How to share finances as a couple

The word “marriage” itself can bring jitters, as your life becomes “our” life. Living together as a couple means being with each other in good times as well as in the worst situations. It is best advised to clear a lot of things before you get into wedlock, be it life goals, finances, or financial goals. To ensure you have a healthy relationship with your spouse, managing finances and responsibilities jointly is vital. Whether you have tied the knot or are yet to, we have a few tips that can help you and your spouse share financial responsibilities.

1. Discussion on the financial status

Before you get into any of the below points, every partner in a relationship should be vocal about their current financial status – their debts, credit history, loans, ways of spending, etc. This will help in a better analysis of how the expenses need to be handled in the future. Also, this will ensure that your partner will not be in for a surprise. Discussing individual financial positions, when in a relationship, also helps in better budgeting.

2. Have a joint account

A joint account can be created and the partners can transfer equal contributions to this account while maintaining their individual accounts as well. The account could take care of expenses such as rent, various bills, groceries, etc. This makes it easier to handle all the expenses, without ending up in a war of words.

3. Discussion of financial goals

The best way to manage finances is to have an open discussion on the financial goals – short-term or long-term. It could be a simple goal such as a weekend vacation, or a bigger goal such as buying an apartment in a prime location! Having a conversation on these matters could help bring a consensus on how the finances need to be managed to meet these goals.

4. Split the financial responsibilities

If opening a joint account isn’t what you are looking for, then financial responsibilities could be split between the partners. For instance, when one takes care of the rent and electricity bill, the other partner could take care of the groceries, internet bill, and so on. This will help in clearing off bills on time, avoiding additional expenses by way of late fees, and will also maintain peace in the relationship.

5. Spend one income, save the other!

Another way of managing your finances well as a couple could be using the income of the partner who earns more, to pay off all the expenses – rent, bills, groceries, etc., and saving the other income. Yes, it does sound a bit tricky! However, if you are in a relationship for the long run, it isn’t a bad idea! 🙂

6. Split bills based on income

Bill payments can be shared on the basis of the earning capacity of the partners. For instance, the partner who has a high income could pay about 65% of the bills, whereas the latter could pay the balance of 45% of the bill amount. You can calculate the income percentage of each of your partner and yourself and then open a joint account, wherein the individual contribution can be remitted. Whether the contribution should be monthly or weekly could be mutually decided

7. Periodic Review of Finances

With time, there will be a change in the level of income as well as responsibilities. This makes it crucial to have a periodic review of the couple’s financial goals and savings. This will help you be aware of your financial situation, goals, and savings and helps in managing your life in a better way. Irrespective of how small or big the goals or responsibilities are, a periodic review will ensure you do not go off-track!

As a couple, it can seem quite tough to manage and share finances, and budgeting can be all the more difficult! There isn’t a perfect way to budget and sail through your financial goals. However, consider your partner and yourself to resemble the two sides of a coin – both may have different views on a financial situation or goal. But the key to solving this is by having open conversations and coming to a consensus on the way forward. Hope these tips help you and your partner, in managing finances more responsibly.

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Yonita is the pillar of Client servicing at Moneyfront. She has worked with Citibank for over 25 years in operations and client servicing. In her stint with Citi, she has managed large service setups and her rich experience of banking spans across managing clients, operations, audits and compliance matters. She epitomises ‘client excellence’ in the true spirit of the word. Her motto and single-minded focus is to make sure every client is a happy client.