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Don’t we all wish everyone had our money savviness and the world could be one big ball of financial peace and freedom?
Yeah, me too…
Truth is, managing money as a couple can downright suck sometimes, especially when one of you is a saver and the other a spender. I like to pinch pennies but my boyfriend will make it rain if I don’t jump in and bust open the umbrella.
Opposites attract right? Unfortunately.
Even though you may be pulling your hair out every time your partner makes a dumb money move, just know there are ways in which you can both learn how to manage your money together in harmony.
1. Separate your accounts
When we think of love we often think of unity. You know, togetherness. Becoming one.
If boo-thing cannot get it together in the finance department then separate those accounts! Yep, I said it and no I didn’t just burst into flames.
Think about it for a second here. When you’re sharing an account with someone who isn’t the best with money, you’ll both have access to the funds. This means that your hard-earned money is in the line of fire which often leads to unnecessary stress and arguments.
Now, don’t take this as meaning that every single account has to be separated. Savings accounts or those that are solely for bills are okay to share because you aren’t (or shouldn’t be) withdrawing funds or swiping debit cards. Your accounts that have your spending money, however? Se-pa-rate.
This decision does not have to be permanent, just one to cover yourself until his bad habits become good financial moves.
2. Create a budget for all combined expenses
A post about money wouldn’t be complete without sliding in a budget, and rightfully so. Budgets, or “financial plans,” give your dollar bills a specific job and make it easy to track what went where. Without one, things can get overwhelming because you’re left wondering where the heck all of your money went.
Sit down with your partner and make a list of all your combined expenses as well as the income coming in from both ends to cover them. It’s important to do this together because you’ll both gain a mutual understanding of your complete financial picture.
Once you’ve got your budget created then move on to tracking your spending. This part may be the most time-consuming, but you need to figure out where one another’s weaknesses lie in order to help strengthen them.
Related reading: Budgeting for Beginners!
To do this, gather the last 2-3 month’s bank statements and add up how much was spent and on what. If this sounds like a daunting task, don’t worry just yet. We live in a world full of technology that allows us to cut corners so to make this part easier I highly recommend using Personal Capital.
Personal Capital is completely free to use, and it allows you to track your expenses from all bank accounts. If you’re familiar with Mint it works the same way but better because it also helps you manage your retirement accounts.
3. Proactively educate
Us ladies are known for “nagging” by our male counterparts, but I like to this of this as proactively educating ????.
Identifying your partner’s bad money habits makes it easier to stop them before they happen. If you feel as though there might be even the slightest chance of a stupid decision being made, then you have the option to intervene.
For example, if boo-thing always overspends when he goes out with friends then it would benefit both of you to gently remind him to stay on budget before his next outing. Simple as that.
4. Assign small tasks
Bad financial management comes from a lack of knowledge, or just simply not giving a rat’s. In this case, we’ll go with a lack of knowledge.
Consider assigning your partner small tasks to complete in order to help him get into the swing of managing his money the right way. This could be making a deposit, going to pay a bill, automating his savings, etc.
The more they learn and understand, the less stressful things are for you and the shorter your to-do list becomes.
Posts to check out next!:
- Save or Pay off Debt? Here’s Which Makes the Most Sense for Your Journey.
- 7 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score 100 Points in One Year
- How Much Money You Should Have Saved at Your Age
- How I Went from $100 to $1300 in Spendable Income – Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck!
- The Debt Snowball vs Avalanche. Which is Right for You?
- How to Pay off Thousands in Debt as a Single Mom. Yes, Even on a Low Income!
- How I Paid Off $16,000 in Debt on One Income. You Can Too!
5. Put them in charge of a bill
You may be clutching your invisible pearls at the thought of handing off the responsibility of paying a bill to your beloved, but take a deep breath and loosen the reins.
It’s important to let him handle the responsibility of a bill or two, no matter how small. Not only will it make him feel more involved, but he will also get a better understanding of how his decisions affect his finances.
I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? You may be sitting in the dark from an unpaid light bill in the beginning, but once he gets the hang of it that’s one less thing you have to worry about each month.
Related reading: 4 Things You Need to Do to Get Caught Up on Bills
6. Set financial goals
Financial goals put you both on the same page when it comes to what you want to accomplish, as well as the steps you’ll both take to reach them. When setting your financial goals, consider starting small and ease your way into the long-term goals. Doing this gives you time to figure out what strategies work best for both of you and to gain the momentum needed to keep going.
Whatever goal you both decide to tackle first, set up a sinking fund to separate those funds from the rest of your accounts. A sinking fund is basically like a savings account, but the money saved is for a specific expense/purchase. It takes the guilt out of treating yourself because you saved up for your purchase in advance.
Since you’ll eventually be withdrawing the money, I recommend using a checking account over a savings account due to the withdrawal limits. Personally, I use a saving app called Digit for all of my sinking funds. After analyzing your linked account’s behavior, it saves money for you so you’re saving without even thinking about it! It’s honestly amazing to see such small contributions add up over time, but of course, you can also add money manually.
This app allows you to set up multiple goals and there are no withdrawal limits. You can try Digit free for 30 days when you sign up through this link before it switches back to the regular price of just $2.99 a month which, honestly, goes unnoticed.
7. Learn to be patient
Last but not least, be patient with him. Changing our behavior, especially when it comes to money, is difficult and takes time. There’s no sense in stressing yourself out over something that’s not entirely in your control, and a little encouragement goes a long way ????.