Couples Managing Money
You meet someone, you date for a few months, and then before you know it your clothes are tumbling along each other in the dryer, and your sharing bills? Inevitably there comes a time in a newly blossoming relationship when the couple goes from dating to living together. For some couples the transition happens quickly for others years may go by before they are ready to make that kind of commitment. One of the biggest “should we move in together” factors usually comes down to finances. When you decide to have the “talk” it is important to decide how you will split the household bills and financial management. Without a plan the relationship is bound to suffer from arguments involving money.
So where do you start and how much do you entwine financially with your partner?
Ways to help couples managing money from an expert .
Talk about Debt
First things first; you must be straight with your partner. Debt is an ugly secret that ranks right up there with cheating or lying to your partner. If you are considering sharing financial responsibilities its time to fess up about any debt that you may have. Your partner is bound to be affected by major debt obligations that you have and should be made aware that the debt exists and what your plan for getting debt help is. You may be surprised how supportive your partner can be as you work to pay down your debt. Couples Managing money together can really develop a bond. Try it!
Together or Separate Finances
Just because you move in together doesn’t mean you have to share the same bank account, open credit cards together, or co-sign on each other’s loans. There are several options when it comes to combining households.
- Separate accounts. To keep the peace some couples opt to keep their accounts separate and split the bills. (For example one partner pays the rent, while the other pays the utilities).
- Joint accounts. A joint account can be set up where both partners apply funds to pay the household expenses. Additionally you may choose to open a savings account together to save for your future home, vacations, or big-ticket items.
- A combination of both. Maybe a joint account for household bills and separate accounts to manage other expenses such as car payments, debt payments, or potential child support obligations. When couples managing money have a plan the relationship will run smoother.
Who Manages the Bills?
However you choose to pay the bills there still needs to be someone who is responsible for making sure the rent gets paid, the utilities are kept on, and rainy day savings are being kept up. How do you decide who takes the lead? If one partner decides to take the financial reins it is important to remember that while they have taken the responsibility of paying the bills that you keep yourself in the loop. At no point in the relationship should you find yourself in the dark about your household finances or debt management. Consider having a weekly / monthly meeting to discuss the household finances so that both partners are on the same page. If you decide to manage the household bills together be sure to set aside a time without distractions where both partners and can be involved. Couples managing money with a plan are far more likely to stay way from money problems and fights over money.
Regardless of whether your finances are joint or separate, how do you handle mingling households and finances? If you were dating, would you demand that your partner’s debt be paid in full before making a long-term commitment? Or are finances completely irrelevant? Couples managing money together must find common ground and often that builds a stronger and better relationship.
Suzanne is a certified credit counselor and a Social Media Specialist for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Suzanne writes for Divorce, Debt and Finances and A Straight Talk on Debt. Follow Suzanne on Twitter @SuzanneCramer1 and @AskCareOne where she shares her insights on divorce and managing your finances.
Susan is a featured Diva for DatingDivaSites.com. Diva.. a woman magnifying her talents and blessing the loves of others ~ A Diva. If you are a Diva I would love to feature you and your talents to bless the lives of other with your shared wisdom. Suzanne can help couples managing money together stay out of the money trouble traps and have a better relationship!
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