Many people overlook an important step on the road to marriage or moving in together: financial compatibility. It's important to know your financial limits and expectations and to discuss these with your partner. Unfortunately many people skip or skim over this step in the hopes that it'll all work out. Since money is a main cause of breakups and divorce, this isn't a wise decision! Read through these tips to make sure you're prepared for your financial future.
1. If you have a budget together, don't hide purchases. For people in serious relationships that are pooling resources and money it can be difficult to feel like you're "answering" to another person concerning your finances. But each person must hold up their end of the budget or it won't work. Going behind your partner's back by, say, getting extra cash back at the grocery store and using it for a personal purchase can be tempting, but isn't in the spirit of honesty needed to sustain a mutual budget or a relationship!2. Do have money set aside for personal purchases. If you don't have separate accounts, have spending money that is just yours. This will enable each person to get away from feeling like they're asking permission to make personal purchases. It will also reduce arguments about discretionary spending as each person can do virtually whatever they want with this money without facing guilt or judgment from one another. 3. Do discuss your expectations. You may be unlikely to think about what you expect from a relationship or your partner financially, but you have some pre-conceived ideas rolling around in your head. Best to get them out in the open, as they may even surprise you! Here are a few popular ones that somehow still go unnoticed:
â€¢ Who will handle the bills? If each person is expecting the other to take care of it because that's how it was done in their childhood or in a previous relationship, it will be a rude awakening when rent comes due and no one's paid it!â€¢ Will everything be split? This is something that was usually reserved for couples who were living together, but now more and more married couples are keeping their finances separate. Will you pay bills "dutch?" Will it be proportionate to each person's salary?â€¢ Do you expect to be hands-on or hands-off when it comes to finances? Often one person is more financially-persuaded than the other, but ideally a both people will still be involved to some degree. This may be something to work towards for some couples as not everyone has a propensity for finances and investment. 4. Don't get upset by the unexpected. Even the best planners and most responsible people will tell you, you can't plan for everything. You can have a plan in place that will better help you deal with the bumps along the road!
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