When they say sharing is caring, what exactly do they mean? Of course I am all for sharing…to a certain extent. As an only child, I admit my selfish streak, still runs pretty thick. I am funny about sharing my food, booze has a special section on my side of the bar and by all means, keep your mouth off my toothbrush. But when it comes to most relationships, one of the most common topics of sharing comes in the form of money and bills. For a lot of couples, the conversation can be a tricky one. And for years, money has been one of the top causes of divorce. So how do you bring up the topic of what’s yours, mine and ours?
It seems simple, but it is probably the hardest thing to do. But you have to be honest with your partner about your role and their role in sharing financial responsibility. There may come a time where full transparency is needed, and that is where you both look at your finances together to come up with a plan. Also, be sure to state the expenses you are willing to share and those you are not. I would never expect my partner to take care of any of my personal cosmetic expenses like hair or nails, nor would I ask him to contribute. But kudos to you men who do like to spoil us like that.
Set Up a Money Date
I came across a cool TikTok by a couple who once a month sit down and discuss their money goals and their spending. It’s a great way to keep each other accountable and on track with your finances. This is also a great time to discuss any long term goals like retirement or upcoming vacations. Any individual or joint savings can also be discussed at this time. It’s important to know that planning for the future doesn’t have to be scary. Especially when you have a solid partner to plan your future with.
What’s Yours is Yours
Perhaps the most controversial topic related to money is the old idea of what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is ours. If you think about it, this worked really well for our parents and grandparents generation, but not so much any more. Where the workforce and upper management are increasingly ran by women, the times have changed where we depend on a male breadwinner. With that said, there needs to be a vocal approach to what each person brings in and where the responsibility lies for household needs. Now, I am not saying that sharing all assets right down the middle doesn’t work. Some couples have joint accounts and find great success in doing so. So keep in mind that every couple and every household is different.
Talk to a Financial Advisor
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Sure your parents will give you great advice, but why not speak to someone who does this kind of work for a living? A financial advisor will be able to give you clear insight, tips and perhaps even ways to save you money, both as an individual and as a couple. Though an initial consultation may not be free, think of the fountain of knowledge you will gain by speaking to a professional.
At the end of the day, some of the best conversations to have in a relationship start as difficult ones. But with a plan, open communication and a united front, you and your partner will be able to tackle the topic of money head on and with confidence.