today. Contact us on 0800 500 555, seven-days week between 9am and 5pm. We’re here to help.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure the content is correct, the information provided is subject to continuous change. Please use your discretion and seek independent guidance before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.