In my experiences, relationships begin and end with trust. So if you’ve gotten to the point where you feel comfortable enough to intertwine your hard earned money with someone else’s, I’m truly hoping you trust this person whole-heartedly.
If this is the case, then it’s important to be completely transparent with your partner about your current financial situation. Those financial skeletons in your closet... need to be exposed, girlfriend, and it’s imperative that you’re vulnerable with your partner about these things.
Like if you are in major debt… you should tell them! Or if you have an overspending problem… you should them! Or if you’re bad about loaning out money when you know you shouldn’t… you should tell them, so as your partner, they can hold you accountable and vice versa.
The key here is just communicating.
Determine Who Will Pay What Bills.
I’m assuming that if you’re mixing your mula with someone else, that you most likely are living together or plan on living together very soon. If so, have a conversation about who is responsible for what household bills.
There’s nothing that will start a financial argument faster than someone feeling like they have to carry the entire financial household load by themselves, while their partner contributes minimally or not at all (unless there’s been a previous discussion).
To be honest, I actually suggest that each person maintain their own spreadsheet. This way both people are well aware of their own amount of debt, personal bills, and household bills they’re responsible for. And if a bill happens to not get paid or ends up being late, there will be no confusion about who dropped the ball.
So if you haven’t had this discussion already, do yourself a favor and have a sit down with your partner about this topic. Trust me… it will make financial life a lot easier.
Separate Your Spending Money.
I think it’s safe to say that many people think that if they’re co-mingling their funds with their partner, that all the money should go into one account and both people just pay bills and buy whatever they want out of that one... same... account.
Girlfriends… no, no, no, and no. That is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.
As a financial coach, I highly recommend that couples separate their funds into several different accounts:
Bill Pay Checking Account - to pay joint household bills (optional)
Joint Savings Account - to save up for big future purchases like a down payment for a house, car, or future travel endeavors
Personal Spending Checking Accounts - each person will have their own individual accounts to make personal purchases for themselves without having the guilt of possibly overspending and dipping into your partner’s funds. Separate spending accounts keeps things fair and allows each person to spend their “play” money on whatever they’d like.
Personal Savings Account - Let’s say you’re wanting to save up for that expensive fashion item you’ve been having your eye on, or maybe you want to go on a vacation with your closest girlfriend(s). Either way, I think it’s important to have your own little stash set aside just in case you need it, that way you won’t have to go dipping into the joint savings.
Often times in a relationship there are opposite ideals about how money should be managed. Meaning... there may be one person who is a super saver, while the other may spend money faster than it hits their account. A scenario like this has the potential to cause major financial havoc in your household, girlfriends.
However, the good thing about having someone that may be opposite of you is the challenge of finding the middle financial ground. So the super saver can help the big spender scale back a little (or a lot) and stick to a budget, while the big spender can encourage the super saver splurge every now and again (hey... live a little).
But on the other hand, what if both people happen to be the same? Well... the super savers I'm not as worried about, but two big spenders in a relationship... whew, that's a little risky! If this describes your relationship, it's important to hold each other accountable when it's necessary to buckle down and attain a goal, then allow your self a little extra spending money from time to time to reward your hard work.
So while it's inevitable that money arguments are bound to come up in any relationship, I hope taking these tips into consideration will help lead you and your hunny into financial bliss.
Let me know how these work out for you!
Until Next Time,