If You’re Thinking Of Starting A Savings Account With Your Partner, Here's What To Discuss
As a relationship progresses, there comes a time when pooling some of your financial resources starts to make a whole lot of sense. Even if you're in an awesome groove when it comes to bouncing various costs back and forth, once you begin planning for the future, a shared account might be a good idea. If starting a savings account with your partner is something you're considering, having a conversation to ensure you're both on the same page when it comes to finances is the best first step.
Even though broaching serious conversations like this can feel a bit intimidating at times, communicating about money is an important part of assessing the long term compatibility of a relationship. To better understand how to talk about saving money with an SO, I spoke to NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter. "This should be an automatic discussion if you're intending to move in together," Winter tells Elite Daily. "It's also important if you're engaged or otherwise a definite couple not living together, but saving jointly for a vacation and travel plans." According to Winter, hashing out the following three points before opening a savings account will help you avoid money fueled disagreements later down the line.
1. Make sure you're on the same page about what the money's for.
"Is the money in the shared account for household bills, or vacations," poses Winter. "Deciding in advance the purpose for your savings account sets limits on slush fund spending and keeps you both on target fiscally."
If your partner's priority is spending money on traveling and you're more focused on setting the groundwork for a financially stable future, then this is something you guys should try to work out before there's actual money involved. And remember, compromises are totally possible. For example, you could set a goal amount you'd want to have saved for a rainy day and once you've reached this first goal, put the next surge of money towards a trip.
2. Decide how much you'd both be able to contribute.
The truth of the matter is that most couples don't earn the exact same amount of money in a year. So, it's up to the both of you to decide whether or not you'll be able to contribute the same amount to the saving fund.
"Contribution disparity can become an issue when your relationship is going through rough times," explains Winter. "Feeling unappreciated, devalued or unloved can tap into the financial realization that we're on the short end of receiving. That's when we remember that we've given more to the relationship, than our partner."
3. Set some rules for when and how the funds with be accessed.
After you've talked about the purpose of the account and how much you'll both be contributing, setting some guidelines for when either of you can spend the money is key. Making clear rules avoids miscommunications if and when any rules are broken.
"For example, if your partner has just taken out money to pay off their credit card, but that's not the intention of the joint fund," says Winter. "If you both decided it's for household expenses, this act is both selfish and violates your savings agreement. Especially if you're the major contributor, and your partner has little hope of replenishing the fund."
Ultimately, if you're hoping to build a future with your current partner, then coming up with a financial plan is never a bad idea. Saving as a unit is a great start as it offers both of you a preliminary idea of how the other person handles money. This way, the likelihood of getting blindsided by potentially reckless spending habits is far less likely and your relationship will grow stronger than ever.