“Money makes the world go round”, “Money talks, bullshit works”, “Money is the root of all evil”. These are just a few of the many quotes about money, but did you know that money is the leading cause of stress in relationships? In fact, a study by researchers in Kansas State University found that arguing about money is by far the top determinant of whether a couple will stay together or not.
In this part of the world, a lot of people still believe that the man’s income is for the entire family while the woman’s income is for her alone. If you believe this school of thought, then this post might not be for you. However, if you believe in financial transparency in relationships and managing money jointly, keep reading.
In a dual-income family, managing your finances can be stressful if the couple hasn’t communicated well enough to figure out what method to use. What works for one relationship may not work for another, that is why we’re giving you 7 different options to pick from below.
- Survive On One Person’s Income: Women, don’t get excited yet! I’m not recommending that you only spend your husband’s income and keep yours. The actual recommendation is to live off one person’s income so that 100% of the second income will be put into savings and investments for the entire family. Depending on your expenses, you could decide to spend the man’s income and save the woman’s income and vice versa.
- Merge ALL Your Finances: I can already imagine some people saying “God Forbid” lol. In this case, both parties bring everything they have to the table and all the budgeting and expenses are done from the total income. This often requires opening a joint account. This method requires a lot of trust, responsibility, and accountability from both sides.
- Merge Finances, But Allocate Individual Allowances: In as much as a married couple should be seen as one entity, it still consists of two different individuals with different needs and different spending habits. In order to have some level of individuality, you could combine your income and allocate each person some “fun” money. There’s no accountability required for however they choose to spend it.
- Keep your finances completely separate: In this case, both parties have total control of their income and they decide what each person brings to the table when bills need to be paid. There’s little or no accountability required using this method, each person can spend their income as they please as long as the family’s expenses are sorted.
- Split shared bills 50/50: This method also allows you to keep your finances separately, however, the bills are split equally regardless of how much each person makes. This option obviously doesn’t favor the person who makes less income as it leaves the person with little or nothing for his/her personal expenses.
- Split shared bills by a percentage of each person’s income: This is a fairer way to keep your finances separate and share bills. In this case, both incomes are compared and bills are split based on the percentage difference. Simply put, whoever earns more, contributes more to the bills.
- Shared Responsibility for certain bills: Yet another way to manage your finances together while keeping your income separate is to assign bills to each other. Each person takes 100% responsibility for the bill assigned to him/her. The man could take care of the Rent while the woman takes care of the school fees, the man could take care of utility bills while the woman can take care of groceries, etc.