Solving Money Issues for UNMARRIED Couples
So.. your relationship starts to get deeper and serious, and you plan to get married. Well, before entering married life you have some things to consider or ponder about one of those is your FINANCES...individually and as a couple.
“While you may love with your heart, it is wise to think about your finances with your head.”
A lot of couples are having difficulty talking about money in their relationship, why? Maybe, because of they think about it. It can be love, control, power, or security. Well, most women goes for security. If you are in a committed relationship, you will face many of the same issues as married couples. And that one issue is your personal finances.This part is very essential to make your relationship work if you want it to really last. Finances is usually not an issue early in the relationship but it becomes a bigger issue as the relationship matures and grows, the best way is to start discussing money issues at the early stage of the relationship to reduce or prevent future disagreements. It’s really important for couples to assess their financial personality, you should know whether your partner is a “saver” or a “spender”or someone who likes to share or someone who doesn’t. That way, it will be easier for the couple to plan their finances as individual and as a couple.
Here are some of the issues that a couple should talk about…
1. The first step is to stop arguing about money. Don’t judge or blame each other on how you manage money. Remember you are a couple, you are partners on the same team. Agree to work and respect each other’s opinions on how to move forward together. Agree to stop fighting over money.
2. Alot time talking on how you will manage your money as a couple. The most important thing you can do for your relationship is to always be open when speaking about money. Remember that the number one reason for breakups is finances specially in marriages, so don’t let that happen to you.It’s important to talk about them and find common ground. Starting the conversation early and often can help keep communication about finances open and honest.
3. Have personal allowance money. The “spenders” in the relationship needs to have personal spending money so they don’t feel controlled, and the “savers” need to practice spending so they don’t hoard. Each one of you should have a certain amount of money each month for spending so that there will be no need to monitor, control or fight over money spent on items. This will give you both a sense of freedom while managing money at the same time.
4. Know where you stand. Know how you feel and be honest with yourself and your partner. For example, If you have more assets than your partner, you may feel fear about risking your hard-earned money, or against on his or her spending habits. You have to be honest with yourself about these feelings in order to be honest with your partner. Don’t be afraid to tell how you feel so you can address the issue and talk about it calmly and rationally. Don’t fight.
5. Track Your Spending to know where your money is going and to know if you’re spending within the budget. Write it down on a notebook or save it on your computer, it is the only way to really know where your money is going. Stick to the Budget!
6. Saving money, no matter how large or small(It’s not how much you earn, it’s how much u SAVE!), creates a feeling of abundance which leads to living abundantly. Decide as couple on how to save money as part of your financial management plan. For example, starting a coin bank is one way to start(I’m doing this, hehehehe), or creating separate categories in one savings account for various goals. For example you open a different account for travel and leisure, another account for emergency, another account for savings . Maybe having your own separate savings accounts would be beneficial as well. 7. Keep your finances separate. Ok, I know you are planning on getting married sooner or later and you are sharing your finances already, of course you would love for things to workout between you and your partner, but still there is a chance that it might not. Until you are married you should keep all your finances separate, keep individual bank accounts – including Savings accounts, Investment accounts etc. JUST IN CASE of a break up this will save you both a lot of hassle. Yes, you love him or her. But if things go sour, each takes their own, unless the other party will give everything to you voluntarily.
8. Keep Separate Credit Cards. Each of you should have at least one credit card in your own name in order to maintain a separate credit history. But if you apply for credit together, the downside is you will be penalized for your partner’s poor credit rating, your credit rating will be dragged down, too. 🙁
9. Keep separate checking accounts. But if you have one, contribute equally or proportionately, depending on your respective salaries to a shared checking account to pay for common expenses. Keep in mind that if you do open a joint checking account, you’ll each be responsible for all checks issued from that account. Make sure before you issue a check, you should have enough money in your checking account. I think it should be more than the amount that you wrote on your issued check.
10. Own as little property as possible jointly, if you decide to buy a house together, you’ll have to decide between “joint ownership ” or “tenants in common.” Under joint ownership, if one of you dies, the other inherits the property. This makes the transfer of property simple. Any properties that you buy together needs to be accounted for in a will so that it passes on to the surviving partner or the person you specify. Even if both names are on the house or condo, you can specify that your half goes to your partner instead of surviving members of your family.
11. Never or try to avoid to contribute money or make joint purchases of a major assets, such as a house or a car, furniture, appliances etc, which is held only in the name of your partner. If an asset belongs to both of you, it should be in both of your names. If you do decide to go ahead and make such purchases consider having a lawyer draw up a contract detailing what will happen in case of separation. I know discussing separation is not a good conversation to have, but unfortunately it happens.
12. Do not share your liabilities, although you love your partner and you would help them with anything they need, you should never, never, never cosign loans or credit cards for them. If you do decide to “help out” and co-sign on a loan, make sure there are proper documents that outlines who is responsible for the loan and the terms of repayment in case of break up. Everything might be going great now, but imagine you signed up for a Php100, 000 loan for your partner and a year later you break up you will end up paying for the debt that was never yours.
13. Some people allow themselves to become so financially dependent on their partner that they could be financially lost if the relationship ended. If your partner encourages you to quit your job and promises to take care of you, get that promise written on a legally enforceable agreement document.
14. Ask or Bring in a Third Party. If you can’t seem to talk about finances, seek out a counselor to help you sort through your financial issues. It could be a financial counselor or a therapist or marriage counselor. As the relationship grows and your income and assets begin to increase, you may want to hire a family lawyer to draw up an agreement that addresses what will happen to your assets if your relationship ends.
“You can still have a financially happy life by not letting financial issues come between you and your partner because this issue is really inevitable. It’s about how you resolve your issues about money and how do you communicate about it.”