I Talked To Some Experts About How Couples Can Manage Their Money Together
“Intimacy when it comes to money doesn't look like a lack of conflict."
When you're romantically paired with someone, ideally you'd like to split tasks 50/50. But sometimes it doesn't work out that way, particularly when it comes to managing finances. Often, one partner dons the hat of "household CFO," and takes on the lion's share of paying bills, tracking expenses, saving, and what have you.
However, such an arrangement can stir up problems, because when one half of a couple is pulling most of the financial weight, it’s common for resentment, frustration, and other issues to pop up.
For starters, when one partner handles money in a relationship, it might seem like a smoother system because the couple isn't openly arguing.
But for the partner who's less involved with money (or outright excluded), they might feel unheard or not understand the reasoning that goes into financial decisions.
What might happen if both partners are involved in tending to the household finances? The downside is that sometimes there’s not a lot of natural agreement — not at first, at least. In fact, it can stir up more conflict.
Talking about money on a regular basis, especially when things are calm, can help you both approach tense money issues from a less combative place.
When you tackle your finances as a team, figure out what arrangement works best for you. “There can be areas of leadership, where one person can be in charge of paying the bills, investing, and reporting, but everyone stays on the same page,” says Clayman.
Getting into the nitty-gritty, you’ll want to figure out which partner is responsible for the following things:
Another important convo to have is figuring out what money management means to you and looks like to each partner.
When couples co-pilot their finances, it leads to financial intimacy. And while we think of intimacy as something that is achieved in other ways (like in the bedroom), it’s rarely thought of when it comes to money.
How often do you talk with your partner about money? Share what works (or doesn't work) for you in the comments!
And for more stories about life and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.