Handling finances as a couple during lockdown
How are you managing your finances as a couple during the National Lockdown? Every relationship is different when it comes to how finances are managed. It can get complicated, because each of you has come into the relationship with your own individual way of managing money.
Many South African couples will try out different ways of managing money together before arriving at a method that works best for them. There will be lots of trial and error, discussions, and often disagreements, especially now when we have to tighten our purse strings during the Lockdown. The reality is: when it comes to managing your finances together, things are never cut-and-dried. So, we’ve put together five tips that will help you navigate this process more smoothly. Ultimately, the goal is to manage your finances in a way that works for your relationship, in a way that is beneficial for both of you, helping you to get through this difficult time with your finances and your relationship intact.
Ways to handle finances as a couple
- Be open and honest
Communication is vitally important. As you begin to find the best way to manage your money as a couple, be as honest and as open as possible to each other about the state of your finances. This means letting your partner know about your debts, your savings, your credit history and your goals. This will ensure that there are no surprises that could potentially jeopardise your relationship in the future. Some people will find this difficult at first, but the benefits far outweigh the potential embarrassment. It helps to be on the same page when it comes to your finances, so that you can prepare to face any obstacles together.
- Set financial goals together
Even if you and your partner have individual financial goals you would like to achieve, it is also really important that you create joint financial goals. Take the time to create short and long term goals — this could be to buy a home or a car, go on vacation together, settle debts or put money away to start a family. From there, prioritise these goals either by timeframe, by the cost or by their importance. Commit to keeping each other financially accountable for both your relationship goals and your personal ones. By planning your future together, you will strengthen your relationship and create enduring bonds.
- Budget and track spending together
While many of us know the importance of budgeting and may already be practising this in our personal financial lives, it’s vital that you also budget together as a couple. This involves drawing up a list of your expenses and allocating money towards them, as well as your goals and your savings.
Remember that a budget is only as good as your commitment to it. Track your spending. Unless you know where your money goes, you will find it a lot harder to stick to your budget and, as a result, your financial goals could seem out of reach.
- Let MyWORLD help you
Have you decided on how you will share household expenses? While there are many people who prefer to keep bank accounts separate, a joint bank account might work in your favour. African Bank boasts SA’s first account made to share – MyWORLD. You can use it to create up to five unique Pocket accounts that you can both use for household expenses, as well as saving for your relationship goals. Learn more about this here. Managing an account together will ensure that you work together towards your goals. It forces you to be open about money, ultimately giving you greater control over your finances as a couple.
An added benefit of MyWORLD is that you can easily do all your banking online. From tracking your spending, to saving and investing – all this can be done from your phone using the African Bank App, or from your computer. If you currently hold an African Bank Credit Card, or African Bank Investments, register for African Bank online banking on www.africanbank.co.za to manage those accounts.
How do you manage your money in your relationship? Share your thoughts and ideas with us on our social media channels — we would love to hear from you.