July 3, 2013

How to Manage Couples Finances

Disclosure: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions expressed on this post are mine.

Couples Finances

Couples Finances

How to manage couples finances? This is an important question every couple or those who are deciding to move-in together should think about and if possible ask to their financial planners. Well if you’re in-love, money matters is probably the last thing on a couple’s mind but a little financial planning is very important before you decide to get serious in a relationship. Unfortunately some couples are already deep in the relationship even before they realized that money management is an important factor for having a good and stable relationship.

Managing couples finances is tricky, some even say that it’s a conversational time bomb. Money matters can be a source of conflict, but would you rather talk about finances early on to have a healthy relationship and avoid conflicts or have a nasty battle in the end when both of you decided that the relationship is not working?

Here are some advice on handling couples finances:

1. Get acquainted with each other’s financial habits. If you have shortcomings confess it to your partner early on, there shouldn’t be any financial secrets. Are you a shopaholic? Do you have people who depend on you financially? Do you have a lousy credit score? These are heavy stuff but it’s better to get the big stuff out of the way early. It doesn’t mean that once you discover something nasty, you have to break-up with your partner. This is where planning comes, solve the conflict by meeting halfway and talk about how you both want to compromise. Have some ground rules that both of you will agree on. For unmarried couple, this is the time to discuss if you both want to have pre-nup when you decide to get married.

2. Have a joint account but also make sure to have your own separate account. Save money for your own use! It is better that you already save enough money before you move-in together. This will give you the freedom to indulge once in a while by buying things that you want without getting into an argument with your partner. According to a recent study, the number one precaution that you can do to safeguard yourself financially is to save more money before moving in with someone else.

3. Create a budget. Have a game plan, discuss how much each of you should contribute for the household expenses. If you have debt, how much should be allotted for paying the debt. It is important to contribute an amount for saving for the future. The rest of the money you can keep it for your personal use or savings account.

4. Keep track of your purchases. Make sure to keep receipts and all your financial statements. Document what has been a joint purchase or a personal purchase.

5. Safeguard your assets. If you’re not married and are renting make sure that your name is on the lease. Assets acquired during marriage generally are marital, but you must keep your non-marital assets titled in your own name.

6. Have a regular money talk. You can dream and plan, discuss your priorities. This is very healthy for your relationship because you get to understand your partner better. Maybe one is scrimping because he or she wants to save money for kitchen makeover or so that you can go on a cruise or vacation together or that one is just concern for your future.

7. In any good relationship planning  for the future is a must, especially for married couples. Kids, health, retirement etc., you should discuss all these and decide if it’s time for you to get a financial planner, Genworth Financial has a good coverage worksheet that you can use, so that it will be easier to discuss your needs with your financial planner.

Topic: Couples Finances

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