Now if you’re married, there’s a lot more personal involvement in the financial decisions you make as a family. Here are 4 things to keep in mind:
1. Agree and align on what is important: People in a relationship have to align on what is important to them per time. What are your short, medium and long term goals? Are you paying off a loan? Saving up for a house or paying fees? You have to be aligned on what is important per time so that you can both align on your spending.
2. Have a budget and determine responsibilities: Always prepare a budget together and discuss how to allocate the money coming in. A budget helps align your financial goals for the period. Once these goals are determined, then clarify the responsibilities: jointly agree on who is responsible for what to create clear lines of accountability. For example, you may handle monthly cable charges while your partner handles monthly internet charges.
3. Joint Account or Separate Accounts: This is subject to personal preference; you can either have a joint account, separate accounts or both. Couples can have joint accounts if it works best for them or have separate accounts, but what is important is having honest open conversations about what is important per time and the boundaries established.
4. Embrace your differences: It is okay if you and your partner have different personalities and spending habits. A money spender and a saver can help balance out each other’s excesses and ensure a balanced lifestyle. Do what works for you as a unit. At the end of the day, you have the most knowledge about those in your life; you have the insight to make the decision that works best for you.
These are just a few principles to help guide you as you navigate finances in your relationships.