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Taking the step to build a future together with your partner is an exciting and important milestone. While it may not be the most romantic topic, managing money as a couple is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful relationship. Combining two unique backgrounds, perspectives, and habits regarding money can be challenging, and also incredibly rewarding.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to managing finances as a couple. One thing is certain though – being financially responsible and planning for the future can help create a strong foundation for your life together.

Here are five actionable tips to set you on the right path.

Communicate Openly and Honestly

It's no secret that communication is the foundation for any successful relationship, especially regarding money. Start by discussing each other's financial philosophies, fears, experiences, and goals. Talk about each of your respective family's financial practices and the values that drive your economic expectations. Ultimately, you want to align your visions and work as a team towards your financial objectives.

Set Clear and Aligned Financial Goals

What are you saving for? A house, a vacation, future children, or perhaps early retirement? Setting clear, realistic, and time-bound financial objectives is a powerful motivator that can keep you focused and intentional with your spending and saving habits. Ensure your goals resonate with both partners and are rooted in your shared values and how you envision your future together.

Create a Joint Budgeting Plan

A budget is the bedrock of sound financial management. Create a budget that works for both of you, considering every aspect of your combined finances. Be sure to allocate funds for your goals, savings, and expenditures and include some personal spending categories. A good place to start may be to adopt the 50-30-20 rule. This rule suggests allocating 50% of your income to essentials, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to savings and debt repayment.

Choose the Right Banking Structure

There is no right way to merge finances as a couple, but you'll want to determine what works best for you both. Decide on the banking structure that best suits your shared financial philosophy. The options are to merge your finances with joint accounts, maintain separate accounts, or take a blended approach and do a little of both.[TS1] This decision should stem from your shared financial philosophy and align with your goals and budgeting plan.

Plan Regular Money "Dates" to Check In

Just like you schedule date nights to keep your romantic life alive, start planning regular money "dates" to review your goals and financial standing. Use these check-ins to discuss challenges, celebrate milestones, and recalibrate your financial plan as necessary. The frequency of these meetings is up to you. Once a month is a good starting point to keep your finances on track.

Incorporating these tips will not only strengthen your financial standing but also deepen your connection as a couple.

Want to learn more about how to manage your finances as a couple? 1st Security Bank can help you build a strong financial future together. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our personal bankers.

What is the 'hybrid approach?' I assume it might be his/hers, his/his or hers/her accounts with a joint household but it should be spelled out in case anyone is unfamiliar with the concept. [TS1]