How do you manage shared finances?

manage-shared-finance_300x200Managing your finances and your relationship can be quite a balancing act. Share a credit account? Then you share credit report information too.  

It can mean you’re more linked than you think. If you have applied for credit together, lenders will usually look at both of your credit reports when working out any future credit applications, even if it’s only for one of you.  

To mark Valentine’s Day, we asked some of our favourite finance, family and budgeting bloggers to share with us how they’ve managed to balance love and money, and what their tips are to make shared finances – and sharing outgoings in general – as harmonious as the day Cupid’s arrow first arrives.

Joint finances, joint decisions

Emma from EmmaDrew.Info: “My husband and I earn significantly different amounts which we really struggled with. We now put all of our earnings into our joint bank account, which covers our joint spending. What really helped us was that we now both withdraw the same amount of “pocket money” from the joint account, meaning that we have a level footing. This has made such a difference to how we feel about our money and I would recommend it.”  @emmadrewinfo 

Karen from Missing Sleep: “I think the most important thing is communication; if you really want to buy something discuss it with your partner first.  With tied finances it’s not fair to spend on non-essentials without agreement.  We both have different ideas about what we consider important, but we keep each other in check by coming to a joint decision before making purchases.”  @missingsleep 

Andrew from Money Comms: “When it comes to paying the bills it works well if you open a separate joint bank account for all your household outgoings.  Basically you work out how much goes out on bills, food, mortgage/rent, insurances etc and you both agree to put in a set amount in every month to cover these costs. The amount you pay in doesn’t have to be split 50/50 – it may be that one of you earns more and is happy to contribute more – just be honest with each other from the outset and comfortable that you can afford your share.”  @haggerdoo

Be open and be honest

Hannah from “Communication is key. Chat about how you’ll save for future plans together, agree a household budget that works for both of you, check in with one another before making a big purchase, borrowing or lending cash and always make sure you are both happy and clear about who is spending what and where.  If you’re open and honest about money then it really doesn’t need to be a big deal.”  @moneycouk

Jennie from Disease Called Debt: “Sharing finances isn’t easy but the most important thing is to be honest with each other, discuss your finances, budget together and help each other be sensible with your spending.  You won’t last long if one of you is running up credit cards by splashing out every day on new clothes and gadgets, while the other is sticking to a strict budget!”  @debtfreeoneday

Becky from Family Budgeting: “My partner and I are very different in our attitudes to money. He is generous and impulsive which are both wonderful attributes. I am organised and more sensible than he is with regard to our cash so I manage our bill payments. Basically we play to and celebrate our strengths rather than getting annoyed with each other. I think you have to totally do what works for you in your relationship and follow the best path for your family.”  @beckygoddardh

Are you financially linked?

If you’re wondering whether you are financially linked, your credit report will show you. It will only contain your financial information, but will show the name of anyone you share a financial connection with. This is called a financial association – more about that in this blog post.

And if both of you check your respective Experian Credit Score – which is now FREE forever – you could get an indication of how lenders might see you, based on the information in your Experian Credit Report. The Experian Credit Score can also help you both monitor your progress as you each get your finances in order before you next apply for credit.

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