Money is one of the biggest causes of divorce and breakups among committed couples, especially those living under one roof with shared expenses. Even the most patient and relaxed people can get tense when matters involving finances are involved. That’s why your money habits can end up making or breaking your relationship.
If you want to ensure that your relationship is smart about finances, you must know how to be mindful of how you use money together. Here are four healthy money habits for committed couples.
1 – Couples Need Open Communication Regarding Money Habits
One of the places where couples tend to fall short when it comes to their finances is in communication and honesty. Many money-related issues recur, often becoming a significant factor in breakups and divorces. As with all relationship-related things, communication is always a solution. Here are some money habits related to open communication:
Discuss Lifestyle Choices As A Team
Each partner in a relationship will likely have ideas about their ideal lifestyle. In a perfect situation, partners can achieve their lifestyle goals, but for that to happen, you have to talk about those goals. For example, what type of life do you want to live? How often do you want to spend on big purchases? Are you interested in investing? What sacrifices are you willing to make to your lifestyle for better financial health?
Be Honest About Your Money Habits
If you’re a newly committed couple, you’ll have to discuss each person’s current financial situation. Equity can be brutal in relationships, so understanding each other’s current financial health is crucial. You have to be on the same page about what that equity will look like. For accurate equity, you’ll need to be completely honest about how much you make and spend on necessities.
Create Joint Budget And Spending Sheets
To track, monitor, and stay on top of your spending, it’s a good idea to create joint spreadsheets that catalog everything. This documentation ensures you have a quick reference to reflect on and facilitates smoother indirect communication. Creating and maintaining the sheets is a fair team effort, and this is one of the best money habits you’ll develop!
Avoid Financial Infidelity
Financial infidelity is the act of engaging in economic behavior and money habits that you know will not be approved of by a partner. This action also includes intentionally hiding this behavior from them, whether by outright lying or simply not disclosing it.
Many couples think hiding this unwanted behavior will avoid a fight, but studies show that it leads to more long-term conflict and can even ruin relationships. So while it’s not the usual, more typical explanation of infidelity, it still erodes trust and communication, which ultimately harms committed couples.
Be honest with your partner about your spending, even if you think your partner won’t like it. Couples who trust each other stay together and avoid the pitfalls of resentment, accusations, and disrespect.
2 – Mindfully Merged Finances Mean Better Money Habits
Merging finances is often an essential step in a committed couple’s life. This milestone allows for easier accountability and creates a togetherness that lessens the risk of breakups. Research also shows that consistent, healthy shared pools of finances contribute to better relationship satisfaction.
But it’s not as simple as dumping all your money in one place. It must happen mindfully. Different couples will have other preferences for exactly how they choose to pool money together. Many nuances determine the best method for financial merging between couples. For maintaining healthy money habits, here are some things to consider when merging finances as a couple:
Improve Your Money Habits With A Joint Bank Account
The easiest way to merge finances is through a joint bank account. Committed couples can fill this joint account with a predetermined percentage of their salaries. This system allows for paying for shared necessities, such as rent, utilities, groceries, and loan repayments. Some couples may have multiple joint accounts, such as one for immediate spending on bills and necessities, another for short-term savings for vacations and date nights, and a third for long-term savings.
Maintain Separate Bank Accounts
It’s generally unwise for couples to share all of their funds. So, in addition to a joint account, partners should maintain individual accounts for their spending. This grants them financial freedom while showcasing respect and trust for each other. As far as money habits go, this is a pretty important one if you want long-term, mindfully merged finances.
Keep In Mind Each Other’s Money Habits and Personality
Different people have different ways of spending and saving money. This bases finances on money “personality” types and one’s past experiences with money. A typical relationship problem is that couples try to change their money habits instead of accepting them, finding balance, and working together.
This option doesn’t mean that you should maintain personal unhealthy money habits. It just means that you should seek to understand and communicate the unique money personalities of a partner and use this knowledge to determine how best to merge finances.
