Getting a hold on finances is hard enough when you are only answering to yourself. Throw another person in the mix and it could mean disaster as a couple. That is why we have compiled a few saving graces. Here are our 5 tips on how to communicate with your partner and make financial decisions that work for both of you in your relationship.
  1. Talk. First things first. Talk to your partner about their financial situation. What is their income? Do they have any debt? What is their credit score? Do they have a 401k? And then discuss priorities. As with all things in a relationship, communication is key as a couple. Being open and honest will allow your budget to work with your lives. Remember, money is a tough subject for many people. Be sure to tread lightly when speaking about finances. Don’t be ashamed of your numbers, we have all made mistakes and money does not define who you are. However, we can do better especially when our loved ones are jumping in our boat. 
  2. To combine or not to combine. That is the question. Decide if you are going to combine your bank accounts or keep them separate. Combining accounts gives each of you a clear view of financial spending habits. This may be just what you need. Some couples opt for a shared savings account to save for goals, while still keeping their own checking accounts for day to day spending. Figure out which one you are both comfortable with.
  3. Divide and Conquer. Whether it’s 50/50, alternating turns or one person graciously picking up the bill, make sure you see eye to eye. It doesn’t have to be an even split but you and your partner should be on the same page when it comes to expenses.
  4. Focus on shared values. The key to budgeting your finances together is communicating and working toward a shared life. Find goals that you both value, whether it be a home to raise a family or a dream vacation. Know what each of you value and work together to save for those goals.
  5. Check in regularly. As adults, we know things never go exactly according to plan. Review your spending and evaluate how you’re progressing toward your goals. Checking in regularly will help you catch any misunderstandings or problem areas before they get out of hand.  
It may take a few tries to get this right. Once you do, your relationship with each other and money will be a whole lot better. Remember: You can always switch it up and make financial changes as you go.

Visit our Financial Knowledge Blog to learn more tips on setting up a solid financial future or join us for Financial Wellness Wednesdays.