Combining Finances as a Couple
Sometimes there seems to be a lot of hype surrounding couples and their finances. Everyone is looking for a magic formula that will somehow allow them to comfortably fill their bank account, while effortlessly bringing peace and harmony to their relationship. In reality, there is no one magic formula that works for all couples. What works for one particular couple might create issues if another couple tried the same method.
Managing money is simply one more task that most individuals have to address throughout their lifetime. Just as with household chores, childcare activities and work responsibilities, couples must carve out a plan that works for their unique needs. Above all, couples must understand the peace and harmony of their relationship is their number one priority. Once they understand their relationship’s integrity is what is truly important, they can negotiate and delegate the various responsibilities of life between the two of them, including money management.
Some couples might find it works best to put one of them in charge of the finances who makes sure all the bills are paid and the other partner receives what amounts to an allowance for inconsequentials. Other couples find it works best to keep separate accounts. They divvy up the monthly obligations and each partner ensures they pay their portion of bills every month.
For long-term financial goals, an annual or semi-annual discussion with each other, much as they would with a financial planner, is a good way to touch base with each other. Sharing ideas and thoughts and ensuring both parties are comfortable with the trajectory of their long-term plan will go a long way to keeping couples feeling good about their financial future.
As with any partnership, there might be times when the two parties simply do not agree with each other. This is where compromise and negotiating comes into play. For example, if your spouse wants to save 20% of your combined take-home pay and you want to save 5%, compromise at 10% or 12%. Each partner might not get everything they wanted, but both parties did receive at least a portion of their desires and that is probably enough to maintain harmony within their relationship.