Many young couples could use some guidance and tips that would help manage your money effectively.
The most overlooked aspect of a relationship is planning a budget and integrating your financial assets. By planning your joint finances together, you can avoid heated arguments over disagreements and grow your lifestyle as a couple.
Here’s some basic budgeting 101 to set you on the right track.
A good credit profile of both partners is an excellent start. Not only does it convince lenders of your creditworthiness, but it’s also an important pre-requisite for a joint account.
However, in case one of you has a poor credit score, opening a joint account as a couple might affect your credit rating altogether. It won’t change either one’s credit history, but your joint statement as a couple will be ‘co-scored’ if you apply for credit. In such a scenario, consider checking your credit ratings before combining your finances.
It might be useful to compare your ratings to a credit score check uk for reference. A credit score between 721-880 is fair by UK standards, while a score of 881-960 is good, and a score of 961-999 is deemed to be excellent. Make a reasonable decision after studying your credit history thoroughly.
If You Decide To Get A Joint Account
Your income streams will be combined into a single account. All your expenses like paying the rent, mortgage and bills will be done from this individual account:
- Agree on a spending amount and communicate before committing to a major expenditure.
- Understand and respect each others spending patterns, habits, and behaviours.
- At the same time, if you or your partner keep buying unnecessary stuff or tend to be compulsive shoppers, work together to make some changes.
- Use a budgeting app or a spreadsheet that you can both access at all times.
- You can follow the “pocket money” concept to spend on your expenditures, such as clothes, cosmetics, and parties.
If You Decide To Have Separate Accounts
Here, you’ll both keep your earnings separate, but will still need to ensure you are on the same page:
- Plan big expenses together even though you hold different accounts.
- Communicate every fluctuation in balance.
- Divide shared expenditures and bills amongst each other.
- Consider taking your partner’s opinions when making spending decisions.
You can segregate your income into 3 categories: 2 for personal expenses and 1 for the family. Create a stockpot to chip in money for the family for which both of you will be responsible. You can also follow the ratio method to contribute according to your individual salary.
Sit down with your partner and decide how much money you have coming in and what you can afford to spend on different areas. Make sure your budgeting numbers are reasonable and consider your take-home pay after taxes.
Set up a spending limit for family expenditures. This will guide your monthly expenses and avoid any surprises at the end of the month. Also, be clear about the independence you’ll both have in personal spending.
Building an emergency fund is also an essential part of the budgeting process. This will allow you to afford essentials, save a significant amount of your salary, and set money aside for luxuries, fun and entertainment.
When you open a joint bank account to handle your finances, you’ll both be responsible for all assets and liabilities. You’ll share the burden of debts, overdrafts, loans, and also profits from interest and investments. It’s best to come to common terms with your partner and choose a fair contribution from your respective salaries.
Maintain the transparency to review any agreements if it does not work for either one of you. You can consider drafting a contract if it will make it easier to stick to, but don’t force your partner into it if they are unwilling.
Remember – keeping faith in your significant other is crucial in all aspects of your relationship, even money.
Terms And Conditions Of Bank Account
The terms and conditions of joint accounts vary from bank to bank. Do your due diligence before opting out for a specific bank.
Get an understanding of what happens if you want to close or freeze your joint account for unforeseen conditions. Undertake the details in writing for your reference. Check your bank statements regularly to analyse your savings and expenditures.
Avoid shifting the entire financial responsibility onto one partner. Having one person control all your joint finances spells bad news for both of you. You or your spouse may not have the time, be monetarily challenged, or even get bored or frustrated and give up.
Such situations allow for gaps in money management and affect the finances of each of you as well as the family. It’s best to share responsibility and ensure that both of you put equal time and effort in the process.
Track Your Spending
After following all the basic rules of management comes the most important aspect: Keep an eye on your spending.
You can easily lose track of daily spending with so many things occupying your thoughts and seeing a tiny amount left in your shared account by the end of the month could lead to a rude shock.
Don’t wait to check your statement until it’s the end of the month. If neither of you is very organised, then get an app for a daily or weekly spend analysis. Regular check-ups will allow you to keep track of and even save more money every month.
As a young couple, managing money can be hard for both of you. A large majority of young couples only consider short-term savings and ignore long-term planning. These tips will help you plan your financial structure smoothly.
Keep in mind the important aspects of money management like your credit score, the type of account, the share of income, assets, and liabilities before starting your financial life together.
Couples who are open about their finances always stand a better chance of future happiness together. Mutual understanding and decisions will guide you and your partner to be safe and responsible.