7 ways to combine cash as a couple

Finances can often be a complicated area in relationships, more than just who foots the bill, so here are some top tips on tying the financial knot.

1. Put money on the agenda

No matter your viewpoint, money is central to our goals and the lifestyle we choose, so it’s important to ensure you and your partner can - and do - openly discuss your finances, both personal and combined. Think about your goals for one year, five years and 10 years – do you want to have bought a house, paid off a debt, or simply have everything in order? Start by having a clear and honest understanding of both your incomings and your outgoings every month. This will help prevent you from being caught out with surprise debts or shocking impulse buys, saving on the arguments later.

2. Set up a joint bank account

Whether you want one just for your bills or for all of your day-to-day spending, a joint bank account is one way to help simplify the complex nature of finances. Paying in an equal amount or sharing your out-goings is a good way to split payments together, as well as manage your money as a couple. However, it’s still important to ensure you maintain your own separate accounts at the same time, just in case you decide to separate in the future.

Have both of your names on the bills

3. Start a rainy day fund

Whether it’s for romantic weekends away or emergency funds, setting small amounts of money aside for a rainy day will add up in the long run. Even the most organised among us can come a cropper after encountering unexpected costs, such as car repairs, vet bills or boiler problems. By planning ahead, you’ll be better protected from any financial ‘bumps’ and prevent being derailed from your long term financial goals.

4. Have both of your names on the bills

It may sound obvious, but having both of your names on the bills is something most couples don’t usually think of. Both names on the account will mean you’ll both have access to speak to your energy, water and gas suppliers, alongside making the payments. This is really important as having everything in one person’s name could impact on your own credit rating.

5. Know your partner’s wishes

Should the worst happen, knowing your partner’s wishes will prevent significant emotional distress for you and your family. Dealing with the turmoil of organising the arrangements will be made easier when you know exactly what your other half wants. While death isn’t yet dinner table conversation, discussing the possibility of one of you passing will help ease the pain should the time ever come. Otherwise you’ll never know if they’ll want a velvet coffin, 90’s disco music or a send-off themed around their favourite football club.

6. Make a will or think about a funeral plan

It’s a common misconception that wills are only for the elderly. If you’re part of the 35 per cent of the UK who haven’t already made a will, take the time to consider how and to who your estate would be divided once you die. Similarly, taking out a funeral plan means your family will be protected against the pressure of organising and paying for your funeral. Just 22 per cent of adults have researched funeral options and only 4 per cent have a funeral plan in place, but these products are simple to organise and will give you the peace of mind that your family are not left with the emotional burden.

7. Organise life insurance

It pays to have protection and one way to show your love for your partner is to continue to look after them when you are unable to. In the event of a serious illness, incident or death, life insurance will make sure the mortgage still gets paid, bills are covered, and you’ll continue to be in a good place financially.

Thanks to Paul Wilson at our funeral-planning service partner Avalon Funeral Plans.

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