When we are in love we share almost everything right? Food, car and even clothes (Shirts and sweaters etc. Don't get any ideas). But do we share expenses too? if you do, kudos! but if you don't. then you might want to read on to see how it can ease your financial burdens. Here are 5 main benefits of doing so.
1. If you share finances, you don’t have to keep track of “his” and “hers” expenses
Dave and Shiela, my neighbors, a pretty loving couple. But when it comes to expenses, they instantly become the Mr and Mrs Smith of Bukit Rimau. They even have “his” car and “her” car. This has lead to needless stress over the smallest of things such as who maintains the car? who pays for petrol toll etc. You get the picture. Now imagine if they shared their expenses not only for the car but for everything else? There is no need for YOUR car or MY car. It now becomes OUR car and expenses can be reduced to 50%. Think about it.
2. Sharing finances allows you to budget easily
Budgeting will now be so much more easier. This is because when you share finances, you have something called a “household income”. This allows you to look at that number and decide together what your spending should be. If, on the other hand, you each keep separate finances and contribute a certain amount into a pool every month, or divide up the bills to be paid, then it’s much harder to keep a lid on spending and make some long term goals.
3. Sharing finances allows you to make retirement goals
If you are planning to grow old together, which I hope you do, then sharing finances enables you to plan for your retirement mush easier. If you are each contributing for retirement separately, though, it’s much harder to coordinate these goals. And the one who is more of a saver could easily resent the one who is more of a spender and isn’t contributing as much.
When you have a household budget that includes a line for “retirement savings”, this is much easier to negotiate. I strongly believe that this is why couples who share finances tend to save more!
4. Sharing finances allows you to save for short-term goals
However, before old age pays you a visit, what if you plan to go on a vacation in Paris next year? How do you budget for that? Do you each have to contribute equally? Again, when you share finances and have a shared budget, these decisions are easier to make.
5. Sharing finances leads to a family or couple focus, not a self focus
When you share your finances, subconsciously you will think of WE more rather than ME. It becomes a habit. Sharing finances will come in handy especially during times of emergency or even a sudden surprise you want to plan for each other.Think about that moment when you decide to be parents. We all know how much that would cost.
See also: Why Keeping Your Finances A Secret Is Bad For Your Relationship
There is no hard and fast way of dividing expenses in a relationship, but there should be the element of give and take. While both should contribute equally to the growth and success of the relationship, this may not be case when one partner forgoes working, or earning an income, such as a stay-at-home mum. Ultimately, there is no one size fits all way on how to split the bills and who pays for what, it makes sense to map out a budget.