Unmarried couples: Your guide to financial freedom

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By: Phil Bradford
on 20th Oct,2015

Financial autonomy is good and is always welcome. But, to be rich, you need to save more, regardless of how much you make.

At one point or the other, you’ll have to venture out of your parent’s abode. Then you’ll be flung into the big bad world. Though you’d get the autonomy you’ve been yearning since the start of your teenage years, yet with freedom comes responsibility. And life makes sure, that you are, even if it’s the hard way.

# Financial scenario of the millennials

It has always been the norm. When people venture out of their parent’s home, one of the foremost steps they take is to split up the accommodation costs amongst their roommates. Doing so helps them to reduce their living expenses and save some highly precious amount of dollars. However, as the Internet bears witness, you and others like you have heard numerous Craigslist horror stories of sharing apartments.

Most of the young, enthusiastic do what everyone is doing. They move in with their romantic partners. However, one of the partners makes more money than the other. And most of these unmarried couples have no inkling of how to manage their household budgets, their long-term financial goals and at the same time don’t treat their romantic partners like roommates.

# Roommates Vs Partners - The differences

To live with a romantic partner is quite different as compared to sharing space with a stranger or an acquaintance. As far as a roommate is concerned, then you can split all the bills into equal halves to the very last cent. You label your food in the refrigerator so as to avoid meddling with your roommate's one. And in case of nonpayment of the monthly bills, then you’ll always have the option to kick out your roommate and get a new one in his/her place.

However, when you are living with your boyfriend or girlfriend, then you cannot go along with the same way, as you would with any other roommate. You may buy the takeout food, while your romantic partner could grab the DVD rental. Your partners do the grocery shopping, while you pick up more dog food. Both of your pockets get messier. But at the end of it all, both of you are single and unmarried. Two of you’ve different set of goals and wallets.

Here, both of you could be in a serious dilemma, as to how to keep your household budget in order without jeopardizing your romantic lives.

# Budgeting hacks - Time for action

When either of the romantic partners make more than the other, then dividing the costs into two equal halves can put unnecessary strain on the low earning partner. Needless to say, it could even give birth to resentment and heartburn - one of the most serious causative agents for relationships going sour.

A lot of financial planners come across unmarried couples who’re having a tough time to amicably divide the household financial obligations, leave alone the other additional costs.

This continues for months and even years, until the lower-earning partner has no savings to boast of and feels financially threatened or weak. The best way out of the mess would be to invest as per one’s income and not to strain the other partner on the financial front. For example, if you earn 60 percent more than your partner, then you should bear 60 percent of the household costs and never ask your partner to stretch his or her dollars.

# Value your time - Make smart use of it

Apart from putting money towards living costs, you can also volunteer to take up some extra assignments to contribute his/her equal share of the burden. For example, if you detest doing the dishes and your partner is allergic to groceries, then both of you swap each other’s responsibilities. This would sooth the uneasiness and help you sustain the love in your relationship. This would save a lot of time for the partner who has to work extra hours for earning more.

# Don't scrimp on saving money

Saving money, while you are in a romantic relationship is much more trickier than dividing the household expenses, financial experts opine. Both of you should decide right at the very beginning as to whether or not you’d save money jointly or have a separate savings account. However, it is advisable to have a joint savings account, if you’re in a forever kind of commitment. This way both of you can use the money saved therein for travel, home-buying or any other big ticket expenses and that too without a heavy heart.

Do you still think saving money is difficult? Here are 9 mind tricks to help save money - Primary goal of managing finance

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