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Budgeting is important, and it’s something you likely do on your own. Now you’re part of a couple, you need to budget together.
Your new relationship is progressing. You’re talking about moving in together, or maybe you’ve just made that step. This is a big time, and it brings change to your finances.
In some ways, moving in together will save you money. You’ll both only have one rent to pay and other finances are shared. However, it can be more expensive. You suddenly have two incomes that are joined, and that feels like you have a lot more money to spend each month. If you’re not both on the same plan financially, it can end up a huge mess.
You have always budgeted yourself. Maybe it’s something you recently got into. Now you need to change that. It’s important to budget together as a couple.
You both need to be on the same page
Budgeting is essential to know where your money is going. You need to track the money coming in and the money going out. It’s important to know where each dollar is being spent.
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nice things. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a coffee on your way to work. The important thing is to make sure you have the money in the budget.
If one of you is just spending and the other is trying to budget, you’ll struggle financially. Both of you need to be in agreement with the budget. You both need to put your finances at the same level of priority.
If one of you budgets and the other doesn’t, you’ll run into problems in the relationship. One of you will end up resentful, whether it’s the one who wants to spend and feels like they can’t or it’s the one who wants to set the budget but can’t save anything because the other is spending.
You’ll show compatibility in your relationship
Financial differences are a deal breaker for a lot of relationships. When you budget together, you will see that you are financially compatible. It’s a chance to see that you really do have the same goals.
This is something you should discuss when you move in with each other. Of course, anyone can claim goals and not really mean it. Sometimes, you don’t see if you do have the same goals until you move in with each other.
If one of you likes to save and the other likes to spend, you’ll need to meet in the middle. It’s all about compromise. This is what you gain when you budget together, showing that you can have financial compatibility.
You can be ready for emergencies when you budget together
Emergencies happen. We have no control over real emergencies, and that means we need to have the financial ability to cover those emergencies. That means setting up an emergency fund.
It’s important to do this together. You need to be in agreement of how much you put into the emergency fund and how it’s used. What is a true emergency? Is it buying the new laptop that you feel like getting? Probably not! It’s for those unexpected costs or when one of you suddenly loses their job.
When you have a healthy emergency budget, you’ll feel safer in your relationship. Anything can happen, and you’ll be able to weather that storm for the short term.
You’ll figure out just how you’re combining your finances
Not everyone wants to combine all their finances. As someone who has just got out of an abusive relationship, I don’t think I’ll ever fully combine my finances with someone again. This is a conversation you’ll have before you move in.
You still need to budget together. There are still some shared expenses, and you’ll still need to set up a plan for them. Will you have one joint account for all shared expenses to come from? That means setting up an agreed amount to go into that account. What about a joint saving account for things in the future?
This will mean you create a budget together, but it also means you’ll have your individual budgets. It can be a great way to manage some financial compatibility issues without causing too much resentment.
MORE: 5 tips to save for retirement
What financial problems have you run into? Are you creating your budget together? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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