Beyond the love and affection, is the tricky issue of money. Finance clearly isn’t the most romantic topic to talk about. At every point of a relationship, from the first date to buying shared items or eventually, household expenses, the discussion about money is ultimately unavoidable. If you’re starting to feel that splitting the bill in your relationship is a problem, read on.
Problem: Difficult To Bring Up The Topic Of Money As A Couple
1. Taking sharing for granted
Being comfortable with each other and so immensely in love, couples tend to look past the nitty-gritty issues to prevent tension.
A couple weeks back, one of Seedly’s community members posed a troubling question:
Being pragmatic doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and you surely shouldn’t be afraid to talk about finances in a serious relationship. There is a difference between sharing and freeloading, which is essentially unequal dependence on only one party. When finances in a relationship becomes a burden to one, the couple ought to see this as a pressing issue to be solved.
2. The Gender Stereotype
Be it first dates or marriage anniversaries, could it be that guys today are still more pressured to pick up the tab?
In a Nerdwallet survey just 2 years back, 77% of the interviewees reflected that they would expect the man to pay for a date. Some ladies see this as romantic and some men see it as a tradition of chivalry. However, in a relationship where both parties are of equal status and gleefully employed, should only one of them be unfairly burdened with the complications of money?
3. It’s Awkward
And it’s also just all in your head.
Being serious enough to be concerned and prudent about the both of your financial future should not be something that you should feel embarrassed about. Letting your partner understand the importance of these things is as important as discussing your future.
Solving The Problem In 3 Steps:
1. Be Honest With Your Partner
The first step you should take to solve the above problems is to come clean about them. Understanding is the basis of a relationship and everything that you share in the future. Think about it, if this situation cannot be broached, can more serious things be in the future?
Get each other into the mode of sharing the financial burden. Being together is sort of a joint venture, invested in your future. Plan together so the both of you will be vested in a shared success.
2. Plan and Budget
The amount of costs involved in spending your life together is only barely simplified into the table above. Then, there will be basic household expenditure, bills, holiday trips, your childrens’ education and so on.
If you’re thinking of really sharing a life with your partner, planning and tracking your finances is absolutely necessary. Lay out all the things you two have to pay for down on an excel sheet or in a document where the both of you can sort out the costs and your individual contributions. Your current financial tracking habits can also be applied to your financial habits as a couple. If splitting the bills 50/50 isn’t your thing, you can always allocate certain bills to be paid by either one of you. You can pay for the basic household expenditure and your partner can pay for the water and electricity bills.
3. Create A Joint Account
You don’t even have to be married to set up couple savings accounts together. In this setting, you can both be transparent about your finances so things can be less complicated. Accounts such as the CIMB Fastsaver, BOC and UOB one Account have a tiered base interest system such that young married couples can consider pooling their money together to hit a higher interest rate.
For more detailed tips on how we think you can save as a couple, read on here.
At the end of the day, it’s not how clearly the lines should be drawn, it should be about not burdening one party because of the other. Assuming of you is earning less than the other, perhaps they can contribute less to the couple’s finances. It will be hard to move from the mindset of caring for your finances as an individual to balancing the monetary needs of your partner. But with a team effort and a careful amount of discipline, things will be a lot easier!