So, you and your partner have decided to share money! Whether it's because you are getting married, moving in together, or combining finances to save, it's a big step in any relationship.
Like any major relationship change, it's important to have a conversation with your S/O and ask each other questions. Before you make a decision, you'll need some answers, especially when it comes to money.
These conversations aren't the easiest (they can be pretty awkward!), but don't worry because we're going to share nine questions you should ask your bae before you share your money! These will ensure you both have the best understanding of each other's finances so you can plan for a healthy financial relationship. Sound good? Let's get into it.
1. What is the purpose of us sharing our money?
Before you dive into just sharing all your expenses and savings, it's important to answer the question about why you're doing it in the first place. Are you getting married? Moving in together? Saving for a trip?
Whatever the reason, make sure it's a valid one that you both understand. You should also both be on the same page with how much you are sharing; is it going to be every cent? Also, it's important to realize that maybe sharing expenses isn't the right decision at this stage in your relationship, and that's OK too!
2. What is your yearly income before or after taxes?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it's an important one! If you're going to share money, you should be aware of how much each of you is earning and how you can both contribute to your shared account.
It's not safe to assume that both of you are making the same amount of money. Be honest with each other so you can budget fairly. You know what they say: honesty is key in any relationship!
3. Do you have any debt?
This may not be the easiest topic to discuss, but it's one of the most vital. When combining your finances with someone else, you should both be aware of each other's debts.
Debt can be from many different things: school loans, house loans, credit card payments, or anything else. When budgeting for future expenses, you and your S/O should have a plan for paying off your current debts. We know, debt sucks. But you and your partner can figure it out together — if you're honest.
4. How much money do you have saved?
Aside from salary and debt, you or your partner may have some money saved up too. Has either of you started a retirement savings plan? Do you have money set aside in another account? These things are important to discuss, too.
With savings, one of you may have a down payment for a house, or you can help each other pay off debts so that you can start a new chapter in your life together, debt-free! How nice does that sound? Debt-free has a nice ring to it.
5. How do you feel about us sharing money?
This is something you may not have thought to ask your partner, but it's SO key! Not all questions have to be about the exact amount of dollars and bills. It's also a good idea to ask your partner how they feel about this.
Maybe they're nervous about sharing money; it's likely their first time making this decision with someone. Having a conversation and letting your partner talk about any concerns is a great way to get comfortable with each other about sharing money!
6. Do you have any future plans for your career?
Even if you are both in a great place with your careers right now, does one of you have plans for that to change? A great question to ask is if either of you plans to go back to school for any reason, if you want to make a career change, or if you see yourself in a different place job-wise.
Going back to school can put you back into debt for a while, and taking a new job or switching your career can always be risky. Make sure your partner knows about any plans you have for this, and ask them to tell you about theirs too.
7. Have you considered your ideal monthly mortgage or rent budget?
Based on your combined incomes, you both should come to an understanding of what your ideal mortgage or rent payments are. A good way to figure this out is to decide how much you can afford using a realistic measure.
What if one of you were to temporarily lose your job? How much do you have saved up in case something happens? Pick a realistic budget that you can still afford with your salary and savings if something happens. Be prepared and plan ahead!
8. How do you currently budget your monthly earnings?
We all know our rent or mortgage is a part of our monthly budget, but there are other things you should keep in mind. For example, how much does your partner set aside for fun, for emergencies, and for recurring expenses like Netflix? Do either of you like to travel, and do you set aside a few dollars every month to save for a trip? It's good to know how much each of you sets aside each month for these extra bills and expenses so you can come up with a new plan together!
A great app to help you with paying bills is Paytm Canada: an app that helps facilitate bill payment. In a nutshell, you download the app and pay your bills (credit card, electricity, etc). The more bills you pay, the more Paytm Points you earn, and these points can then be redeemed for rewards! Who doesn't love a fun way to pay bills?
9. How do you want to communicate purchases to each other?
This isn't something every couple does, and you definitely don't have to tell each other about every purchase. But, you should be honest with each other about your spending habits. Your partner will likely appreciate if you let them know when you plan to go shopping for a new outfit, or if you're going out for bday drinks with the gals. Since you've combined money into one account, part of your finances is also your partner's. Decide what's important for you both to share with each other; you'll both appreciate the honesty!
So, there you have it: nine important questions you should ask bae before you decide to officially share your funds. Don't be too nervous; if you're sharing money then you must be pretty far in your relationship, and that's exciting!
And, to help you along the way, you've got Paytm Canada to support you! No matter where you are, pay your bills from the convenience of the Paytm Canada app on your smartphone. It's THAT easy.