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Couplehood can be a wonderful blessing, but – as you may know – it can have its challenges, too.

In fact, money conflicts are behind 41% of divorces.¹ The age-old adage that love trumps wealth may be true, but if money is tight or if a couple isn’t meeting their financial goals, there could be some unpleasant conversations (er, arguments) on the bumpy road to bliss with your partner or spouse.

These tips may help make the road to happiness a little easier.

1. Set a goal for debt-free living. Certain types of debt can be difficult to avoid, such as mortgages or car payments, but other types of debt, like credit cards in particular, can grow like the proverbial snowball rolling down a hill. Credit card debt often comes about because of overspending or because insufficient savings forced the use of credit for an unexpected situation. Either way, you’ll have to get to the root of the cause or the snowball might get bigger. Starting an emergency fund or reigning in unnecessary spending – or both – can help get credit card balances under control so you can get them paid off.

2. Talk about money matters. Having a conversation with your partner about money is probably not at the top of your list of fun-things-I-look-forward-to. This might cause many couples to put it off until the “right time”. If something is less than ideal in the way your finances are structured, not talking about it won’t make the problem go away. Instead, frustrations over money can fester, possibly turning a small issue into a larger problem. Discussing your thoughts and concerns about money with your partner regularly (and respectfully) is key to reaching an understanding of each other’s goals and priorities, and then melding them together for your goals as a couple.

3. Consider separate accounts with one joint account. As a couple, most of your financial obligations will be faced together, including housing costs, monthly utilities and food expenses, and often auto expenses. In most households, these items ideally should be paid out of a joint account. But let’s face it, it’s no fun to have to ask permission or worry about what your partner thinks every time you buy a specialty coffee or want that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. In addition to your main joint account, having separate accounts for each of you may help you maintain some independence and autonomy in regard to personal spending.

With these tips in mind, here’s to a little less stress so you can put your attention on other “couplehood” concerns… Like where you two are heading for dinner tonight – the usual hangout (which is always good), or that brand new place that just opened downtown? (Hint: This is a little bit of a trick question. The answer is – whichever place fits into the budget that you two have already decided on, together!)


¹ “10 Most Common Reasons for Divorce,” Shellie R. Warren, Marriage.com, Jul 14, 2021, https://www.marriage.com/advice/divorce/10-most-common-reasons-for-divorce/.

Tips on Managing Money for Couples

Budgeting is essential. But what if you don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re new to the world of budgets or you just want some help, this article will get you started on the right foot. There’s no one way that works for everyone, but these different methods can give you an idea of where to begin.

Method 1: The old fashion way. First, write down your total monthly take home pay. Next, break down your monthly spending into categories and write down how much you spend on each. Add those numbers together. Then, subtract that number from your take home pay.

The advantage of this method is that it’s rewarding. You get to see your budget grow from the ground up. It connects you to your money like few other projects will.

It can, however, be frustrating. You’ll run into snags, miscalculations, and old fashion human error. And that can nip your budget in the bud.

Method 2: Pre-made spreadsheets. This is an easy way to create a customized budget. There are countless templates from Google Drive, Microsoft Office, the Federal Trade Commission, Nerdwallet, and more!

Unfortunately, they still require some legwork. You may need to customize your budget to your specific needs. And they don’t sync with your bank account, meaning you’ll need to manually input your monthly spending.

Method 3: Budget apps. They come in a variety of different flavors, but they all serve a common purpose—make budgeting as simple as possible.

Typically, these apps handle the categorizing and all the math. You simple enter your monthly income, log your spending into categories, and let the app work its magic.

Not all budgeting apps are the same. Some require you to manually enter your spending, while others sync with your bank accounts. Some are free. Some cost money.

Here are a few of the most popular budgeting apps to investigate…

Mint (most popular)

YNAB (You Need a Budget) (Syncs with accounts, cost $84/year)

PocketGuard (Designed for overspenders)

Honeydue (Designed for couples)

There’s not one particular way to begin budgeting. It all depends on your personal needs and what you’re comfortable with.

With so many options, you should be able to find the perfect method for you.

What do you think? Do you have a simple budget? How did you start it?

How to Create a Simple Budget