Arguments over money is among the most common reasons why people break up or get divorced. Managing finances as a couple is an important part of any serious relationship. Develop the skills to navigate these waters by utilizing one or more of the following methods.
Decide How You Split Bills
There are a couple methods you can use if you decide you want to split your bills. The first is a 50/50 split. Write down all of your bills and cut the total exactly in half. That’s how much you and your partner are both responsible for paying each month.
Next, you could split your bills based on a percentage of each person’s income. This ensures that a person who is not making a lot of money doesn’t have to put every cent into covering bills. Simply put- if you make 70% of your combined income, you will pay 70% of the bills.
Finally, you could split your bills up by assigning each person bills that they are responsible for paying. For example, you could offer to pay the mortgage and electric bill while your partner pays for water/sewer/trash, gas and the cable bill.
Give Yourselves Fun Money
Experts say it’s important to allocate ‘fun money’ for you and your partner each month. While discussing the merits of combining finances, the following article, written for meratas.com, explains, “You get the benefits of combining your finances (complete transparency), but your fun money allows you the freedom to buy whatever you want. It is important to figure out how much ‘fun’ money each partner will get. Will it be equal amounts? Or, proportional to income? Or, expenses? And, you also need to figure out what expenses will fall under the fun expenses category. For instance, will eating out as a couple be a shared expense or a fun expense?” Hammer out every detail with your partner before you start allocating fun money. Failure to do so will likely lead to resentment.
Live Off One Income
Another method to managing finances as a couple is to live off of one person’s income. This isn’t always possible. However, if you get the opportunity to live this way, you should highly consider it. Living off one paycheck means you can save your partner’s income. This method not only helps you build your savings, it allows you immense satisfaction when you see how quickly your joint efforts can add up to something huge.
Keep Finances Separate
You always have the option to keep your finances completely separate from your partner as well. This method is great for those in a relationship with a person who isn’t great with money. In this scenario, neither of you rely on the other for financial assistance. Additionally, your partner’s poor fiscal decisions won’t affect you.
Get together with your partner and have a frank discussion about money. Decide which method works best for you as a couple and implement it as soon as possible.