Couples Managing Their Budgets
It doesn’t matter whether you are married or not, if you are in a partnership with someone, share money and a home together, then you are in the same boat. Dealing with money as a couple is different to dealing with it as a single unit. Money would have to be one of the main reasons couples tend to fight, so wouldn’t it be good to get that part of your life sorted out so that all you are left to fight about is who’s turn it is to do the dishes?
When you manage money with a partner it is definitely different to doing it solo, so here are a few factors and tips to think about to help keep the peace:
Have joint financial goals – What is it you are trying to achieve? Do you want to buy a house, or take a trip together? You both need to be on a same page. Having joint goals is really important as it keeps both parties accountable.
If a couple doesn’t have aligned goals, then of course you’re going to fight. You have worked hard all week, happy to put that money towards your home loan. You check the account only to find out that your partner has bought a set of golf clubs or a designer dress. You need to know that you are both on the same page working together towards your common goals.
Have separate goals – It is also very important to have separate goals, but you need to share them with each other. If you think that buying a set of golf clubs or a designer dress is important to you as an individual, then you should be able to get it. However, you may want to share those desires with your other half so that they don’t get any unexpected nasties when trying to buy a loaf of bread.
You can account for these personal goals in your ongoing budget to ensure that you don’t feel too restricted and are able to do the things you want to. Remember though, its always smart to be fair, so if you want something special for yourself, it is likely your partner wants something too.
Don’t be in the dark – It is quite common that one person controls the finances more than another in a partnership, but it is important that both people have an idea of what is going on. I don’t think one person should fully relinquish control. Money is not the be all and end all but it is important. Knowing the value of it is a life skill.
Accept imperfections – Sometimes your partner has a blow-out. Assuming this sometimes doesn’t change to all times, it’s usually ok. Every now and then I may go on a mini shopping spree and my husband may buy some weird contraption that he uses for 5 minutes and then never uses again. No one is perfect, and some days you just have to spend some money. If you understand your finances as a team, this kind of thing every once in a while should not make you have heart palpitations when you have to tell your other half.
So whilst I don’t consider myself a marriage counsellor, I can tell you from some experience that the above tips work. Budgets for the household are great, and I fully endorse them, but if your partner isn’t on the same page, it’s likely that you won’t maintain your budget. Two people working towards something, whether your budgets or rowing a boat, is always better than one.
If you (or anyone you know) would like more information about effective ways to manage your everyday cash flow then please contact Brad Smith 08 9286 6111. We are currently providing a new service with a select group of clients and you may be eligible for this service.
Source – Cara Brett, Humble Investors