Being committed as a couple is not just about committing your future together. It would be best if you also thought of whether your finances need to be pooled in and whether you benefit from doing the same. While not many couples may consider this to be an important discussion on par with questions such as whether to move in or marry, it is nevertheless crucial. In fact, some studies show that couples who have combined their finances tend to be happier than their counterparts who haven’t.
This blog throws light on the potential benefits of hitching your finances together:
1 – You get to share financial responsibilities
Every individual has financial responsibilities regardless of how much they earn. If you are a young couple, you may have student loans to pay off. If you stay together, you may also have additional responsibilities such as paying house rent/EMI, utility bills, and other miscellaneous expenditures.
When you combine finances, it becomes easier to track your debts and set up financial goals for the future. Though you may continue to pay off your individual debts, you also get to initiate a conversation about the type of financial milestones you want to share and whether you should start putting away money for the same. Even for simple and achievable goals like planning a dream vacation, combining finances ensures that you both have the same responsibility toward achieving it.
2 – You can save more and earn more interest
If you open a joint savings account and keep saving the same amount you did as an individual, you get the chance to earn more interest than you did earlier. Compounded interest makes a huge difference to your combined savings.
And thanks to that, it becomes a wee bit easier to hit that financial goal in lesser time. You can also set up bigger financial goals to leverage your combined efforts.
3 – You can minimize the chances of being caught off guard
Most couples resist the idea of talking about finances or combining them in the fear of conflict. However, combining your finances can help increase transparency and strengthen your relationship.
Not only are you on the same page but you get a chance to keep an eye on how your partner spends money. Don’t think of this as micromanaging — rather, you are protected from getting caught off guard should your partner take on a huge debt or starts spending mindlessly. There’s also a greater feeling of accountability as one knows that the other person can track their spending. In fact, a study has shown that couples spending from a joint account are more likely to be mindful about what they are purchasing and steer clear of purely hedonic purchases.
4 – Makes it easier to budget
Budgeting is an integral part of expenses, especially if you are living together so that you don’t end up going beyond your means. But for your budget to work, you need to exactly how much money is coming in and how much is going out.
Combining your finances means that you can budget more conveniently. For example, you can decide that 50 percent of your combined earnings goes into paying for daily expenses, 20 percent goes towards your financial goals and the rest is for discretionary expenses.
5 – Drives a greater sense of equality in your relationship
Having a shared income means you both share an equal burden of funding your lifestyle. But that doesn’t make it necessary to divide everything 50-50 down the line, especially when both are not earning the same amount of money.
You can decide how best you want to combine your finances and what is an equitable division. Even if the combination is proportional to what each of you makes, it is still good enough to establish a combined pool of finances. It can also help you to outgrow the mindset of ’my money to ‘our money’.
6 – Helps you stay on the same page
Staying on the same page is absolutely critical for any couple’s relationship to work. It applies to all aspects of a relationship including money matters. When you combine your finances, you communicate your financial goals to your partner which helps you evaluate whether you are on the same page. Regular check-ins about your shared finances mean that you are up to speed at all times and not just when there is a crisis.
Don’t mistake combining your finances for losing your financial freedom. Instead, think of it as an empowering tool to secure your future together and propel your relationship forward. Having said that, combining your finances can be a stressful process. To avoid conflict, don’t hesitate to seek the help of an independent professional who can provide objective advice and keep emotions out of the decision-making process.
This Valentine’s day, consider whether it is time for you to take the next step in your relationship and talk about money.