Money is an important factor in our lives, we need it to survive and live in the style we aspire to and to ensure we keep a roof over our heads.
When we’re single, we are responsible for managing our own finances, and if we get it wrong then it’s up to us to try and sort it out.
But what happens when you meet someone and start to settle down and maybe share a home together – how do you manage your money then?
Money can be one of the biggest factors when it comes to arguments amongst couples and often the underlying cause of relationship breakdowns.
The problem is often down to a combination of a lack of communication between couples over their money and failure to budget properly to ensure you don’t get into debt that you struggle to manage.
One of the key issues is that people are happy managing their own money when they are on their own, but when they settle down and meet someone, they fail to discuss money and how they are going to pay for stuff as a couple.
To prevent money squabbles from ruining a relationship, it is important to make time to sit down and discuss who will pay for what and when.
For many couples one of the easiest solutions is to have a joint account at the bank which is used to cover all the household bills.
The financial responsibility of running a home can seem quite daunting, but by being smart and sorting your money out means there is always sufficient money available to cover the regular bills and can make your relationship less stressful.
The mechanics of sorting your joint finances
Firstly, sit down and write a list of all the household outgoings that need to be paid each month, from the rent or mortgage to energy bills, insurances, council tax and maybe even the weekly shop.
Once you’ve worked out how much is going out of the bank each month, set up a standing order from each of your sole bank accounts to cover the joint bills and expenses.
Depending on how much each of you earns you may pay in an equal sum each month or if one person earns more then perhaps, you’ll agree that they contribute extra to the joint bank account for the bills.
By having a joint ‘bills account’, you can rest assured knowing all the regular household expenses are covered and that any money left in your own bank account is yours to spend on the more fun things such as going out, clothes and maybe the odd holiday now and then.
A joint bank account makes it easy to share bills and other expenses with a housemate, partner or friend and careful budgeting via online banking ensures you are always on top of your finances.
It’s important to keep on top of your spending as habits can change over time.
For example, recent analysis of the card transactions from Monese’s one million plus UK customers showed that supermarket spending increased by 51% and the average ‘lockdown year’ spend on groceries went up to £4,688 per household.
Some joint bank accounts will give you both instant notifications when there’s activity on your shared account, making it easier to budget and keep an eye on your transactions together.
It’s not the most romantic topic for couples to talk about, but a fundamental one to get to grips with and help underpin a long and happy relationship.