Managing Money In Your RelationshipAug 28, 2023
Although money isn't the most essential thing in life, it's reasonably close to oxygen regarding what we need to survive. It is a fact that disagreement over finances has far-reaching effects on a couple's relationship and can ultimately lead to the demise of a marriage. Since money is like oxygen—a necessary resource for fulfilling your life dreams—having regular conversations with your partner about managing money in your relationship will be critical for your relationship's well-being.
To combine or not to combine
Here is a question I always hear from individuals and couples alike. "Should we combine or should we not?" For some couples, putting all their money in one account is preferred, while keeping separate accounts is the practice for others. For couples who keep separate accounts, expenses are split, each choosing to pay for particular bills. For example, one person may pay for the groceries while the other pays for the utilities.
Couples who choose to combine their money use one joint bank account that they contribute to monthly for all their home-related expenses. Along with this arrangement, they also own two different personal bank accounts, where they keep funds allocated from the combined contributions, money that they use for personal expenses. On top of that, they work together as a team on their long-term financial goals and big item purchases, like cars, personal development, and vacations.
So should you combine or should you not? It's all up to you. However, couples who combine their money and handle their finances as a team are generally more satisfied in their relationship.
Keeping spending in check
Spending without telling your partner can create significant conflict in your relationship. To avoid this pitfall, be transparent with your finances. Discuss how much money you will allocate to daily and monthly financial activities. Both you and your spouse should create joint financial goals based on future aspirations.
Once you have identified some of the things you need to do to accomplish your dream, create a budget—a financial document used to project future income and expenditure—and use it to track your spending behavior. Remember to spend less than you earn and invest the difference during your money management process.
Have monthly and yearly money meetings
Life changes! And so will your money concerns as time progresses. This reality is why, in addition to creating a money plan that includes a joint budget, you must have monthly and yearly money meetings to keep abreast of your financial issues. At your monthly meetings, discuss your current financial concerns to ensure that you are spending within your budget and following your monthly financial plan. Look at your big money picture at your annual meeting, like your retirement plan. Talk about your investments and assess whether you are comfortable with where the funds are and your level of satisfaction with the return on the investment (ROI).
Ensure you are still in sync with each other's desires and financial goals, such as vacations and buying your dream home or car. Have a conversation about job loss, career change, career development, and relocating due to one spouse getting a job in another part of the country. Discussions on these issues may prove pertinent since changes in these areas may ultimately impact your pocketbook.
The bottom line
Though money cannot buy happiness, it helps, and though money is not the most essential thing in a relationship, it's close to oxygen on the "got to have it" scale. Hence, managing your money will be a critical part of your relationship if you intend to have a satisfying love life.