Monday, February 16, 2009

Economic Cohabitation

Peace. I have always been torn about the issue of sharing finances with your significant other. Whether you are legally married or not, living together or not, it has always baffled me why finances continue to be the number one reason for divorce, or discourse in relationships. I was listening to a radio show a few weeks ago, and the guest financial advisor said something very interesting. She said that when you are sharing your home with your mate, it is no longer YOUR money or HIS money, but THE money. She went on to say that it should not be used as a tool for either to control the other in the relationship, but merely as a means to pay bills and sustain the family.

It seems more difficult to say than to put into action. It takes maturity, unconditional love, devotion, communication, and most of all, TRUST, to place your economic well-being into the hands of another person, especially if you are used to holding it down by yourself, or if you have never had to worry about bills, mortgage, daycare, and other household expenses.

Before you decide to make your household a unified front and share your economics, regardless of who is working, who makes more, etc. there are some questions that you should really sit down and build on together so that you can best decide what method of economic cohabitation would work for your household:
  • Will you share one bank account or have seperate accounts? Will you just open a joint account strictly to pay bills from? How will you agree on what can be withdrawn from any joint account?
  • How will we financially contribute to our household finance? Will we each put in the same amount of money, or a percentage of our pay? If only one person is working, how will the other person contribute to help cut back on finances? (providing childcare, etc)
  • How will bills be paid each month?? (split them all 50/50, one person pays rent/mortgage and the other pays the other bills, or...?)
  • What will be our limits on non-household expenses such as entertainment, travel, clothing purchases, etc.?
These are just a few questions that can help in opening the lines of communication between you both. And this would always go for ANYONE who choose to reside together, not just if you are in a relationship, but friends, family as well. Many times, the lack of communication and clear planning is why we break up with our mates, end friendships, and end up with estranged family members.

So, when it comes to "taking care of home...," what are your ideas of peacefully being able to have successful economic cohabitation with your significant other, friend, roommate, or family member?

Queen Victorious Lanasia Earth

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