This is a post from Louise at Money Supermarket. You can read more about Louise at the end of this post.
It’s hard for those of us who have been financially independent to suddenly find ourselves in a relationship where we share both the bank accounts and the bills. I know I’ve worked very hard to achieve financial autonomy and the thought of handing over even a little bit of control to somebody else is just plain scary. However, successful relationships typically involve compromise and sharing. Here are a few tips for introducing the man to the money.
Splitting Finances Without Splitting Up
I’ve found that it’s very important to let your significant other know from the very start that your wish to remain financially independent doesn’t indicate that you are expecting the relationship to fail. It just means that your relationship will be on equal terms as you work toward becoming an awesome romantic and financial team.
Keep an Independent Credit Rating
If you’ve been financially independent for as long as I have, you don’t want to run the risk of having your husband’s credit rating negatively affect yours. If your man has a checkered credit past, you must build a financial wall between the two of you to keep his bad spending habits from lowering your score.
Simply explain to him that at least one of you needs to have a great credit history. Tell him that you both need to maintain independent credit ratings until he is able to increase his score. Suggest he gets a secured credit card to start rebuilding his credit.
Even if your man has an excellent credit history, you want to maintain some independent credit ratings just in case your “happily ever after” goes sour. Be sure that you have your own credit cards and an installment loan in your name only. Keep at least some of the utilities in your name as well.
Keep Separate Accounts
Keeping a separate checking and savings account in just your name gives you a greater degree of financial autonomy. Deposit part of your paycheck into your savings every month. Tell your husband that it’s important for the two of you to each have access to your own funds in case of an emergency.
Getting Joint Accounts
Only agree to joint financial liabilities once you are comfortable with the way that your partner manages money. Give your joint financial status a test run by opening a joint checking account to take care of the household bills. Once he’s proven he’s reliable with this, you could then consider bigger things such as a joint secured loan or even a mortgage.
Schedule a Financial Date
I find it helps to have scheduled dates with my husband just to talk over money matters. We get together once a month to review bills, credit card accounts, bank accounts and investments. We also talk about the monthly budget so that neither one of us will overspend.
Being in a serious romantic relationship doesn’t mean that you have to give up your financial independence. There are a few simple steps you can take to retain some of your financial autonomy. Many modern males like being involved with financially independent women anyway. Not only do you create a cash flow, but he also won’t have to worry about your financial well being if something were to happen to him.
This is a guest post by Louise Tillotson on behalf of MoneySupermarket.com. Louise firmly believes in financial independence and has only just let her husband add his name onto the household bank account, despite being married for a year!