How to Combine Finances When One Partner Earns More
The more you do it, the easier it will become
Do you and your partner combine finances? Better question — do you want to, but not know where to start? This past summer, I wrote a blog post about how marriage changed my finances. In that post, I talked about how my husband and I work together financially by splitting everything 50/50 and keeping most of our money separate.
However, in just 4 short months — those plans have changed.
Relationships and money are tricky mostly for this reason. Things change quickly and the discussion about what to do with your money is constant. Talking about it once and hoping that everything will work out is not going to end well. Regular financial conversations with your significant other are important, whether you want to have them or not.
*she says, like a stern mother that consistently tells you to make good choices*
You see, if you haven't been reading for awhile, you might have missed that we moved cities, both changed jobs, and both increased our incomes. So — our financial situation has dramatically changed.
We went from making the exact same income to my husband making significantly more than me. Which (I'll be honest), makes me extremely jealous.
As stubborn as I am in wanting to pay for everything and insisting we split things 50/50, it really doesn't make sense for us anymore. By changing from even split to something more 60/40 — we'll both be able to save a good amount for retirement and short-term savings goals.
So, how do you go about actually making this change?
Step one — talk about it
After crunching some of the numbers on my own, and determining what a fair split could be, I brought the conversation up with my husband. It's never easy, even if you do discuss money on a regular basis, so don't worry if things don't come out exactly as you've planned. They probably don't know what to say either. The important thing is that you're willing to have the conversation in the first place. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
Step two — decide where the splits will be
Logically, we looked at the three top spending categories in our budget. Those end up being our rent, vehicle payment, and savings. Right now, we are trying to aggressively save and invest about 40 to 50 percent of our income each month.
One of the suggestions I brought up was having one person pay the larger living expenses and the other person focus on the savings. If we both spent the same amount on each it would be easy for both of us to feel equally apart of achieving our common goals. However, one person would take on more of the financial responsibilities that can't change based on our monthly spending.
Step three — update your budget and implement the changes
Once you've agreed upon an expense split that makes sense for you and your significant other, it's time to input the numbers into your budget. I always suggest giving things a trial period of about two to three months to see if these changes are working and everyone is still happy. Combined finances only work if you're completely honest.
Don't have a combined budget? Honestly, who does?
Now that you've got your budget, and the holiday season is upon you, it's a good time to chat all things money and income splits.
As for me? I'm about maxed out when it comes to all things money at this time of the year. In between traveling, working, and focusing on my family first — it's time for Mixed Up Money's annual December vacation.
This will be my last post of 2017, with the first post back being January 2nd. I know it's long, and I'll certainly miss you, but that's what social media is for.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year, all! xoxo <3