Relationships and Money: What You Need to Know
Learning how to handle your money is one thing. Sharing that responsibility with someone else can be a serious challenge. Chances are, you have two different outlooks on money. Navigating relationships and money requires sensitivity and some basic knowledge of financial compromise as well as the ability to protect yourself when necessary.
1. Know when to go joint
Early in a relationship, you don’t want to mingle your finances any more than necessary. Joint bank accounts, cosigning on loans, and other major financial decisions should wait until you are sure that you’re in this relationship for the long haul. On the other hand, if you’re going to live together, putting both your names on the lease and on other bills means that you are jointly responsible, which can be a level of protection against your partner defaulting.
2. Explore how you can save by going in together
Once you are sure that you’re in a committed relationship, especially once you get married, explore how going in together can change your financial outlook. Insurance policies, for example, are often less expensive when you go through the same provider as your partner (for car insurance) or use a family plan (for health insurance). Make sure you examine those policies carefully to make sure you know which one will save you the most long-term.
3. Discuss money openly. Many people are brought up that it’s rude to talk about money
They whisper about it quietly behind their hands and feel a little guilty when it comes up. When it comes to your partner, however, you need to be able to discuss money openly and honestly. You need to know each other’s views on saving versus spending, what your financial goals are, and how your partner handles paying bill – -especially the ones that pop up unexpectedly. Have a discussion to check in on your financial status on a regular basis.
4. Know the signs of financial abuse
It’s all right if one partner is the primary controller of the finances, especially if one partner is particularly good at managing money and the other is terrible at it. On the other hand, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re being abused financially. Red flags include:
- One partner controlling all the income to the point that you have to ask for permission to make even small purchases.
- Worry that bills will go unpaid because of the way your partner handles money.
- Going without things that you need while your partner has plenty of money for luxuries, regardless of whose income is higher.
If you feel that you may be experiencing financial abuse, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself as soon as possible. Learning how to navigate money in a relationship can be a challenge. At times, one of you will make a mistake or you may need a little extra to make it to the next pay check. When you need a little help, contact us to learn whether or not a short-term loan can help lift your financial burden.