While scrolling through Twitter, I came across a post om how to manage your money as a couple. And I’ve read other opinions on this topic. So I thought, it’s time to write about my own view on how to manage your money as a couple.
My opinion in short is this: You don’t have to share everything in your life when you start to live together or get married, you’re still two different persons.
Joint account & own accounts
My husband and I met in 2007 and started living together in 2008. The moment we started living together, we opened up a joint account for the joint expenses like rent, utilities and groceries.
We both kept our own bank account and we agreed that we each transfer a percentage of our income to the joint account every month. This seems the most fair to us as we don’t earn the same amount of money.
The money that’s left after transferring a part to the joint account is for ourselves. We can use it for whatever we want and we never have to fight about what we spend our money on.
Five years after living together we got married and now, after 6 years of marriage, we still manage our money the same way as we did 11 years ago.
Separate love and money
Personally, I think you should always separate love and money. Those are 2 different things. Fighting about money isn’t worth it and shouldn’t have an affect on your love for your partner.
If there are problems in the relationship, you should fight for love instead of money.
Not sharing money doesn’t mean a lack of love
Why do some people think that you don’t love someone if you don’t share your money? I have no clue where that kind of thinking comes from.
People have different opinions and make different choices. It shouldn’t have to affect your relationship if one of you has an expensive hobby for example.
Why don’t you let your partner do what he loves with his money? As long as he pays the money for your joint expenses there is no reason to fight.
Take my husband and I. Once in a while he wants some computer stuff I don’t need, use or care about. He works hard and has the money to buy this. So why do we have to discuss this if he can buy the things he want?
And what if I want a certain dress that’s pretty expensive. If I want it and I can afford it, why not? I would go crazy if I had to ask for permission to spend money on something I want.
We are married with a prenuptial agreement. Most people marry without specific agreements and suddenly everything belongs to both people. Money, stuff, debt, etc. We didn’t want that.
I can’t imagine getting married and then suddenly my husband has to pay off my debt, I mean, it’s my debt right? I’m the one that made choices that led to debt, why does he have to suffer for that? I’ve never understood that type of thinking.
We do have some arrangements about money in our prenuptial agreement. We perform an annual settlement where we write down both of our incomes, the taxes we have to pay and the money we already paid towards joint expenses.
The amount that’s left after calculating everything will be shared.
In practice it means that as the one with the lowest income, I receive money from my husband once a year. This money goes to my own bank account and I can spend it exactly how I want to spend it.
We like this arrangement, it feels fair for the both of us.
Talk about money
No matter how you handle your money together, you have to start talking about money to avoid problems. And keep talking!
If you talk about money regularly, there probably won’t be much discussion about it. You can set a specific time to talk about your finances. Maybe once a week or once a month. Whatever works for the two of you.
My husband and I are very open about our finances and we’re both responsible people. We almost never have issues regarding money.
When we do run into discussions about money, which are always about shared expenses, we can just talk to each other to solve it. It helps that we’re both pretty frugal and look for free, secondhand or cheap brands first instead of buying new and expensive stuff all the time.
Sharing all of your money could lead to way more discussion as that involves personal expenses as well.
In the end
It all comes down to what works best for you and your partner.
How my husband and I are managing our money is one way to do it. To us this is the best way to manage our money, it works for us.
But it might not be for everyone. Just keep talking with each other to figure out what works best for you.
And you? Do you have a partner? How do you two manage your money as a couple?