Managing money with your partner isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Honestly, there are a lot of things to fight about when it comes to finances. Each person is coming to the table with their own money issues, many of which they may not even realize they have. There are savers and spenders and ultra-spenders and hoarders. There are nerds and free spirits. There are different agendas and goals and wants and needs and…and…and.
See? There’s a lot of stuff to work through. But once you commit to managing money together and get a good handle on it, the benefits far outweigh any negatives.
First, if you’re looking for a way to start having money talks with your partner, you can check out the workbook I created-Managing Money Together: a Workbook for Couples. This workbook will help you start and deepen money conversations. It walks you through communicating about money and getting comfortable having conversations that can be tricky.
Like I said, once you’ve committed to managing money together, the benefits are extraordinary, and you’ll get to see your money do things that you never thought were possible.
After Ryan and I got married, we combined our finances quickly and began budgeting together. Up until that point, we always communicated about money, but we kept our own checking accounts. Had we not combined our finances, I don’t think that we would have become debt free in 3.5 years and since paid for everything in cash while saving money for retirement and a house.
You get (and stay) on the same page
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they wished they communicated less with their spouse. Usually, complaints come from not communicating enough. Managing money together means that you have to talk to each other. And talking to each other means that you’ll be open about what you want and need, and you’ll be able to get on the same page about your finances.
Sometimes this communication also calls for compromises, and figuring out a way to compromise where no one feels like they’ve been cheated definitely strengthens the partnership. Managing money together presents you with opportunities to put your partner first and then vice versa as the situations change. You’ll be on the same page when it comes to goals and priorities, so making decisions together will become easier with time.
You form a deeper connection
Building a relationship from scratch with someone who was once a stranger is a pretty incredible thing. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and married for 6, and it’s hard to picture a time when we weren’t together. Talking about money has allowed us to understand each other’s habits and priorities and goals and then figure out ways that we can merge both of our interests into one plan.
Understanding how someone spends their money is essentially seeing where their priorities and passions lie. If you’re not talking with your partner about money, you’re missing out on that essential part of them. Sure, you may see them come home with something new every now and then, but really digging in and talking about the things that you want and need allow you to form a deeper bond with the person you share your life with.
You get more for your money
2 + 2 = 4.
This is a pretty standard fact, but there’s something in the math that gets a little crazy when you combine your finances. It’s like all of a sudden 2 + 2 = 435. When you take a look at each of your salaries and decide to combine, it should be a simple math equation, right?
Wrong! When you team up (and create a budget-which is like getting a raise), it seems like the money goes further. You can read about our $90,000 Turnaround. If we hadn’t combined our finances, I don’t think that would have been possible. I still look at the numbers and can’t figure out how we did it. But I suspect it was because we got more out of our money when we were working as a team.
You get to dream together
This is probably the biggest benefit of managing money together-the ability to dream together.
When you’re planning your financial future (or present for that matter), it’s important to dream together. And if you’re having a conversation where one person talks about what they’ll do with their retirement and the other talks about what they’ll do with theirs, you might as well be friends sitting down with a cup of coffee. It doesn’t have the same power as talking about what you’ll be able to do with your combined retirement together.
If you haven’t been talking about money throughout your relationship, it’s ok to start small. But it’s important to start today.
Start talking about what each person spends their money on, how they made money as a kid, how they saw their parents handle money, etc. Then move into the bigger conversations about how much each person makes and what a joint budget would look like. When you’re ready, join forces and tackle your financial goals together.
If you need a jump start, check out Managing Money Together: a Workbook for Couples that will walk you through starting the conversation and moving towards getting on the same page about money.
I’d love to hear how it’s going! Email me at email@example.com or DM me @thesimplegirlsguide on Instagram!