It’s that time of year when those wedding bells start ringing! Oh yes, wedding season is here, and that means many will be starting out on the road of blending household finances. Today’s post goes out to those newlyweds who might be unsure of how to manage household finances. This is a tough topic for many, but it’s a conversation you must have with your significant other. Keep in mind that people have different schools of thought when it comes to this topic, so it’s important that you stay true to what works for you.
Below are a few tips to help manage your household finances:
- Option 1: Don’t change a thing – Simply divvy up the bills each month, and assign who will manage paying the rent/mortgage, utilities, and other bills each month. Keep track of monthly expenses through a shared Google document, and assign a day of the month when payments need to be issued to the other person.
- Option 2: Consider a joint checking account – Create one joint checking account where each person contributes the same amount. You can use this account to pay house-related bills such as rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, entertainment, and other joint expenses. If there is a difference in what each person is making, instead of a 50/50 split, contribute a percentage based on salary. With a joint checking account, each person still has their own money to use on splurges without feeling like they have to justify the purchases. As a bonus, if the joint account and each individual account are at the same bank, online transfer is a breeze.
- Option 3: Going all in – If you’re comfortable and prefer streamlining the total household finances, create just one joint checking account. This will house all of your earnings, and you can pay all of your bills from this account. The advantage to this is you can easily track all finances in one place. On the flip side, if you have only one account, your partner can see all of your purchases, so planning a surprise might be more difficult.
After you’ve nailed down how you want to manage household finances, keep the financial conversation alive. It’s important to maintain a regular conversation about your finances so you’re both on the same page. Schedule a monthly meeting to discuss bills and long-term savings goals. By being transparent and communicative about finances, you can avoid surprises and set expectations.