Let’s face it, handling finances as a couple is always tricky. Some couples who choose to avoid talking about it end up with misunderstandings and misaligned goals later.
Instead, cultivate a healthy attitude together by creating a budget and long-term goals as a couple, so you can set your relationship for financial success with less conflict. Here’s 5 ways successful couples work through their finances together.
1. Combine finances with a joint account
For some couples, it might make sense to both contribute to a shared budgeting pool. Consider setting up a joint account for day-to-day expenses and other objectives such as holidays, marriage or saving up for a house.
Each person will chip in to the joint account, while keeping the other bank accounts separate. Depending on your situation, it could be an equal amount of contribution per person or a certain percentage of each partner’s income.
Most importantly, sit down together and talk about how the finances should be managed in this shared budgeting, with an approach that both of you are comfortable with. In the event that things don’t work out, make sure that you are adequately protected.
2. Having a shared credit card
Consolidate your expenses wherever possible, including things like your Netflix subscription, magazine subscription, mobile phone bills and other digital subscriptions. Owning a shared credit card allows you to easily pay off these bills, while reaping some benefits at the same time.
Perhaps you would prefer a cashback card to enjoy a certain percentage of rebates. For the travel lovers, go for a miles card to accumulate significant mileage after a period of time, which could even possibly pay for your next flight out.
While saving money with your credit cards might sound like a contradiction, the truth is you can enjoy a multitude of perks.
3. Save up for retirement
It’s no secret that living in Singapore is expensive, but start preparing for your retirement as a couple now so you can enjoy your post-retirement years.
Set your foundation right by ensuring you and your partner are well insured to cover medical bills, critical illnesses and other exigencies. Examine both of your lifestyle habits so you can get a clearer idea of your daily expenses, discretionary spending and emergency funds. Be as precise as you can, as an underestimation of your spending could affect your standard of living in future.
Tip: Make use of this retirement planning calculator to help you out with the math.
To further grow your nest egg, the more financially savvy couples could invest in financial markets, while those looking for passive investments could consider insurance options including investment-linked policies and endowment plans.
4. Share a living space
If you don’t already share a living space with your partner, evaluate if it’s time to do so.
Having someone to split rent and utilities bills with means less of a burden on either of you. Since you and your partner will be living together, it also means significant savings on toiletries, groceries and other necessities.
If you’re in need of furniture, getting everything brand new can add up to a big amount fast. Instead, try hunting at thrift shops and flea markets. Throw in a little creativity and a coat of spray paint, your second hand lamp or coffee table could have a new lease of life and look even better than before.
Co-living can also be fun without breaking the bank. Since dining out can be a costly affair, opt to stay in instead with a home cooked meal followed by movie night. Consider it a date that costs next to nothing! In the long run, you’d be surprised by the cost savings you enjoy. At the end of the month, set up a fun challenge with your partner to see who has saved more money!
5. Track expenses
Remember to check in on your finances to track your progress.
An easy way to do so is through the Planner Bee app, a one-stop platform that allows you to manage money, insurance and investment. You can even compare spending habits across the months, and check out interesting insights into your behaviour.
Make it a point to discuss financial learnings with your partner once a month, so you can both evaluate your financial decisions and how it affects your shared goals. However, instead of pointing fingers, take the opportunity to discuss what works and doesn’t work for each of you, and how you can both work together in future.
Stretch your dollar as a couple
Saving money as a couple is important because it helps you achieve financial security and protect you in the event of an emergency.
Spending your free time working on a budget might not sound like fun, but there is no better way to manage your finances.
Thankfully, the digital age has made it more effortless than ever to keep track of expenses.
Without a solid plan, you and your partner could find yourself cash strapped in no time. Thankfully, the digital age has made it more effortless than ever to keep track of expenses.
There are no hard-and-fast rules in what works best for you and your other half, so go at your own pace and learn through trial and error. Take the first step to saving money together with your partner, and you might even have fun while you’re at it!