Money management in the couple

Shared or separate account? Money problems in the couple usually cause more than one headache. Let’s see what tips can be useful in these cases.

Money management in the couple

Last update: May 11, 2022

Money is often the subject of much debate and controversy in many emotional relationships. It is also amazing how sometimes each person has a different perception of money. Managing money in the couple is, therefore, an aspect that should not be underestimated.

From economic psychology they point out that our view of the economic aspect is inherited from the family. Patterns of spending and savings behavior are often repeated between parents and children. This means that sometimes when we start sharing life with another person, we find ourselves in unexpected situations.

Do we have a shared bank account? Is it better to keep two separate accounts? These are definitely the most frequently asked questions. The truth is that We need to look at a number of financial issues before moving on together.

Money management strategies for couples

Many couples are struggling with serious financial problems in this historic period. In general, however, our lives require many changes and, from time to time, we face difficult times in which it is necessary to know how to act together.

It is no surprise, then, that psychology has been interested in trying to understand these everyday situations in many families for decades. Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that disagreements over financial issues are among the leading causes of quarrels in emotional relationships.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) itself points out a strange fact to consider. When you start a relationship, you pay more attention to where you are in tune: hobbies, values, future projects, same experiences, etc.

Almost no one cares about the financial availability of the partner. It should be clarified: talking about economic aspects is not synonymous with superficiality or indiscretion. Ultimately, it is a matter of understanding how to support a common project.

Wise money management in the couple is therefore fundamental and necessary. Let’s find out together what aspects we need to consider.

Financial honesty: this is my current salary

When you are in a relationship and you evaluate the possibility of going to live together, you should be honest about your financial situation and be clear about your salary. It is not indiscriminate, but it lets you know for sure if both will be able to afford buying a home or other expenses.

Living together is more than just eating, sleeping and living together. Having a relationship under the same roof also involves spending money together and for this reason it is a priority to clarify the real financial situation of both.

“What idea do you have about money?”

This is not a trick question, much less a trivial one. On the contrary, it is crucial. To better manage the financial aspect of the couple, it is necessary to know the point of view of the partner:

  • Do you prefer to save or spend?
  • What did your parents teach you about money?
  • Do you have any financial goals? Do you want to save money for something specific?
  • Do you happen to spend on impulse or are you thinking about your purchases?

Obviously, many of these aspects are seen on a daily basis, as the reality may be a little different from what we are told.

What lifestyle will we keep and how will we get the money?

A fundamental aspect of managing money in the couple is specify which lifestyle you will want to follow. If the goal is to save to achieve a specific goal (buying a house, traveling, etc.), the daily life of the relationship will be marked by the savings to achieve the goal.

Both must agree on these goals and achieve them equally. Otherwise, conflicts will undoubtedly arise.

Individual autonomy, but achieving common goals

Financial abuse sometimes happens in a romantic relationship. This means that only one of them controls the couple’s expenses. In addition, in some cases, the other person does not even have access to the account.

For the relationship to be happy and satisfying, both must have full autonomy of their accounts. There can be no goalkeeper who decides for two.

You need to have complete mutual trust knowing that you have a common goal. two responsible persons dealing with the domestic economy.

Couples money management: joint or separate bank accounts?

One of the most frequently asked questions about money management in the couple: “Joint or separate bank account?“. From a financial point of view, many couples feel the need to distinguish between yours, mine and ours.

For this reason it is usually opened individual personal accounts (if salary allows)plus a joint account for common expenses such as mortgage, apartment rent, electricity, water, internet, food, etc.

It is equally important to reach agreements on what is considered “common expenditure”. While there are obviously more options, each couple has to agree.

Life is a constant evolution, which is why your financial situation can change radically overnight. Nevertheless, it is crucial enter into agreements and base the couple’s money management on trust and prudence.

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