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Managing Your Money

How to Manage Money as a Couple from Bank of America Learn how to manage money as a couple with tips from Bank of America. Our money-saving tips for couples can help you work toward your money goals together. couples and money, how to manage money as a couple, money saving tips for young couples

Couples and money: How to navigate money
matters without rocking the boat

Learn to manage money as a couple with these 5 simple tips

Many of us aren't honest enough when we talk with our partners about finances because, to put it simply, it can be a pretty heated discussion. In fact, money causes more fights in relationships than any other sourceFootnote1, but it's a mistake to think that couples and money management don't mix. Whether you're just starting out or long ago swore “for richer or poorer,” all you need is the right game plan.

  1. Be honest about your goals—and supportive of your partner’s.
    Take the time to honestly discuss your short- and long-term financial goals, being careful not to criticize your partner’s—whether those goals are to save for a home, pay off credit card debt, go on a vacation or finally get that motorcycle. Everyone's goals are as important to them as yours are to you, so work together to make a fair, manageable list of the top goals you both want to achieve.

    When you're discussing goals with your partner, take some time to talk about retirement. Discuss your existing savings and how you plan to prepare for the future. You can use the Merrill Edge retirement calculator to determine how much you and your spouse should save and invest for retirement.

    Couples-and-money hint: Don’t discuss your long-term goals as an immediate result of something negative, like busting your monthly budget or paying a repair bill.
  2. Create a household budget.
    Taking the time to build a budget will help you put money aside for those agreed-upon financial goals. Remember to discuss your progress and unexpected expenses on a regular basis. If you don’t have one yet, a joint checking account is a great way track your finances.
  3. Take allowances or keep individual credit cards.
    Lots of people aren’t honest with their partners about their spending because they don’t want to give up their financial independence, or don’t want their partner to know how much they spend. This can create a habit of dishonesty, which can be a real problem in the long run. Try setting aside monthly allowances that each of you can spend as you please. You can also each keep a credit card in your own name, which will let you continue to build your individual credit.
  4. Decide which accounts to merge.
    Some couples just don’t want to give up their individual checking accounts, and that’s fine. Another option is to set up a linked account to help cover shared expenses while keeping individual checking or savings accounts. This is especially useful for young couples or for partners with expenses relating to a prior marriage.
  5. Decide if you need additional accounts.
    Some couples choose to open a savings account that they both contribute to as a way to save for shared goals. It’s helpful to set up automatic deposits from your checking account into your savings account every month, so you and your partner never have to worry about how much is being added in a given month.