How to Manage Finances as a Couple

Samuel Linyondi

Research has found that finances are one of the factors that can quickly become an issue in a relationship.

In celebration of the month of love, couples can turn money matters into a positive experience by exploring the following saving tips to increase their financial well-being.

Bank Windhoek’s digital transformation manager, Willie de Jager, says as a couple, he and his wife have set up different savings accounts for various purposes.

These include an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, holidays and future savings.

De Jager advises that to be better off financially, couples must do one of two things: cut costs or increase their income.

To cut their expenses, he says they practise the following:
• Stay away from cars with high fuel consumption.
• They eat out less, prepare meals at home, and make enough for the next day.
• When they eat out, they avoid expensive restaurants.
• They buy as little takeaway coffee as possible.
• They buy in bulk when they can, as it is cheaper in the long run.

Having a plan is crucial.

A financial plan that starts with open communication, reasonable expectations and a clear goal will always produce good results for couples.

The following tips can be included in this plan:

Create a budget: Partners should track their spending for a month or two by logging every expense. They do not have to think of it as budgeting, but rather as creating a spending plan that prioritises saving. Couples can track this budget using technology that can make this easier, such as a budgeting app.

Set up a joint bank account: Financial planning and relationship experts say having a joint bank account is an excellent way for couples to be financially accountable as a team. It helps them to stop wasting time juggling accounts and bills.

Get life and medical insurance savings: If both couples work and are offered life and medical insurance coverage through an employer, they could take the time to evaluate which plan provides the best value for them as a couple. This approach could eliminate duplicate payments for individual plans.

Have regular money meetings: Couples should sit down for a finance meeting monthly. These meetings would allow them time to examine their finances, big and small.

Share one car and entertainment subscriptions: Sharing a car is doable and could save money. Instead of spending money on two vehicle instalments, two petrol bills, two insurance payments and two maintenance bills, there only needs to be one. Regarding entertainment and streaming service subscriptions, use one where there is a discount when more people are added to the plan. Are there other subscriptions you and your partner could share?

Most importantly, be there for each other. Even with open communication and a strict budget, unexpected expenses will arise. When they do, couples should resolve these together.

“It is easier to save money if you and your partner have similar financial priorities and understand each other’s needs and goals,” De Jager says.

  • Samuel Linyondi is Bank Windhoek’s strategic communication manager.

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