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Before getting married, moving in together, and sharing expenses, couples need to set some ground rules about finances. This can apply to married couples or just couples moving in together. It can even mean friends, if those friends are going to both be involved in sharing finances.
Let’s set up a few “Must Do’s”, or money saving tips, that should be considered when starting down the road to shared finances with a friend, relative, or loved ones – when only one person works.
Define (for Yourself) and Talk to Each Other About Your Goals
In the beginning, living on one income might be what’s necessary. It’s going to tighten everyone’s purse strings but, sometimes, that’s the way it has to be. And you’re doing it with the goal in mind. Maybe it’s medical school. So, hopefully your future will include a doctor’s income.
Whatever your goals are, write them down so that you have them well-defined in your head. Then sit down and discuss them with the person that will be “sharing” the financial burden with you. Goals are essential for every human being. Long-term financial goals, and their discussion, are essential in a relationship that includes shared financial responsibilities – particularly if only one person is working full-time.
The Future Must Be Kept in Mind
You have to think about the future because nothing is forever. 20 years from now, 10 years from now, even five years from now, things are going to look very different; not only at the time but in the “new” future. Whoever is going to school now will likely have a degree and a great job at some point in the future. That’s going to change the financial climate of your living conditions. And this is a direct reflection on what we just discussed – goals.
If the person who is not working full time does not have a job in mind for the future, serious consideration must be given to whether or not your living situation can be supported with one single income. And for how long? A part-time job may be in the future for someone.
There Are Always Choices
Being the breadwinner isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. So, keep in mind that there are always options, and they should all be considered. While one person works, another person might go to school. The “student” might have to get a part-time job in order to make ends meet. Some sacrifices might need to be made to save up money. There is always more than one way to do things.
Fun Money Is Important
Working hard and paying bills is important. But so is fun. Without fun, you have no reward for all the hard work you do and frugal choices that you make. Make sure that you have a little fund set aside for things like quick little getaways, dinners out, movies, theater productions, etc. Even something as tiny and simple as a pedicure can be uplifting and rewarding. Have fun separately or have fun together – just have fun.
What’s Eating You? Talk about It
Feelings matter, no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time. No issues can be resolved unless the other person knows that you feel there is an issue. If you feel that you’re spending your money on things the other person should be spending their money on, let them know about it. There must be a safe ground upon which to discuss any problems anyone in the relationship feels they are having with the current financial situation.
If a friend or family member is having a little bit of difficulty with finances, but they are in a foreign country, never fear. You can send them money securely, quickly, and easily through Sharemoney.com. Click here for some details and be sure to discuss with them how you might be able to help before sending them money.
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