Determine How You Combine Your Money
Not all couples want to merge funds; in some relationships, one partner may not even earn a salary. As such, there has to be a healthy discussion on how money is combined. Are bills split as evenly as possible? How can you ensure fairness if you earn very different salaries?
Who’s responsible for paying what? Can the mental load of bill payment and financial fatigue be split? Do you take turns paying for dates? If one person has a lot of debt, are they solely responsible for paying it off? Set ground rules to ensure healthy boundaries.
Hold Each Other Accountable For Good Money Habits
Merging finances with mutual respect allows couples to hold each other accountable. Studies show that people often have rose-colored glasses regarding their finances. As a result, they don’t realize how much they’ve spent and tend to undersave. When working with merged funds, couples can hold each other accountable and compensate for each other’s financial weaknesses.
3 – Money Dates for Goal-Setting
Once a month, ideally shortly before receiving your salaries, set aside time to discuss your financial situation and goals. These “money dates” form a part of healthy financial routines for committed couples, allowing you to check in with each other, stay on the same page, and discuss changes and future financial plans. During money dates, you should do the following:
Determine The Month’s Joint Goals
What monetary goals do you have for the month? This could be saving up for a nice vacation during a long weekend, buying presents for a child’s birthday or challenging yourself to decrease money spent on eating out, for example. Whatever you’re hoping to gun for in the following thirty days, now’s the time to bring forth ideas.
Discuss Progress On Long-Term Goals
Long-term goals are crucial to long-term success and improvement, even when it comes to money habits. For example, couples may have goals such as buying a house or car, moving to a dream city, or saving enough for a relatively comfortable retirement. Keep an eye on long-term goals in your monthly money dates and talk about your progress toward them. Then, you can adjust them as needed and discuss short-term goals that may help long-term gain.
Air Out Issues
Financial issues will always cause tension in relationships, but you can prevent the worst of the conflict from arising by airing out problems during money dates. Use positive communication skills and seek to understand each other’s points so you can handle all financial issues with proactive and
As You Develop Smart Money Habits, Start To Discuss Saving Plans
Any discussion about money habits must include plans for saving money for the future. How do you plan to do that? Are there expenses you can cut out? Are you making the most of your available insurance plans? How many saving funds do you need? Ask all these questions and check to see if you’re happy with the amount you’re saving each month.
4 – Keep Your Money Habits In A Healthy Balance
One of the healthiest money habits you should keep in mind is simple: maintain balance. It’s easy to get lost in extremes when it comes to money. You may save to hoarding funds and then spend them impulsively. Or you may pay enough to run out of money within a few days of getting your salary. You may refuse to buy any expensive items, even if they’re better quality than the cheap counterparts you’ve been using. You may refuse to accept cheap things, preferring only brand-name products.
Regardless of where you fall in the realm of spending and money habits, the fact is that your best option is always a healthy balance. A reasonable middle ground to these extremes ultimately ensures better spending, saving, and financial decisions. Maintaining that balance is vital to a couple’s longevity, especially if you have very different spending styles.
The compromise allows each partner to get their fair share of satisfaction with how you spend your funds. Examples of a healthy balance in money habits include:
- Having a fund for “fun” spending allows you to treat yourselves within your budget.
- You permit yourselves to celebrate occasionally without guilt for spending on non-necessities.
- You’ll ensure that everyone has a fair say in how to spend, not allowing one partner to rule all financial decisions.
- You gain a reasonable financial security blanket or emergency fund that ensures you can make less serious financial decisions outside of that without fear.
- Using budgets and sheets as a guide instead of a dictatorship.
- You’ll understand that although money is essential, it’s a means, not an end.
Final Thoughts On Some Healthy Money Habits For Committed Couples
Managing money can be challenging for even the closest and healthiest relationships. Learning what money habits to incorporate can help you to navigate this complex and often complicated topic.