Planning your financial future on your own is scary enough, but planning it with a partner can be doubly as scary. In fact, thanks to a recent survey, we discovered that a staggering 36% of couples never review where they bank together, while 18% of couples admit to having separate bank accounts and not paying their expenses jointly.
So what's the deal? Are more and more people getting turned off at the thought of supporting their partner through financial troubles? Perhaps there's no longer an obligation for the highest earner to contribute more? Whatever the deal is, we're determined to get things back on track.
If you're in a loving, committed relationship, combining two incomes can be a really savvy move – whether you're saving for a holiday or simply wish to put a small amount aside for the future.
Join it up
Not only does having a joint bank account signify a big stride forward in any relationship, it also makes it much easier to pay for things like food shops and bills, saving you the hassle of sending money back and forth on a weekly basis.
Having a joint account also makes budgeting much easier as you both know exactly how much you've got to last you until the end of the week or month. It'll also save you having an awkward conversation when one of you can't afford to do something, as the joint account will often step-up and cover the both of you regardless.
Just remember, the majority of bank accounts can be viewed online these days, meaning every little spend will be there for both of you to see. With this in mind, it's really important to set up a joint account with someone you can trust – if things start getting out of hand, you can always cancel the account (and even the relationship!) if needs be.
Hiding behind a book or cowering in front of your mobile won't do you much good when it comes to discussing financial matters with your partner. In fact, sometimes the only way to avoid disaster striking is to stare your monetary situation dead in the face.
Setting up a joint account is one thing, but what's the point in putting your incomes together if neither of you are keeping an eye on what's going in and what's going out?
To avoid this happening, set aside one day per month to go over your finances. Nine times out of ten, you'll find you're doing OK, but it's well worth doing anyway just to avoid the falling out that comes with one shaky statement.
So you've set up a joint account, you've spoken openly about your finances and you've planned for your future – now it's time to reward yourselves.
Providing that both of you are on-track financially, if you've ended up with a small amount of disposable income at the end of the month, using your joint account to take one another out for a romantic meal, a cinema trip or even a weekend break someplace special makes all those frank and honest conversations worthwhile.
In fact, if you've got more money than you budgeted for, it just goes to show how working together can dramatically improve not just your finances, but your quality of life as a whole!