Handling that Difficult Conversation with Ease…
When my husband and I first moved in together about eight years ago, we pretty much combined two incomes, got a joint account straight away and stopped using our personal accounts. At the time, friends were very confused about it. What about your freedom, spending on yourself? That seemed the most asked questioned at the time. However, if anything, combining our incomes together brought more freedom, reduced arguments and stress.
Now married, I thought that having just a joint account would be the norm. However, reading a recent article it seems not, and talking to friends in long-term relationships who continue to split their finances and would never dream of a joint account. Personally, you can go either way. Whilst going through the process to combine two incomes worked for my family, it doesn’t for some. It is a big step and should not be taken on lightly. There are some things to consider, questions you and your partner need to ask each other.
If you’re thinking of having a joint account with your other half and looking to combine two incomes with ease, here are my top tips to navigate this and the conversations you should be having…
GET ON THE SAME PAGE.
First things first, what are you hoping to achieve when you combine two incomes? Are you going to have everything come out of one account or are you going to keep some pennies in your own account? Who will be responsible for budgeting? Do you both agree to the budget? What are your money goals?
These are conversations that you need to have before you even speak to the bank about opening a new account. You have to be on the same page, otherwise, you’re setting yourself both up for failure.
UNDERSTAND YOUR PARTNER’S FINANCIAL HISTORY.
Past habits will always factor in future spending and will come to head when you’re talking about finances. Especially if you both come from two different backgrounds. This was the case for me and my husband. It took us a while to understand each other’s habits, but with conversation and time, we got there. The key is to be non-judgemental. Everyone’s story is unique, there’s no right or wrong answer. In fact, for our story, we’ve learnt habits from each other. I’m now the obsessive saver, whilst my husband is branching out with spending a little more money on himself.
BUDGET DATE NIGHTS ALWAYS HELP.
This is something I’ve spoken about on my Instagram Stories. Every month, right around our pay day’s, Lee and I will sit down with a glass, some good food and talk through the budget for the upcoming month. This includes birthdays, events, work needs, etc. This means we’re both on the same page and know what’s happening. By turning it into a date night and making it feel special, it’s not a chore, we don’t resent it. In fact, we both feel empowered afterwards and motivated to work towards our financial goes.
Once you’ve combined two incomes, the conversation keeps going. So make it fun and something for you and your partner to both look forward to.
SHOP THE POST.