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Sharing finances

Despite what you might think, not every couple creates joint bank accounts or shares financial responsibilities. What is important is that you and your partner find a method that works for you both.

When discussing how you’ll share finances, it may help to know that there are several approaches common among couples.

Complete independence

Some couples don’t share any funds – they may decide that particular outgoings are the responsibility of one person or they may decide to split the costs based on an agreed percentage and pay it directly themselves.

Independent accounts with a shared account

Some couples agree to keep their own individual bank accounts and have one shared account (and credit card) for the joint expenses. This may include household rent/mortgage, utilities and groceries. In this situation, the couple often agrees to deposit a nominal figure into the account each pay cycle.

Exclusively shared accounts

Other couples have firm beliefs that when you are together that all finances are pooled into one place and everything is paid from these accounts. Regular conversations about ‘out of the ordinary’ payments will reinforce transparency. In this situation, it is important to agree upon who will be paying the bills and what the preferred method of payment will be.

If you’re sharing accounts

Couples that decide to share accounts ought to discuss whether both:

  1. Need to sign for withdrawals from off-set accounts.
  2. Have access to internet banking.
  3. Are involved when consulting a financial adviser.
  4. Are involved when applying for a loan.

Approaching your finances with transparency and equality, regardless of who is the primary income earner or whose responsibility it may be to ensure bills are paid, will surely be a positive step in your relationship.

What is financial abuse from a partner?

Money is one of the greatest challenges in a relationship and finding a healthy balance as a couple can be difficult at times. Understanding what financial abuse is can make a huge difference to you, a loved one or someone you know in the future.

Financial abuse is one form of domestic (or family) violence. Domestic violence is violent, intimidating or controlling behaviour by a loved one or a family member. It can come in the form of physical, verbal, emotional, social, sexual and economic (financial).

Financial abuse can mean that you are being restricted or limited in your involvement with the household expenses, how you spend your wage, your access to funds and a lack of control over debt in your name.

You may not be financially abused but it is always worthy of understanding what it is and how to prevent it. If you aren’t happy with your current financial circumstances, start by talking with your spouse and if you can’t agree, seek assistance from a trusted individual or professional. Read more about financial abuse here.