Money and relationships: how to budget as a couple

couple budgeting

By Kriya Gangiah

Managing your personal finance as part of a couple can often be very tricky. Many couples treat this as a taboo subject in their relationship, but that should never be the case.

Here are a few tips to make personal finance for couples a little easier:

1. Together forever?

I’ve seen quite a few couples debate about whether they should join their finances. When it comes to this I would suggest that you try the following approach: one for me, one for you and one for us. This is because having your own money that you can spend any way you want can lessen arguments about money.

Approaching your finances like this does not mean that there is a rift in your relationship, but will allow each party to feel that they still have some of their independence. However it will also still allow you to agree on a portion of your incomes to be placed in a joint account that can be used to pay for items like groceries or weekends away.

2. Talking is key

When it comes to finances you have to talk to your partner. Express your areas of concern as well as your saving aspirations. Don’t hide details, especially when it comes to debt.

3.       You’re in it together

Make a plan to pay off existing debt. Even if your partner’s debt existed before you got together you can’t claim that it isn’t your problem, because his or her debt could still negatively affect your credit rating going forward.

4.       Save Save Save!

Couples living month-to-month often rationalize that they just don’t have enough money to save. Make the decision to save at least 10% of your income. If the two of you start getting into the habit of saving money for your retirement years now it will make it so much easier to lead the retirement lifestyle that you both hope for one day.

5.       Always my favourite: BUDGET!

When it comes to money, budgeting is the only way to control the way you use it. Set a couples budget and, as hard as it’s going to be, try and stick to it. Two heads are better than one after all!

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