Most of us become part of a couple sooner or later, and discover it has a financial impact. Two probably can’t live quite as cheap as one, although sharing bills can make them less daunting. The real financial benefits of being a couple may be a little less obvious, but no less important.
At Continuum we are looking at how to make the most of your money as a couple.
Talk about money
Money, or rather the lack of it can cause problems for anyone.
The solution is to talk honestly about financial arrangements. Talk about how much each person will contribute or not to shared costs and savings, talk about the things you need now, and your plans for the future. Be open about debt, outgoings, and other areas of finance can mean you’re both in a better position to understand the financial decisions being made. It can also give you an insight into how your partner views money and where your differences may lie.
It can not only reduce disagreements but mean you’re both working towards the same goals.
Agreeing basic budgeting might be your first discussion. Work out how much you each have coming in, and how much you need to spend – individually, on things like getting to work, and together, on things like your home, and groceries.
If you share household expenses, agree how they will be split. For some couples, simply splitting expenses 50-50 makes sense. For others, taking income differences into account may be appropriate. In some cases, one partner will take care of all the spending while the other concentrates on bringing in the cash. You might deposit a set amount into a joint account every month or each of you taking responsibility for different outgoings from your own account.
What’s important is that you find an option that works for you and create a plan that matches your needs.
Money might be tight, but giving yourself and your partner a discretionary budget can make things less stressful. After all, they may need some cash to buy something for you.
Set out your goals
With a day-to-day budget organised, it’s time to start thinking about other goals you may want to set aside money for. This could be to buy a house, start a family, go on holiday, or build a financial safety net.
Having clear saving or investing goals means you’re both working towards the same things.
But you can’t just decide to put any spare cash away at the end of the month. You need to agree how much you can earmark for your future, and sort out a savings account, or even better an investment which lets you make monthly contributions.
Knowing that you both need to put money away as soon as your salary arrives means you know where you stand, and it can minimise arguments. If you have any extra left at the end of the month, you can use it to enjoy life, confident that you are already working for the future.
Most people will want to build up a deposit for their first home buy, but don’t overlook long-term goals.
The sooner you start thinking about areas like retirement planning, even if it seems a long time away, the more manageable your goals will be. It is hard to believe when you are in your twenties, but one day you will both want to retire, and you will want to do it together, in comfort.
Make sure you have protection
When you are young free and single, you might not want to think about life insurance. When you are part of a couple, you should. You budget together, and if one of you was no longer there to contribute, money might become a problem.
A life insurance policy becomes a necessity when you are part of a couple, and even more so when children come along.
With a little expert help, your life cover can be the cornerstone of a complete protection package, designed to ensure financial security whatever life throws at you. Illness, unemployment, a change of career – with the right precautions you can protect yourself and your partner from them all.
Get some expert help
Making money work as a couple can be difficult at first, but it is much easier with a little expert help. At Continuum we can help you create a financial roadmap for your future together, which can make things easier now – and your goals easier to reach in the future.
To find out more, simply call us today.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable Protection product, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.