Meeting someone and becoming a couple is a wonderful feeling. You begin sharing your time together and your love for each other, and as your relationship grows closer, you may move in together, which means sharing expenses.
Sure, it's nice when a guy asks you out on a date and offers to pay for dinner, but when it comes to being in a committed relationship, I'm a firm believer in sharing all the costs. While every couple is different, I don't think one person should be in charge of bringing home the bacon while the other one slacks at home.
So how can you make dealing with money as fair and painless as possible? Here are some tips:
- No one said you had to merge all your money. And I hate to say it, but in this day and age, with so much divorce, that's just not a smart idea. But you could open a joint checking or savings accounts to pay for joint expenses such as rent, mortgage, groceries, electricity, etc. If one of you makes more money than the other, you may want to split the bills accordingly. So instead of spitting the bills 50/50, you may split them 60/40. As long as you are in agreement about your plan, that's all that matters
- If you decide to go this route, you should use your personal bank account to pay for things that are solely for you like clothes, gym memberships, hair and nail appointments, gifts, etc.
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- It's not uncommon for one person be in charge of managing the finances. This person should deal with all of the paperwork, the bills, and the credit cards. (It doesn't have to be the guy. Growing up, this job was always my mother's.)
- Decide what days bills are paid, the 1st, the 15th, etc. of every month. Whether one person is dealing with the bills or you're doing it together, this will ensure that it gets done on time and with no late fees.
- When it comes to big purchases, like furniture, a pet, or a house, you must consult the other person before making any major decisions. Make sure to communicate openly about your wants and your concerns when it comes to spending large sums of money. This is good for your finances and for your relationship.
These are just a few tips that you may find helpful, but if you have a plan already in place that works for you, stick with it. Money problems can tear relationships apart, so just make sure you two are upfront and equally responsible when it comes to your expenses.