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4 Steps to Managing Your Money as a Couple

Money can be an uncomfortable topic to talk about even among couples. There is a fine balance to keep when discussing financial matters as it can make or break your relationship. As unpleasant as it is for some couples to discuss their finances, managing your money as a couple is important – especially if you are planning for the future that involves children, college funds, and retirement plans.

1. Set A Time and Occasion to ‘Have the Talk’

It is easy to keep putting off uncomfortable discussions, especially when both parties would much rather avoid having the conversation. This could be for a myriad of reasons. It ranges from having a lack of trust in the relationship, fears of opening up to your partner, or other issues inside or outside the relationship.

For a start, set a time and a date with your spouse to discuss your finances. It is best to pick a time with no disturbance so both of you can focus and get the discussion going. Most couples might avoid having financial discussions by using the excuse of just not having the time and place for it. This can be easily remedied if just one person in the relationship takes the initiative to get the ball rolling.

2. Joint or Single Account?

This is one of the most dreaded questions any couple will have to face when it comes to discussing money in a relationship. Should you set up a joint account or should you not?

You might feel that by having a joint account, you’ll lose your privacy and control over your money. It can be quite difficult for some couples to expose their spending habits even to their closest kin. You may also associate having a joint account with the loss of freedom and control. Or, it could simply be a case of personal preference when it comes to maintaining privacy over your own money – and that’s completely understandable.

There is also a concern of closing the joint account and splitting the money in the event of a divorce. There is no such hassle with a single account. On the hindside, having a joint account for the family finances can be extremely helpful in managing and keeping track of household bills.

To make things simple, another feasible solution would be to simply open a joint account for household expenses and maintain a personal account for personal use. That way, you can maintain your personal privacy and still be transparent with each other to a reasonable extent.

3. Learn and Grow Together as a Couple

As you manage your finances together as a couple, there will no doubt be ups and downs. It’s common for couples to have different mindsets and ways of managing their finances. This can be an excellent opportunity for you and your spouse to learn from each other and grow together in improving your financial literacy.

Even if you and your partner are excellent at managing your finances when you’re both single, managing finances as a couple with children is a different ballgame altogether. This is when you’re extending your savings beyond just “retirement funds” to education funds and an extra mouth (or mouths) to feed…for the next 22 years or so.

Here are some articles which we think can help you if you’re new to managing your finances as a couple:

Raising a Child in Malaysia: The Cost Breakdown

6 Common Budgeting Mistakes that Might Cost You More

Building a Nest Egg for Your Children is More than Just Giving Them Money

4. Planning For The Future

Lastly, as a couple, discuss your financial plans for the future. List your goals, come up with a plan or strategy on how to achieve them and set a timeline. If you need external help, a professional financial advisor could be someone to consider. They can be a great resource in helping you map out your financial journey if financial planning is new to you.

Often, many people shun away from working with a financial advisor due to certain misconceptions surrounding the profession. Given that if you work with the right individual, you’ll be able to grow your funds and meet your goals. Comparing this with planning on your own if you’re not well-versed with all the different financial products in the market, it can be overwhelming. One wrong move may eventually cause you to lose your hard-earned money – which could have been avoided.

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