27
Jun
07

Combining Finances with your Partner

So you have decided to move in with your partner? maybe you aren’t ready for marriage or the government doesn’t think you should marry, either way…If you are living together as part of an unmarried couple, you may face some special financial challenges, below are some tips that can make the transition into living together and sharing a life together less stressful and have you on your way to financial bliss… well maybe…

Budget for joint expenses. The first and most important thing to do is agree on a budget for monthly household expenses. It’s probably wise to open a joint bank account to cover bills that you share, such as rent, electricity and cable TV. If you aren’t ready to open a joint account split all bills equally.
Set Yours, mine and ours. Though some couples choose to split monthly bills 50-50 across the board, this approach doesn’t work for everyone. Chances are one partner earns more than the other, sometimes a lot more. If this is the case, you may opt to contribute a proportional amount of your income. Maybe both contribute 50% towards bills, that may be $1500 for one partner and $2500 for the other… whatever you think is fair and will work, just pick a system and stick to it. Remember, after the joint expenses are covered, the money remaining in your personal account is yours to spend freely, or save freely.
Set mutual goals. Even if you choose to keep separate checking accounts, clarify your long-term financial goals with your partner. Do you want to own a house together someday? Want to save for a amazing trip of a lifetime vacation? If so, you may choose to open a joint savings account to which you both can contribute either set month amounts or whenever you have excess funds.

Be straightforward about debts. Combining finances is one of the surest signs that both partners are fully committed to a relationship, but there are instances when such a combination isn’t appropriate. To avoid conflict, each person should take responsibility for the debts incurred before entering the relationship. It is unfair to expect your partner to pay for your student loans, credit card debt or auto loan, maybe your partner wants to help you become debt free? repay some loans? that would be awesome but its not a requirement and should not be expected or worked into monthly expenses.

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