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John Seeley
Relationships and Finances by John Seeley

The number one problem facing couples today is finances. It doesn’t matter if you make six figures, or minimum wage money problems come up. When you become a couple it’s important to bring up the subject of money and how you deal with it. Some people are conservative spenders and others spend like sailors on leave. Do you know where you are on the spending scale? How important is it to know where both you and your significant other are on the scale? It’s the number one problem involved in divorces.

Even if you both have the same spending habits, there could be problems. If you both spend more than you make, it won’t take long to get over your heads in debt. What if you like spending on different things? One likes to travel, and one likes to invest in art for example. Priorities may cause conflict too. Does one of you save up for something, and the other charges it? As with everything in a relationship, compromise is essential. If you can’t work something out by yourselves, then an objective third party might help. One way to compromise is to take turns on who gives in. You each win alternatively.

Should you commingle your money? It depends. The needs to be a single account for paying coop bills, like utilities, house payment, etc. But it is also important to both have separate accounts to maintain a credit history. If there is a divorce or death of a spouse, there is a rude awakening to the survivor when they can’t get credit or keep the credit they had with their former spouse.

It is a good idea to have a preset spending limit to keep within a budget. Also having a predetermined amount that requires both of you to agree before it is spent, is a good idea. This avoids problems about large amounts of money.