Discussing what to do with your finances as a couple can be tricky since there are so many routes you can go. Each couple may feel differently about how they want to manage their money. Some couples want to pool all of their money together, while others keep most of their money separate. Other factors, like having an irregular income, can affect how you go about this. There’s no right or wrong way. Read on to learn some of the most common finance tips and options for managing your finances as a couple.
Combine All Finances
Depending on your situation, combining all of your finances into a joint bank account may be the way to go. If you both have good credit, this may be the easiest option for when you’re looking to buy a home and determining how much house you can afford. This can alleviate some financial stress head on. Then once you apply for the home, you will be able to finance through your joint finances instead of trying to split through different bank accounts.
Make sure to sit down with your partner and discuss the rules around this combination of finances to avoid complications. All of your money will be going in and out of one place, so you should discuss a budget that works for both of you. If one of you has an irregular income due to working gigs, this may not be the option you want to take unless the other is comfortable with the fact that one of your revenue streams will be inconsistent.
Separate The Fun Money
Another route you and your partner can take with your finances is combining them but giving a chunk to each person to use for “fun money” that’ll be deposited into their own checking account. This way, you still will have a joint bank account for the majority of your finances but each person will get a portion for their own.
Like in the previous option, you’ll want to discuss with your partner what your finances will look like and create a budget. Keep in mind, someone with an irregular income may vary in how much pay they get each month and that may affect how much “fun money” is given to them. It’s important that the one with the irregular income learns how to manage their own finances.
Combine Finances for Bills Only
Many couples in recent years decide to keep finances almost completely separate. Each person has their own bank account, but will put a certain amount into a shared account for bills. These shared bills can include rent or mortgage payments, groceries, utilities, pet expenses, and more.
You’ll want to discuss how shared bills will be split. Many couples choose to do 50/50, but that may not make sense for everyone. For example, if the one with the irregular income isn’t consistently making as much as the other, they’ll have a smaller percentage of the bill split. It really depends on what works best for you and your partner.
Final Thoughts and Finance Tips
Managing your finances as a couple doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you both agree on what method will work best for both of your financial situations, you’ll have no problem. Take a step back and take your time when making these decisions as it will leave a precedent for the rest of your relationship. These finance tips are a great place to start, but you might also need to look into other ideas and strategies.