Money management is notoriously challenging for couples but definitely easier to handle if you’re by yourself. Add your significant other and it can spell disaster.
When I was single, dealing with finances was simple. And I naively thought that they would stay that way when I got married.
But during the first year of marriage, I was in for an unpleasant surprise. My husband and I had different views about money and they clashed, of course.
Opposites attract. But when it came to money, our views didn’t clique. Whose does?
Most couples have a tightwad while the other is a spender. Without the tightwad, you’ll never save. Without the spender, you’ll never go on vacation.
So both balance each other out and that’s important. Also, some people have trust issues when it comes to money. Money is tied to different emotions – fear, love, guilt, comfort.
I had to learn how to communicate better about money without involving emotion or starting a fight. It’s still a struggle but I’m learning every day.
Suze Orman covered these secret money management tips for couples on her TV show. And she’s so on point.
1. Pay bills together.
In most situations, one person pays the bills, while the other is not involved and is more carefree about spending. Am I right?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably the one who pays the bills!
Paying bills together helps you stay on the same page. It’s a challenge to start but once you do, it’s worth it.
The data is in front of you and there’s nothing to hide. When you both see the bills, you’ll both be mindful of how much things cost and why you have to stay on budget.
2. Have a joint account for expenses and contribute equal percentages into it.
Everyone has their own view of individual accounts vs. joint accounts. Don’t get hung up on that.
At a minimum, have a joint account where you contribute equal percentages. Then use that account to pay the bills.
Equal percentages makes it feel more fair so that the person who makes less, doesn’t feel they’re at a disadvantage.
3. Don’t keep financial secrets.
Credit card bills and debt are easy to hide and can be a source of shame. It takes guts and courage for a person to reveal that they’re in debt.
If you suspect the other person is hiding something, be gentle and supportive. Create a positive environment so that they can trust you.
If you’re the one who’s keeping a secret, it’s time to be truthful. The longer you hold the secret, the worse it will be.
Make a plan on how you’re going to fix it.
4. Don’t make major purchases without consulting the other.
This is huge! Agree on the amount that you’ll consult each other for, like anything over $100.
5. The person who earns the most money doesn’t have more power in the relationship.
Money equals power in business but in relationships, that doesn’t work as well. Your relationship is an equal partnership.
Want to get started budgeting together? Check out Budgeting Made Easy.