It’s no secret that money is the biggest source of stress for couples. No matter how much you have in common, most couples learn how to manage money differently, making it difficult to know how to merge finances when living together. Whether you have joint accounts or keep your money separate, your relationship will benefit from sharing budgeting tools. Create a monthly budget planner together so that you’ll be in control of your finances as a couple. Start making your dreams a reality. Month-long vacation? Check. First house together? Check. So grab your lover, pour a glass of wine and get started.
Share Your Expenses and Income Sources
The first step in learning how to manage money as a couple is to lay out all the cards on the table. If you haven’t already, pull out your bills and paychecks and share them with each other. Discuss your discretionary income: how you like to spend the money leftover after your bills and other necessary living expenses. If you can’t agree on what is worth spending money on, strike a compromise. Does he buy state-of-the-art stereo equipment? Does she prefer to indulge in regular spa days? Place a maximum amount each of you can spend on those hobbies so that neither of you feels like your interests are being neglected in your monthly budget.
Share Your Dreams
After reviewing the nitty gritty details of your finances together discuss your financial goals and dreams. Maybe you both want to take a vacation abroad. Or maybe you love to cook together and want to upgrade your kitchen. Whatever it is, pick a savings goal that you can both work towards. Use an online budgeting tool like SmartyPig, which serves as an online savings account for specific savings goals. By keeping this account separate from other savings you and your love can easily track your progress.
Decide Who is in Charge of Payments
Once you’ve determined all of your monthly expenses and savings goals, decide who is responsible for each payment. It’s good to share the burden of your monthly budget planning so that neither of you feel overwhelmed. You can either divide up each month’s bills, or take turns paying all of the bills every other month. Either way, make sure you both stay involved with your budgeting tools so there are no surprises when you both want to know how the money has been spent.
Hold Each Other Accountable
There are a number of free budgeting tools available online to show you how to manage your money. To get started, try using a monthly budget planner like Budget Pulse. You can share this online tool with your partner so that you’re both on top of your budget. Plus, you don’t have to link directly to your bank accounts, giving you an extra layer of security.
Enjoy Financial Peace
When you successfully learn how to manage money, you will automatically feel a sense of peace within your relationship. Not only will you feel on top of your finances, you’ll have more time (and more money) to focus on other aspects of your relationship. Remember, you and your partner will both be more at ease when being open and honest with each other about everything – and that includes money. By offering mutual support and encouragement, you and your lover will have the emotional and financial resources to achieve your dreams while remaining stress-free.
As you know – at The Affordable Honeymoon we don’t just want you to travel to enjoy your time together. We want you to enjoy your time together as a couple and set goals to visit the Bellagio in vegas or Maui next summer. Growing your love starts with budgeting and open communication – and a love nest is the first step. Read our article on how to discover the perfect love nest for you and your love here.