The honeymoon stage is over. And now, you’re back to reality. Both of you has to pay the bills insurance etc. We get it, it’s hard! Here are 3 Simple tips to manage finances in Marriage.
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TIP #1 COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARTNER
Like all good things in marriage,
financial bliss will stem from having a calm, honest discussion with your
spouse. Therefore, discuss where both of your finances currently are and where
you would like them to be. In fact, get all the dirty laundry out in the open!
In particular, here are some scenarios you may want to discuss with your partner:
●How often do you go out for dinner?
● What financial goals do you plan to work towards as a couple, (i.e. vacations or saving for a home)?
●How much debt are you both in?
By getting on the same page with one another financially, you’re sure to make this area a strength in your relationship rather than a weakness.
P.S. Keep in mind that having this open discussion as a couple is likely to bring up some awkward subjects. Things such as who makes more and who spends more will come to light. This is all ok and perfectly natural. Just keep calm and read on. We’re here to walk you through it more in steps 2 and 3!
TIP#2 IDENTIFY JOINT AND PERSONAL EXPENSES
Now that you and your spouse are in friendly financial conversation mode- it’s time to get out a pen and paper and start itemizing.
Step 1: Enumerate all Joint and Personal Expenses
In a typical month, what do you spend as a couple? How much is the rent? Groceries? Date nights? Beauty budget? Guys night out? Etc. Sit down and discuss a typical month money-wise for the both of you and write down all the expenses with their costs.
Step 2: Identify the Joint from Personal Expenses
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start color coding! Using highlighters, stickers, a chart…whatever floats your boat really…decide which costs are his, which costs are hers, and which are joint.
For example, rent, groceries, and date nights are joint. These are expenses that you both benefit from and therefore should both contribute to. However impulse buys such as new shoes, gaming equipment, or going out with friends is a personal expense. Only one partner in the couple benefits from this.
Step: 3 Do the MATH (Yes, Do it!)
Once you have your itemized list of
personal and joint expenses, you can begin to do everyone’s favorite past time:
To illustrate, figure out how much money each month you need as a couple and individually to meet your needs and wants. And then, decide how much money makes sense for each partner to contribute to your overall joint expenses (rent, groceries, date night, etc.)
For instance, If you both make around the same amount of money, perhaps you decide to split the joint costs 50-50. Or, if one member makes significantly more than another, then perhaps you decide that each partner contributes a certain percentage of their paycheck towards joint expenses each month.
And remember: there is no “right” way to go about doing this. If both parties agree and feel respected by the financial decisions you made together- then you’ve done it right!
TIP #3 CONSIDER HAVING BOTH: JOINT AND SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT
They say “two heads are better than one”. Well, we say “Two banks are better than one!”.
In some instances, keeping a separate account for your personal and joint expenses would benefit both you and your partner. In particular, if you want to surprise the “love of your life”, you don’t have to worry about him finding out what gift you bought. Similarly, you don’t have to be embarrassed and explain to your partner why you went out for lunch three times last week.
On the contrary, having a combined bank account makes it easier for couples to save money. If your goal is to earn $10,000 within 6 months, you can easily track your savings progress as well as the spending habits of your partner.
If you’re unsure about which account to get, then check the advantages and disadvantages to having a joint bank account.
In Conclusion, applying these three tips will help maintain the financial freedom and privacy you want, while still working towards common financial goals as a couple. And if that doesn’t sound like a great way to forever live in the honeymoon phase, then we don’t know what does!
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