One of the trickiest decisions you must make when your relationship becomes serious is how you will approach your finances as a couple. Are you going to pool finances, split bills or are you going to keep everything separate? Read our free guide to tackling the tricky issue of handling finances as a loved – up couple in these tough economic times.
Sit down and hammer it all out
In short, when it comes to sorting out finances as a couple, there is no ‘best’ way to do things. The trick is to have a plan, and to have a plan that you will stick to, so if you decide to pool finances, you must make a joint plan. Sit down, discuss and hammer out all the thorny issues like who is going to pay the utilities, where you both should live, fuel costs, entertainment and living expenses and whether it is ever acceptable to get credit in emergencies from payday loan lenders like wonga.co.za.
If you have a plan, you will have an advance warning if things are going wrong. The worst thing to do is to think that ‘love’ will get you both through financial problems that you ignore. Financial issues are best handled head on and that will help you make the best financial decisions as a couple.
Whether you choose to split your finances, or completely separate your finances, you should always make the most of the fact that you are a team. As with any team, you should allocate tasks according to individual strengths, so if one partner loves to shop, why not allocate shopping to this person in exchange for some other duties being performed by the other partner like housework. Have an honest discussion and figure out who is best at budgeting and let this person take the lead with the budget. Whether you decide to pool your finances or not, you will need to co-operate when making financial decisions and the old adage is true: ‘two heads are better than one’.
Life events are major upheavals and these should be planned for when you are a couple. If you want to have a baby, that is great, but can you afford it? How will you survive if one partner is not working for a while? These are questions best asked before the positive pregnancy test turns that exciting shade of blue.
As with every strategy, whatever way you decide to approach your finances as a couple, you should regularly sit down and honestly evaluate how things have been going. This will allow you to ditch strategies that are not working and replace them with ones that work. It will mitigate the adverse effects of mistakes and let you start afresh if need be.