Money can be a really heavy topic when it comes to being in a relationship. And there's really no one-size-fits-all solution for every couple. Many aspects go into the discussion about how you will handle your finances. Will you keep your money completely separate? What things will you help pay for? What things will they help pay for? And if you're living together, things get even more difficult. If we're not pooling our money, how will we decide to split costs?
For me and my guy, we've decided to act as though we have a joint bank account. This means that our financial decisions do not just affect one or the other, they directly affect us both. Although we aren't currently living together, we plan to soon, and we have made planning for the future a priority.
How do we do this so that we're not stepping on each other's toes all the time? Well, we keep each other up to date on what's going on in our financial lives. We discuss when paydays are, how much is in our accounts, what our budgets look like, and how much we're planning to save. At the end of the month, we put our money together using the envelope method for our savings and put it away for future expenses.
We all know that life is never simple and that plans never usually work the way you want them to. This means that unplanned expenses will come up. Just last week I had been talking about wanting a new piece of furniture for my room, for reading and studying. To my surprise, I came across the exact piece I had been imaging in my head on Facebook Marketplace, at a really good price point, and knew that I really really wanted it. I immediately talked it over with my boyfriend and decided that we had the extra cash at the moment, and it was a really good deal, so I should go for it, and I did.
Communication is really the key here. You have to know where you are at in your relationship and what your boundaries are so that you can begin having financial conversations, if that's where you're heading. For us, we've felt for a while that we're on the path to marriage and living life fully together, and there's really no reason to wait for the money aspect to be added in later. It keeps us accountable and lets us work through real-life problems right here and now.
We're happy with the way we're doing things, and I hope you find a method that works for you and your relationship too!