There is no right way to share finances in relationships. It really depends on what feels comfortable for both. But there are some strategies that will help you and communication is crucial.
Be open and honest about finances. Before you marry, when you know that you are serious, discuss your personal finances. After you are married continue to be open and honest about finances. Keeping financial secrets can destroy the trust in your relationship.
Remember money is a tool. It is entirely possible that you may have different opinions about money and different spending styles. This does not have to be a problem for your relationship as long as you keep the communication channels open. Talk regularly and be creative in finding solutions that will work for both. It is important to be respectful of each other’s feelings and opinions about money.
Keep track of where your money is going. It is far is far too easy to nickel and dime yourself to death financially. Consider the yearly cost of having that latte everyday. It is also extremely important to calculate the real cost of anything you purchase with credit. Knowing where your money is going, makes it much easier to find ways to reach your financial goals.
Set financial goals together. Discuss what is important to each of you. One of you may long to travel; the other may want to buy a house. Stick with it until you find priorities that work for both. Develop a plan that allows both of you to reach for your dreams.
Set something aside for a rainy day. Although it may not seem like the fun thing to do, this can reduce much unnecessary stress. It is inevitable that something unexpected will come up at some time. Aim for saving 10% of your income. Creating a financial cushion will help you weather tough times.
Set something aside for couple getaways and entertainment. It is important to include fun in your life. Fun is as much an attitude as anything else. But planning and saving for a vacation can help you bond and reduce the stress of worrying about how you will pay for it after you get home.
Be firm with yourselves and know the difference between wants and needs. Sometimes we can convince ourselves that we need that new car, television, ipad, phone and the list goes on. It can be tempting to fall for the buy now and pay later ads. Know that your life will be 100% less stressful if you wait to purchase ‘wants’ when you have the money to pay for them. Living debt free brings much of peace of mind.