Five Blondes

most of the time, at least. Sisters forever.

Making your emotional relationship financial: 5 rules to consider August 29, 2007

Filed under: blogging,erica,life,love,money,personal,relationships,thoughts,Wedding — Erica @ 5:15 pm

images.jpgMoney.

Such a huge aspect of life, whether you want it to be or not!

If you’ve ever discussed combining finances with your husband/ wife/finance/fiancee/partner/significant other, you’re not alone.

Throughout the 18 months we’ve been living together, I’ve suggested several times that perhaps D & I should get a joint bank account and/or credit card. I looked up the information, grabbed brochures, and pointed out (first casually, lately insistently) that the money he has in his checking account would be much better held in a savings account where he would earn interest. In addition, seeing as we’re buying furniture and groceries together, why don’t we get a credit card together (preferably one with rewards) and split everything down the middle?

Yesterday he finally cracked (perhaps due to the prospect of planning a wedding?) and I arrived home to have him tell me that we were leaving to go to the bank and set up a joint chequing account and credit card.

With that (and many other things) in mind, I’ve developed my own short list of “rules” to consider before making your emotional relationship…financial.

  1. Know your partner’s spending habits! Hopefully this goes without saying, but if you don’t know where the money is going, that’s not good. Alternately, if your partner always has new clothes, ‘toys’ (ie. video games), or is always eating out or spending lots of money at bars, this should be a concern as well.
  2. Know your partner’s financial goals. Is your significant other saving up for a house…or a trip to the Caribbean? If you don’t know…find out! Why save money together is you’ll just argue about how to spend it?
  3. Discuss all purchases. D is currently lusting after a big screen TV – if I got home tomorrow and found that he had purchased one on our credit card…let’s just say that it wouldn’t be pretty. He would be upset if I bought a new snowboard – it works both ways.
  4. Agree on how much to contribute to a shared account. This will depend mainly on individual incomes. If there is a wide discrepancy between your incomes, agree on how much each of you would contribute (for example, an equal percentage of your paycheque).
  5. Ensure that you can make payments on time. Along with knowing spending habits, know payment habits as well. Does your significant other have a good payment history with creditors? Do you know if he or she has any creditors? What’s their credit score? For that matter, what’s *your* credit score??

Wow. That last one almost got away from me there! Don’t forget, these 5 “rules” are only a few things you should consider before making your emotional relationship financial. Above all, make sure that you are comfortable with the prospect. Talk to someone else about it if you need to. Talk to your banker! Someone working in the financial industry has likely seen this a multitude of times and may have considerations you haven’t even thought of. Don’t be bullied into it, and if you don’t feel ready – just say no!

** DISCLAIMER **

I am not a financial advisor. I’m just sharing my thoughts with the world.

/disclaimer
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7 Responses to “Making your emotional relationship financial: 5 rules to consider”

  1. connie Says:

    Wow – all that coming from “Miss Spendalot”! On a more serious note, I know quite a few people who give each other an allowance that each can spend on their own interests. D-Dawg could save his allowance up for the bigscreen(for a loonnngg time!) and you could spend on Starbucks, or that cute store on Richmond Row. Now if Mike and I were to do that, he would have all his saved up and I would have a boatload of fabric!

  2. Laura Says:

    These are good tips. I would add that in addition to knowing your partner’s individual financial habits and goals, it is a very good idea to sit down together and create a shared financial plan and strategy together before you merge finances in any way. That way you can be working towards a common goal.

  3. shopaholicdiva24 Says:

    Wow Erica!! Great advice! I have currently been thinking about the same thing, but just opening a joint savings account, that we can both contribute into for a down payment/furniture costs ect. Your advice is well written, and not preachy, and I know many people who could benefit from it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Laurynda Says:

    Hi Erica, as a recently married female your post was great! All things Mike and I discussed before getting married and we’re in the process of opening our joint bank account and savings account shortly. Right now we’ve got to concentrate on the moving in of my stuff (as he was old fashioned and didn’t want to live together before marraige). The biggest thing for me was to maintain my own bank account and a certain amount of each pay cheque will be deposited into my account, a portion into a savings account and the remainder into our joint chequing account. We’re also developing a budget so we know exactly how much goes toward bills, how much toward saving (for our first house) and how much is our personal allowance.

    Once again, great post and it just goes to show you’re thinking forward!

  5. Erica Says:

    Awww guys, I’m glad you like my advice! There are some personal finance blogs I read quite a bit and am inspired by – I’ll have to post a list of those sometime soon.

    D & I opened out joint accounts yesterday and it was a relatively painless experience 🙂

  6. Kate Says:

    I guess Scott and I should do that sometime, considering we are getting married in less than 2 months! He already considers my money as his anyways..

  7. micaelaa Says:

    Joint finances are something I am NOT looking forward to!


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