New couples have a lot to learn about each other. Couples that have been together for a period of time may have some issues they need to work out. One topic that can apply to both of these types of couple’s finances.
The Topic Of Money
Both must be on the same page when it comes to money. If one is a saver and the other is a spender, this is a recipe for some serious conflicts. It is better to discuss the topic of money as early as possible in the relationship. Some specific areas should be discussed, like whether they need to look for an investment firm to help manage their current and future financial situation. It is never a bad idea to have a second pair of eyes in this area and could help to make sure that you remain financially stable.
The Bank Accounts
Up until coming together as a couple who will be sharing their lives, both have been independent. Each having their own bank accounts. Now what? The relationship symbolizes that the two are coming together as one. Therefore it makes sense that they would share their bank account. The easiest way to go about this is to have a joint bank account. That doesn’t mean that either one cannot still maintain some financial independence. But, this is a topic that must be discussed and agreed upon. It can become a real issue if one of the couples keeps a secret bank account, and this is discovered. Although the intent is innocent, it can appear as a trust issue.
One way to agree is to decide how much each partner will contribute to the joint bank account, and the balance of their money can go into their respective accounts. Many couples do not believe they need to maintain separate accounts. It is all going to come down to personal preference.
Another agreement that has to be made is who is going to be responsible for what bills. When the couple decides to live together, there will be continuous bills that need to be dealt with every month. Who is going to pay these will depend on several factors. It will depend on what income each is bringing in. Is one of the partners staying at home to care for the family? If so, they are not bringing in any money, but they are contributing to the relationship. In this case, normally, the money maker will take on the responsibility of the bills.
Bringing Bills Into The Relationship
It is not uncommon for both parties to have some debt as they enter into their live-in relationship. Here a decision has to be made as to how these bills are going to be handled. The easiest solution is to combine them and pay them out through a joint bank account. There may be other circumstances where this is considered to be unfair. It is something that the couple will have to discuss and agree upon, preferably before they start living together.
This can be tricky if one of the partners is bringing substantial assets into the relationship. Sometimes one of the couples may own a house. What has to be decided here is if the couple will enter into a pre-marital or pre-cohabitation agreement. There is a lot of legalities that go with this. Some couples feel uncomfortable about this and don’t even want to discuss it. They focus on living their lives together, not thinking about what would happen if there is a relationship breakdown. It is not a pleasant thought, but it does deserve some attention as it could eliminate a lot of grief in the future.
This is another critical topic that cannot be overlooked. Even if there is excess money left over after all the financial responsibilities are met, there should be an agreement on how much money should be put into savings. Any money beyond this can be determined as to how each one wants to handle it. Some decide just to split what is leftover and use it for whatever purpose they want. Other couples will not spend any money unless the other party is in full agreement.
There is a lot to discuss when it comes to finances, and none of the issues should be avoided. Knowing how the finances are going to work can help a couple get off to a great start.