Managing Money As A Couple



This post is for all the unmarried couple living together out there. When you're married, "my money" and "your money" doesn't exist anymore. It's our money which can make things harder and easier at the same time. When it's "our money", there's no question about who should buy what. That's not the case when you are sharing your life with a significant other without being married. 

First of all, you will need to decide how you are going to split the bills. If your earnings are about the same, splitting 50/50 makes sense. If one of you is making significantly more than the other, you might want to consider another option. What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? If the partner that earns more is ready to adapt to the lifestyle that the other person can afford, then I think 50/50 can be the way to go. The "problem" will be that the richer partner will save a lot while the other...well, not so much. Of course, it would be ridiculous to go like this for years but it can be a great way to start managing a budget together. 

If you decide that one partner will contribute more than the other, you have to establish how much more is "more". This is the way to go if you want to live in a nice apartment, travel, buy a house, etc. This way, both partners spend what they can afford spending. I think this way to go works better in the long run. Chances are that, as a young couple, you earn about the same so the 50/50 way can work too. My fiance and I decided that we will split all of our bills before we were even engaged. We had not finished school when we decided to move in together so we decided to rent an apartment that we could pay for even if my then boyfriend was not finding work after graduation.

Now, the problem is: how do you make that system work? Are we going to pay every other grocery bill? That can't really work out because the price of a trip to the store varies from week to week. Also, we all know that we end up making a few trips to the store during the week. Should we write everything that we spent on food and than reimburse each other at the end of the month? That's not practical at all. That why we opted for a joint account. It's fairly easy to determine how much we will need for the month. Each of us makes a deposit of half of that amount on the first of each month. This way, it doesn't matter who buys what: we will end up paying half of everything anyway.

Next question: what do you buy with that joint account? That's up to you also; we decided on food, Internet, tv, electricity, cleaning products, etc. We might add to the list as we go but this is what we are starting with. Now on the big appliances: who is buying them? If you're married, you can stop reading here. If you are not, I think the smartest thing is to not buy them together. I hate to think that way but if your relationship ends up not working out, you will go home with your fridge and he will take his couch. If you bought the couch together, who will take it if you split? How much will you sell that half of a couch to your ex-partner. 

These are my basics tips!  If you have other questions or other requests for posts, please comment below!

Also, if you have tips to share, please let us know! 

10 comments:

  1. Managing money as a couple can be tricky. I have found that open communication is key.

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  2. Money is the biggest thing couples fight about. My husband is Canadian and we moved from Australia to Canada, so once we moved in together as bf/gf, it was just all our money together, and all our bills together. Which does make it easier!

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    1. People seem to think that managing money together is harder on the relationship! I'm glad it works for you!

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  3. Great tips! This is something that my boyfriend and I will certainly have to talk about more once we live together.

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    1. That's for sure! I would also make sure to talk about it before you move in because moving is stressful enough as it is!

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  4. I've been married for almost 3 years, and we have a pretty good money management system down, but when we first got married we had no idea what we would do. We didn't live together before we were married, so it was a little hard to let go of the habits we'd picked up while living in our own apartments. I should say it was hard for me haha. I was (and still am) the spender in our relationship, so my husband has to reign me in or we'd have no money to pay our bills.

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    1. My fiancé and I are pretty similar speaking of what we spend so managing our money together was pretty easy. I'm happy to see that it works for other couples!

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  5. I'm not married, but my boyfriend and I have a joint account and combining our finances, bills, expenses, etc. has been really helpful for us to manage our money, pay off debt and live better.

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    1. You sure don't need to be married to combine finances! As long as you trust each other, it will work.

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