Audio Version: Let Me Hear It!
Aw, love is in the air and allll over the internet. As you scroll through romantic overshares and bitter Valentine’s Day memes, remember that some things are best kept to yourself. Cash may be one of those things. More and more couples are starting to take the “his, hers and ours” approach to cash. Will it work for you?
Enjoy this day with your loved one, then set aside some time to sit down with your spouse or partner to review your budget. Identify what portion of your take-home pay can be allocated toward discretionary spending. Although it may seem like every last dollar is used to cover “needs,” the reality is that most of us spend 10-30% of our pay on wants (travel, dinners out, entertainment). From this discretionary pool, agree on an amount that you can each siphon off to your own checking accounts to spend as you please. This will provide both of you with the freedom to “do you” without feeling guilty or disrupting the family budget. Even better, it will allow for just enough secrecy to surprise (or be surprised!) with a great gift.
Prefer joint checking accounts? That’s okay too. Whatever approach you choose, keep these tips in mind for a financially healthy partnership:
- Define shared goals and priorities
- Touch base on your budget a few times a year to make sure you are staying on track with your shared plan
- Be open and honest (no hiding purchases in your car!)
May your arguments be more about hogging the sheets and less about money!