There is truth to the idiomatic expression – “it takes two to tango”. With a relationship that spans for nearly a decade, I came to realize that giving and taking is an essential element to success. Arriving at an agreeable place avoids potential conflicts from rising. Compromise is vital when it comes to financial matters.
Who would be primarily responsible to pay the bills or to account for outstanding debts? Use the following strategies to help you split the expenses.
STRATEGY #1: DOWN IN THE MIDDLE
Living together entails the discussion of bills, loans, and other expenses. The most concrete way to divide an expense is to split it in half. From groceries to rent, you may share the household responsibilities by contributing an equal amount of money.
Keep track of your purchases and bills by creating a document or a spreadsheet file. You may want to consider setting a monthly price threshold to avoid conflicts.
STRATEGY #2: SET A PERCENTAGE
If you and your partner belong to similar salary divisions, the first strategy is beneficial. However, it can be difficult to split everything by 50-50 if you belong to both ends of the salary spectrum. Contributing S$1,000 per month to the household expenses may mean nothing to you. While, it can mean everything to others!
One of the most sustainable ways to conquer this situation is to contribute a certain percentage of your income. For instance, you can agree to allocate 30% of your income towards household expenses and other miscellanous. Both parters will be paying the same percentage to other expense categories such as utilities and transportation.
STRATEGY #3: TOGETHER AS ONE
Some couples prefer to establish a joint account with a foundation of trust and mutual understanding. With this account, you may allocate a percentage for entertainment. Entertainment includes funds for hobbies as well as vacations. Maintaining an account to fund an expensive vacation allows you to team up to achieve a common financial goal.
Motivation is elevated as you work together. Furthermore, your dual streams of income widens the resources for your funds.
STRATEGY #4: TOGETHER YET APART
Another strategy that can be just as effective is separating the expense categories based on one’s financial capacity. You will be responsible to pay for specific bills from your own account or savings.
Under this strategy, each person remains their individual bank accounts and identifies which expense they are responsible for. According to Andrea Rizk, the founder and CEO of of Risk Public Relations, this arrangement maintains maximum financial independence.
At the end of the day, you must choose a strategy that works well with your personalities and relationship dynamics.