Money is a talking point when two working individuals marry or become a couple. ‘What is mine; is considered mine’. This typical mindset might not hold anymore for a relationship to stay healthy and long lasting in this modern day era.
Generally, you might expect couples to pool their money together and jointly manage it. In reality, however, some couples may prefer to keep things separate due to differences in spending habits and considerations.
Nonetheless, couples should compromise with one another and seek out ways to arrive at a method that works. Otherwise, it might lead to a divorce or separation because of disagreements over money. Here are some of the way you may consider on how to better manage your bills and expenses with your other half.
1. Give and Take
Money is a sensitive issue in a marriage or relationship. In a two-income household, each one has the responsibility to pay and save. The usual costs are mortgage or rent, utilities, phone bills, groceries and other necessities. Dividing the expenses by 50% is the most simple and easy way.
Unfortunately, splitting the expenses by half is unfair to the individual who is earning lesser than the other. In this situation, the element of giving and taking should prevail. Sharing can be proportional to how much each one earns.
For example, an individual earns RM6,000 monthly while the partner brings home RM4,000. The one receiving more will contribute 60% while the partner making less will contribute 40%.
If this is the desired set up, both partners can maintain separate accounts and open a joint account for bills and expenses. Individual contributions are then deposited to the joint account for payment of bills and expenses. The balance of the money will remain in each other’s account for personal needs or wants.
2. Complete Transparency
Regardless of who earns more, some couples prefer to have one joint account for the purpose of complete transparency. All payments for expenses, as well as savings, come from a single account. But in order for this method to work, you need to fully trust each other 100%.
This setup means the couple will have to agree on a shared financial goal. No partner blindsides the other when it comes to spending, using credit cards or obtaining personal loans. There will be full disclosure when it comes to everything.
3. Entirely Separate
An arrangement that somehow strays from the norm is when couples do not want to combine their finances at all. Believe it or not, some couples prefer two separate accounts. In some cases, some individuals prefers to maintain freedom and autonomy when it comes to personal finances. The reason can be due to high personal debts or even family inheritance.
This approach means each partner pick specific bills to pay. One negative outcome is that if your partner is not good at money management, you might end up paying the bills he or she is supposed to pay.
4. One Money Manager
This approach happens when one partner is significantly better in handling finances and the other gives up the management responsibility. Hence, there is still a joint account where the money comes in, although only one takes care of distributing them. Also, the non-manager will agree to receive a monthly allowance.
Trust is again vital if you decide to let go of your freedom and let your spouse or partner handle the finances. But it does not mean you do not have a say in making financial decisions.
Don’t Let Money Destroy your Happiness Together
In general, money disagreement is the number one source of conflict between couples, not only in Malaysia but the world over. Many marriages and relationships break down because of financial matters.
If you want to keep a healthy and lasting connection, be open to engage in constructive discussions with your partner regarding money. Couples should arrive at a workable solution that will stand the test of time.
But the more important aspect of living happily ever after is to agree on specific ground rules, including saving and investing for the future.
This article is prepared by Direct Lending, an online personal lending platform with the mission to provide simple, safe and affordable financing to all hardworking adults. We help borrowers to find, apply and receive financing that most suit them. Our service is 100% free. Follow us on the blog or our Facebook page as we share more useful personal finance tips.