Whether you’ve been living with your significant other for 1 month or 10 years, money in a relationship is a hot topic. If you are new in the relationship though, you are still learning the others ways and still adjusting to a new money situation.
I’m sure we’ve all had them. If you’re in a relationship, without a doubt that there has been at least one money fight between the two of you.
There are ways to prevent money mistakes in your relationship though. Being aware of things that might happen and thinking of all outcomes is the first step.
1. Not talking about money
Different things work for different people, but when in a relationship, there should at least be some talk about money and how it is handled. After going past whether or not you should have separate finances or joint finances, of course there are other things to talk about.
This can include: How much money is spent on different categories, how often should we eat out, how we should spend retirement and when we should retire, how we should invest, how much do we spend on gifts and clothes, etc. The list is really endless.
Having monthly or weekly meetings to talk about how your money and budget situation is going is a good idea. This way you can get regular updates. Also, maybe setting a monetary limit for how much you can spend without having to consult the other (such as any purchase over $100) is a good idea as well.
2. Keeping secret money
Keeping secret money can mean a variety of things. Maybe you have a secret bank account, secret credit cards, secret debt, etc. You might not think it is bad in the beginning, but if your significant other found out, they might not be as happy and you might lose their trust.
Be open about the accounts that you have, and unless the secret money is being stashed for a present for the other, then it’s most likely not the greatest idea.
3. Not being on the same page.
With relationships, it seems that opposites (regarding money) attract each other. One might be a spendy spender, while the other is the frugal saver. If one person spends way more than the other, then resentment from the frugal saver might be build up and lead to a nasty fight.
Also, the spendy spender might be mad at the saver in the relationship because they might feel like the other person is being too strict in the relationship. Talking about money is especially important in this situation, because you don’t want one person feeling like things are not fair.
4. Not having a budget.
This is especially true if you are new to the money situation in a relationship. You two should at least talk about how much money should go to each area, and who will keep track of each part in the budget. This will help make sure that you don’t overspend and that you can keep your money in check.
5. Not talking about who handles the finances.
Having one person manage the finances just because it seems easier that way is not the best way to go. Whoever you think would actually be BEST at handling the finances is what should happen. Talk about your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe the financial responsibilities can be split among the two of you as well.
Also, make sure that the person who doesn’t regularly handle the finances knows how to do so, just in case something does happen to the person who normally handles them. This way you can be prepared.