It’s no secret that money is important. We need to budget for everything from throwing fabulous weddings to buying groceries for the week. Everyone spends their money differently, but when you get married, it’s not just yours anymore—you’re part of a team. Learn the money rules all couples should follow when living together to prevent disagreements on your funds.
Create Financial Goals
One of the first things you and your partner should do is consider your individual and combined financial goals for the short and long term. While you may only be in your 20s or 30s now, setting aside some money for retirement at this age ensures you have enough once you reach your golden years.
When creating financial goals, consider the big-ticket purchases you plan to make. For instance, do you plan on buying a large home? By noting all spending and saving priorities, you both can determine how much money you should strive to put in the bank each month.
Talk About How You’ll Spend
Discussing your spending habits goes together with creating financial goals. When you’re engaged or married, you likely already know whether your partner is an impulse buyer or a savvy saver. What you may not know is how they define an essential purchase. This can include vehicle type, furniture, and technology.
Some people are more materialistic and prioritize having the newest or top-of-the-line model. While there’s nothing wrong with this, the lifestyle can become expensive and may mean making sacrifices. Most importantly, discuss whether you prioritize materials or experiences—the price of a brand-new car could cover a luxury vacation.
Spending on the Wedding
If you’re engaged and living together, you’ll need to decide what you want to spend on the wedding alongside other expenses. One thing to expect when planning your wedding flower budget is that some flowers are more costly than others. Work together to decide on an appropriate price for wedding flowers.
Decide To Merge or Separate Money
Nowadays, some couples have separate savings accounts rather a joint one. There’s nothing wrong with either option, as both are a matter of opinion. However, this is something to talk about with your partner so you can decide as a unit. To ease this process, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of merging and separating your accounts below.
One pro to keeping your money separate is that neither of you is uncomfortable with treating yourself once and a while. When you have a joint account, you’re more likely to feel like you must “get permission” before making any unnecessary purchase, such as a new dress or specific hobby supplies.
However, when you have a joint account, buying groceries, paying bills, and covering other household expenses is simple—you both pay for it. When you have separate accounts, you’ll have to decide who pays for what based on set monetary values or equal percentages of your annual pay.
When you have one savings account, you two may argue more about money or how one partner spends it. This can lead to agitation on both sides as one individual believes money gets wasted while the other feels there’s too much control over their spending abilities.
Remember that having separate accounts does not eliminate the risk of disagreements over spending. Money is a hot topic for most of us, and when you have individual accounts, one partner may feel they can go on a spending spree. As a result, they may have little cash left to cover their share of household expenses.
Everyday Bride Tip
Some couples have separate savings accounts and a combined “home” account. This way, they both invest a portion of their paycheck into the household while having money for personal purchases.
Create a Budget
The final money rule all couples should follow when living together is to establish a monthly or quarterly budget. Just like you would for your wedding budget, create categories for each type of purchase and how much you’ll spend. This may look like this:
- $X Groceries
- $X Monthly credit bills
- $X Rent/mortgage
- $X Car payment
- $X Emergency fund
An emergency fund is important because it ensures you have money set aside for unforeseeable events, such as your car breaking down. When creating your budget, you can decide whether to put it into retirement funds or stock accounts.
A Closing Note
Talking about how you spend and save money is crucial to a healthy relationship. Some of us are spenders, while others love to save to indulge later. Regardless of which one you are, talking about it with your partner keeps both of you on the same page.