The evolution of our relationship and money, and the lessons learned.
Our relationship has transformed many times since 2005 and so have our bank accounts. Like every couple we’ve had our arguments about money, but with constant open and frank discussions, and a solid budgeting plan we’ve been able to keep money a minor issue and become stronger both financially and as a couple. We’ve also come with a fun little financial exercise for you to do with your partner HERE. Read on for our tips on how to keep your relationship and finances happy. Read ahead to learn how managing money in your relationship will make you a stronger couple.
Be open about your financial situation
Even at the beginning of a relationship, money can be a huge stressor, causing feelings of guilt, anxiety, confusion, and anger. Stress caused by money is an unavoidable part of life. Being open about your financial situation is a simple way to resolve some of those worries.
- Do not “fake it till you make it”! Pretending to have more money than you actually have will only lead to unrealistic expectations from your SO. You don’t have to divulge what you have in your bank account, but you should present your financial situation truthfully.
- Be open about what you’re willing to spend money on. Just because you make a six figure salary doesn’t mean you want to eat at 5 star restaurants every weekend, or maybe you do. Either way it should be clear from the beginning.
- If your situation changes, like losing your job, don’t hide it from your partner. They should be there to support you. It’s a great test of a relationship and can help build good financial communication for the future.
- Your expectations for each other should be clear from the beginning so you can concentrate on the more important matters like getting to know each other.
Evolving Money Roles while Managing Money In Your Relationship
Money roles are defined by what you and your partner spend on and with each other. Your roles in a relationship should be fluid and be able change with the circumstances.
- There is no right formula when it comes to the money roles. Whether you follow the “traditional” man pays for everything, split things 50/50, or alternate on dates, you have to look at your relationship and see where your roles have settled. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer, only one which you both have agreed upon and feel comfortable with.
- Just like your relationship will evolve over time, so will your financial situation. Your money roles need to openly develop along with your relationship.
- You are always growing and changing and therefore so are your roles with money. Going from a student to a full-time employee, living alone to living with your SO, or from dating to married with children; these milestones all change the way you have to deal with money and force you to re-evaluate your roles.
Finding someone who has similar financial values as you is going to make the transition from dating, to being a serious couple, to marriage, and then having children, much less stressful.
- There isn’t a right opinion, but you should be clear about your philosophy. To some people, money is just a means to living life day to day. To others it means success and power. Money is one of those issues that people are very stubborn about. Be open minded with each other’s philosophies to avoid potential conflicts.
- Your upbringing not only instils you with your cultural and ethical values but also your financial ones. We all look at the importance of money differently and have our own opinions about the right ways to handle it.
- Some people value buying a home, having nice clothes, or spending money on good food. There is no right way to spend your money; you should just try to find someone who is similar to you.
- That being said, there is always room for compromise. If your financial values don’t match up you can still have a happy relationship, you just might need to communicate more frequently and allow each other financial freedoms separate from your joint finances.
Your Money, My Money, Our Money!!
As your relationship evolves and grows you will get to a situation where “my money” starts to become “our money”.
- Are you moving in together? Getting married? Taking a vacation? Starting a business? Define when it becomes “our money”, and what it is to be used for. Don’t leave any grey areas up to interpretation; make sure it is clearly understood what “our money” is for.
- Using this system also allows couples with different Money Philosophies to find a good balance.
- It’s important to keep clear financial boundaries. You are still two people with separate parts of your lives. Realizing this will empower you as an individual and bring you closer together as a couple.
- There isn’t a right or wrong way to use “our money”. What is important is that the trust is there for it to be used properly.
Set a budget
Money comes and goes very fast, proper budgeting can reduce a lot of stress. Start planning a couples budget early. If you are thinking about moving in together or getting married now is the time!
- The budget you define for your relationship should be done with a financial goal in mind such as a wedding, a house, a vacation, or moving in together.
- The budget you set should be seen as a framework. It’s the guide you’re going to use to help ensure you’re putting money in the right places for the future of your relationship. However, if possible, your budget should also allow you the flexibility to make spontaneous purchases, without sacrificing the bigger picture.
- Review your budget, spending, and savings every 3 to 6 months to ensure they still meet your goals. Your budget should be evolving along with your relationship.
- Using an app like Mint can help you keep track of your spending, they also have a lot of great financial advice here.
- This isn’t a financial blog, so we won’t get too specific, but we do recommend visiting a financial advisor. Ours helped us setup a budget that allowed us to save money for our wedding and get our savings on track.
- Once you have a financial plan set up, there should be no nasty, fight inducing surprises, leaving you lots of time to cuddle and eat ice cream.