Published: August 18, 2020 | Updated: September 14, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance
When couples get married or move in together, they naturally take shared responsibility for their money along with their lives. How to split finances becomes one of the most important and urgent matters to settle from the get-go. There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to money management for couples. However, you can start by openly communicating with your partner about your shared finances. Here are financial tips for couples to get you started:
Table of Contents
Talking about money can be quite awkward. It’s not something that comes up in a free-flowing conversation. However, you and your partner should be comfortable enough to discuss your finances.
Have a formal discussion about your finances and be prepared to put it all out there—your salary, debts, assets, and goals. Talk about your financial worries and spending habits.
It may take time before talking about money becomes more natural to both of you, but it’s a necessary move that can help set you in the right direction.
Read more: How to Budget as a Couple with Nico Bolzico
The key to good financial health and marital bliss is knowing and understanding each other’s views and behavior towards money. If you know what to expect, you can make compromises, and there won’t be as many unpleasant surprises along the way. Discover your money personality as well as your partner’s.
One of the most important financial tips for couples is talking about your financial goals. Identify what you want to achieve together and how you’ll get there.
Some considerations you must discuss with your partner:
Read more: 7 Investment Tips for Newlyweds
Decide on a strategy for managing your money together based on your shared financial goals. Consider these five money strategies when exploring the way to share finances as a couple:
A budget plan can help you stay on top of your expenses. Designate an amount you can spend for goods, take outs, entertainment, and personal expenses. Include your bills, other debt obligations, irregular expenses, and money for your emergency fund in the budget plan. This is one of the best saving tips for couples who want to be on top of their expenses.
Then, review your joint expenses over the last months to determine how much you have spent and whether you need to cut down on your spending. Don’t worry if you need to adjust your budget during the first few months, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually.
Numerous mobile apps are made specifically for couples who want to manage their finances better. Some of the best budget apps to consider are:
One of the most important financial tips for couples anyone can give is not hiding any financial secret from your partner. Don’t start your marital or cohabiting life on the wrong foot. Be as honest as possible about your finances, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. Discuss outstanding debts, income sources, investments, and other financial assets and liabilities.
Sit down with your partner and determine your needs and wants as a couple. This is one of the best saving tips for couples you should consider to determine both of your priorities.
Make sure that you both agree on what you can and can’t live without. Compromises are important in any relationship. If the other person isn’t fully on-board, discuss why and how you can create a middle ground.
Of course, don’t just focus on your needs. Allot of a small amount to treat yourselves. Set aside a small amount for things you want to buy, but don’t go overboard. Remember: you also deserve to (responsibly) enjoy what you earn!
Know each other’s company-sponsored benefits, (e.g., HMO and benefits for dependents), government-mandated benefits (e.g., PhilHealth and SSS maternity benefits), and life insurance policies. Discuss how you can maximize them to save money when one of you gets hospitalized. Make sure to enroll each other (and future kids) as dependents, if possible.
Because of the pandemic, about 45% of adult workers lost their jobs. Being unemployed in a time of uncertainty is stressful and can negatively affect your finances. Talk with your partner about how you are going to handle your household finances should one of you loses income, and the other does not.
Create a financial blueprint, outlining what you and your partner would do. Discuss how you can cut back on expenses for the meantime and what plans involving money can be delayed. While no one wants to lose their job, it’s still best to be prepared should it happen.
Raising children is fulfilling but can also drain your finances. Giving birth can cost you up to more than PHP 100,000 already. You also have to prepare for your kids’ living expenses, medical needs, and education.
Discuss with your partner about having kids—whether you can afford to have one or not right now. If you decide to have one, make the necessary financial preparations for a baby in the future. This is one of the best financial tips for couples who are planning to start a family soon.
Build an emergency fund for unexpected events such as losing your job, your car breaking down, or a trip to the hospital. Experts suggest saving three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This is one of the best saving tips for couples who have don’t have stable sources of income.
Apart from household expenses, consider debts and other loans you are still paying when setting an amount for your emergency fund. In addition, make sure your emergency fund is easily accessible by both of you. Why not keep it in a joint savings bank account where it can grow?
Discuss your budget, income, and spending at least once a month. Talk about how your budget looks like and if your money management system is helping you achieve your financial goals as a couple.
These meetings can help you know where you stand financially and identify what you can do to improve your finances. Reviewing your finances can also help strengthen your communication and trust level, knowing that you got each other’s back.
Stress and tension arise when one partner, who is earning more than the other, tries to control spending decisions, causing the other partner to feel resentful and self-pity. It’s one of the most important financial tips for couples, anyone should consider. Your spouse isn’t your enemy–they are your partner through thick or thin.
As a couple, it’s important to work together as a team. Instead of bickering over money, always encourage and build each other up. Be mature enough to check your ego, too. It’s easier to resolve differences that way.
Read more: 5 Signs of Financial Compatibility
These financial saving tips for couples aren’t the end-all-and-be-all of money management. No matter how well you manage your finances together, you may still face a few hurdles along the way—some of which are beyond your control. What matters is how you deal with negative experiences as a couple.
With a goal to help Filipinos lead healthier financial lives, Moneymax regularly publishes tips and tricks on personal finance and lifestyle, among many other topics. For more finance-related news and articles, follow Moneymax on Linkedin.