This weekend, the challenge is going to be looking at how you handle money when you are in a relationship. This is a big factor in any relationship and financial issues can cause a lot of tension. If you are single, this information is still relevant to you, because it should help once you begin to get serious with someone. This weekend look at the situation that applies to you and review the information. If you have not had a talk with your significant other about finances yet, your challenge is to do that and to learn if you are even headed in the same direction.
1. Dating and Finances
When you are dating someone, or living with someone, but not yet married, you should handle your finances differently than when you are married. One reason is that there are laws that help to protect you when you get divorced, but they do not apply when you break up with a significant other. For this type of relationship, you should keep your finances separate from each other. Then you can create a household account that you each contribute to in order to cover your bills. You each should contribute the same percentage of your salary in order to cover the bills. You can learn more about how to set up a shared household budget here.
2. Getting Married
If you are engaged to be married or just starting out, it is important to sit down and discuss how you are going to handle your finances. It is essential that you have complete honesty in your finances. There should be a series of conversations that you have before you get married about what your financial expectations are, and the goals that you will have as a couple. You should also discuss the assets and debts that you are bringing into the relationship. Once you are married, you should share everything equally.
How to Merge Your Finances
How to Have the Big Money Talk
If you are already married, it never hurts to review this information. Some relationships start out sharing everything equally when it comes to finances, and this continues on throughout their marriage. Other relationships one person carries the burden of handling the finances alone and one spouse is left in the dark when it comes to finances. This is not a good thing for many reasons, and the goal should be to establish weekly money meeting—possibly daily meetings at first—where you discuss your budget and how you are getting by financially. You should also have regular meetings where you check on your goals. Stop Fighting About Finances
Your extended family may put pressure on you to travel or to spend a certain amount on gifts. They may also come to you looking for help when they are facing a difficult financial situation. Each situation will be different, but you should feel comfortable saying no if you really cannot afford to help. If you are married, then you need to come to an agreement with your spouse about how to deal with these situations in the future.