Have the money talk together
Move-in day. You just moved in with your partner. It's exciting and slightly nerve wracking. But, obviously, mostly exciting. You piled your boxes together and decided you didn't need three copies of the same DVD. (You still have those?) And you've decided to make a large purchase — together.
"But wait, who's paying for it? Oh yeah, good point. What about groceries? The rent? Utilities?" Oh, boy… Moving in together is one thing, but talking managing and merging finances might feel next level. Don't stress.
There are lots of ways to manage money as a couple, and you don't have to combine all your funds to make it work (unless you want to, of course).
There's no best or right way to manage your money as a couple. It's all about communication and finding the money management approach that works for you both, together. We like to call this your financial philosophy.
Why couples financial planning is needed
Figuring out your financial philosophy as a couple will help you determine the best way to go about managing money as a duo. You'll get the best results by customizing your approach for your unique style as a couple. Trust us, there are lots of options.
- Set up a financial talk date night. Get the scoop on each other's financial viewpoint. Go as in-depth or stay as high-level as you choose. Bring nitty-gritty banking info, or talk in general terms. Simply starting the conversation is the key. Chat about:
- Short, medium and long-term financial goals.
- Money philosophies. Like how you think about spending, saving and credit use.
- Your current financial state, including assets and debts.
- Where your strengths complement each other when it comes to money management.
- Explore options. Pick and customize a plan that sounds best to you both. Here are a few:
- Joint checking — Open one checking account that you both contribute to. You can take the 50/50 approach and contribute equally, or contribute more equitable based on individual salaries.
- I'll get the bills, you get the savings — No shared bank account. One person decides to take on the bills, and the other puts money away for your savings.
- Combine it all — Pool all your finances together into one account to eliminate confusion.
Settling into your shared financial plan
You've had the talk, you came up with a plan and you're ready to start that joint lifestyle. Congrats! It may take some time (and adjusting) to settle into your new plan. So, communication is key. The two of you, together, will figure out what's working and what's not. From there, you can continue to adjust your plan to fit your lifestyle.