If you’ve been dating someone for a long enough time, you might be getting serious. Now, the degree of seriousness depends on what your goals are. You might just be dating, or you might already be engaged. You could even be married right now. It really doesn’t matter what type of relationship you’re in. If you’re thinking about mixing money together, there are quite a few things that you need to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you will need to make sure that you sit down and have a long talk about what you feel is important from both sides. It’s not just enough for you to dictate what you think about money and how you think things should be. If you both have trouble with money in any way, then you really don’t want to combine resources. It’s only going to lead to hurt feelings. Pooling resources together can really help you get things done, from buying a car together all the way up to buying a house. A house is a big decision, and you will need to think about a lot of different things all at one time.
The way you feel about money matters. For example, if you’re someone that doesn’t like to spend money and your partner does, then you’re going to fight about money. If your partner thinks that money is evil, they can block you from getting more money than what you would need to pay the bills. It just needs to be something that needs to be brought up front.
If you have more assets than your partner and you want to get married down the line, you are going to need to discuss a pre-nuptial agreement if that’s what you want. It’s better to get it out of the way immediately than to assume that no agreement will be signed. Now, if your partner is warned in advance and the points are actually discussed without being adversarial, you will not get too much pushback and resistance. However, if you only think about your perspective, then you won’t do anything more than anger your partner. They will feel like you believe that they are only in it for the money instead of love and that can lead to a lot of resentment.
The best way to make sure that you are dividing things up is to look at all of your expenses, and then look at the income that everyone in the relationship is bringing in. Splitting things down the middle is fair — but you don’t want to just think about the expenses themselves. You want to make sure that everyone is splitting their income in half. Now, if your partner doesn’t make as much, then you might want to change the percentages to make sure that they still have their own money.
You can put the money for the bills into a joint account, plus a little extra for a “rainy day”. If you aren’t saving as a couple, then there will be problems when one of you has a life changing event. For example, what would you do if your partner got sick or lost their job? If you aren’t putting away a little extra as a unit, then you won’t be able to catch up when you’re dealing with life’s challenges.
Overall, these are just a few things to think about. If you’re really thinking about taking the next step and pooling resources, this is a good guide to get you moving in the right direction.