Finding a way to budget your finances together while in a relationship can be fraught with difficulty. It’s not simply about having money available for bills and shopping but can include saving for holidays and even for a new home if things all go well. Budgeting as a couple can be a contentious issue, we all know that, especially when you are just starting out life together.
While there may be a few hurdles to overcome, being open and honest with each other is a good start. Here are our top tips on creating a budgeting regime that works for each of you:
Sit Down and Discuss Money
It’s something some couples don’t even bother to do but can help set the boundaries and expectations for the near future at least. Put aside a decent amount of time to go through what needs to be paid, what you want to save for and how you want to apportion responsibility.
For example, one of you may be responsible for paying the gas and electricity bill, another the broadband and TV subscription. You might want to have a separate account that covers all the bills which you can both pay into or you may decide to have a joint bank account.
Be Honest About Your Spending Habits
We all have our guilty pleasures but when you’re in a relationship you need to be a little more honest about what you spend your money on. If you are looking to save, then this is all the more important. Some people come to a relationship with an existing debt which must be factored into the overall budgeting. Others have things they want to do with their money that are suddenly under “threat”.
Work Out Your Goals Together
There’s no point in budgeting as a couple when you aren’t pulling together. If you’re a couple, you should have shared goals and working towards these can be helped by keeping your finances in order. So, if you want to go on holiday next year, you know that you need to get some money for it and must work out where that is going to come from.
Who Earns the Most?
This can often be one of the more difficult aspects of budgeting as a couple. If one person in the relationship earns significantly more than the other it can lead to a power imbalance. This is where you need a grown-up approach that is suitable to both sides. While it’s not as easy to achieve as you may think, it’s certainly something you need to work at and resolve.
Tracking Your Budgeting
It’s a good idea to have one central place where your budget is monitored and tracked, rather than doing it piecemeal. The Budget Planner is an online tool that can be accessed whenever you want it, wherever you are. This will allow you to look at your spending in a more analytical way – great if you are planning on making savings for a big project like buying a house or affording that next holiday.
Make Decisions Together
Finally, acting together when budgeting as a couple can save a lot of heartache along the way. Sitting down for regular reviews can also ensure that you are both up to speed, even if one person is more in control than the other. Joint decisions always have more power, particularly when it comes to making those big purchases.