// you’re reading...

Married Life

Everything You Need to Know About Budgeting As a Couple – Part 2

So you’ve done your prep from Part One and you’re ready for your first Couples Money Meeting. Here’s how to tackle it. Part 2 in this series that we’ve asked guest poster Timothy Ng from Credit Card Finder to put together for us:

With your individual meeting prep done, it is time to lay the ground rules for the meeting itself, and what you and your partner hope to get out of your finances. At the money meeting:

How to Manage Your Money in Relationships

Plan for a 20 minute meeting. This doesn’t draw out the issue and no one gets bored, tired or frustrated.
Remove distractions. Make sure the TV is turned off and the kids are in bed, leave the phones off the hook or on silent and give your full attention to the meeting.
Be open and honest about finances and goals. Each person should begin by explaining their approach to finances and their financial goals. This will allow you to understand what is important to your partner and you can work together to find a way to integrate both ideals into your budget. Plus, if you are aware of what your partner wants out of life, it is easier to make other financial decisions in the future regarding homes, holidays and children.
Decide which are joint expenses. While you are sharing lives, it is up to you to decide how you want to share what is in your life. At the same time you are both bringing things to the relationship – your own car, your own TV, your own credit cards – and these can be considered individual expenses and you can total up the joint expenses such as household bills, holidays, dinners out and so on.
Decide who will manage the finances. Having one person responsible for making the bill payments reduces the risk of late payments because ‘I thought you paid it’ or paying the same bill twice.
Decide how to deal with emergency joint expenses. If you buy a dog when you move in together he becomes a joint expense and if he needs an emergency visit to the vet, you need an emergency plan. Does the person with the most funds in their individual account pay? Do you put it on a joint credit card? Do you set up a joint savings plan for a joint emergency fund?
Decide how to deal with individual emergency expenses. If your car needs and emergency repair and you can’t afford it, your partner may be able to cover the costs but you need to decide how to deal with the blurring of money lines. Will it come out of joint savings? Will you keep your own savings account?

Have you ever had a money meeting with your partner? (One that didn’t end in tears?)

Stay tuned for the third and final part of this series tomorrow, in which we will learn about how to deal with uneven salaries between partners and which part of your finances to keep separate.

Timothy Ng is a personal finance writer who has a real passion for encouraging people to compare credit cards to ensure they get the best deal. Check out his comprehensive guide to best credit cards where he provides an in-depth overview and analysis, to help you find a better deal.

Related Posts

Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

Discussion

One comment for “Everything You Need to Know About Budgeting As a Couple – Part 2”

  1. Posted by Everything You Need to Know About Budgeting as a Couple – Part 3 | $30 date night | Date Ideas, Marriage & Romance Blog | August 19, 2010, 3:29 pm

    [...] successfully held a couples money and budgeting meeting together, as outlined in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Now what? Guest Poster Timothy Ng fills us in on how to ensure smooth ongoing [...]

Post a comment