“Whether it be money, time or heart, invest wisely.”
When it comes to relationships the millennial generation still has a lot to be learnt about finances while in relationships. This topic is often put on the back burner because we are seen as “young”.
I’ve had two long term relationships prior to my current relationship. These experiences and relationships have both taught me and prepared me for my current relationship’s success. From sharing income with my past partners, to living with them and sharing everything in between. I’ve dealt with pretty much everything you could imagine. If there is one thing that brings both people involved back to reality, it’s called MONEY.
In today’s generation we see a lot of people in relationships who may have a hard time finding work or having a hard time keeping a steady job. For those of you who have a career it may be a bigger issue if you are making more than your significant other.
So how do we cope with it all? I know for me, my past experiences allowed me to really realize that I needed to get my finances in order for me to be happy in the relationship. I had to realize that we weren’t married, and no one person should rely on anyone’s income to sustain the relationship. Living with my partner I had to realize that both individuals need to be committed to paying bills, not leaving that burden on one person to pay for it all. It takes two to tango and we’re no only talking about under the sheets people! It also takes two to go over your finances each pay period. It is important to write down every bill you have, writing down what day those bills fall on and when you get paid to pay them. Things that my boyfriend and I are doing now.
Most young people I’ve come across don’t really know how to manage their finances the way I’ve been doing mine in my relationship. A great example of how my boyfriend and I manage our finances is by saving as much as we can. We each have separate saving accounts and checking accounts. Each pay we save 10% of our paycheck no matter what. We keep our purchases extremely low while still being able to enjoy our youth and spend time with each other. We also talk about our finances and goals with each other often. This helps to motivate us to continue our savings plans. If you get paid on different pay weeks try managing your spending with the person who gets paid first. There was nothing I couldn’t stand more than spending money knowing I wasn’t getting paid that following week. For small purchases see if your partner can take care of it that week and next week when you get paid you’d cover expenses. It takes stress off of you and more stress off of the relationship.
How I paid my bills was by using the Envelope method and by splitting my bills in 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. For example if I had a $200.00 bill that was due on the 30th of every month and I was in a new month, I would spilt that 200-divided it by three and saved 1/3 of of it until the 30th so instead of paying 200.00. I put away x amount of dollars each paycheck (depending on how many times you get paid) until My bill was due on the 30th. This allowed us to have more spending money for the things we wanted to do and allows me to save more.
I can’t stress enough how good it is to spilt your payments up before the bill is due. Remember a little bit always goes a long way and less is more! Even if it is by half the amount. It is much better than paying it all in one lump sum. I had to find a way to be smart about my spending and this has not only helped me pay off bills in a timely manner but it has helped me save more than I ever have.
Just know this will take much discipline but if you are serious and in a committed relationship you will make a concerted effort to improve your finances. Not just for yourself, but for the both of you. If you plan on being in a long term relationship and moving in together. My goal was also not to be a burden to my lover. Which is why I never really asked for much and I understood that he has his own responsibilities he needs to tend to. Being open and honest about whether you have the income or not to carry out certain activities is always a plus. I also understood that we both have jobs and thats’s why I made sure to get whatever I could on my own.
If you are not living together or if one person had an apartment and you are always over try to contribute an amount that you both agree on. A contribution that will not brake your pockets and something that you know your partner agrees with. Keep in mind, I suggest you let the person who’s helping decide if they want to contribute or not. It is not their responsibility to give you money for an apartment you made a decision on getting. How ever if the man/woman is really into you and loves you they will most likely offer to help you out. Especially if the person stays over occasionally.
I think we like to play house until we realize it is not a game. We become responsible for bills in our name and suddenly they end up on our credit so be mindful when playing house. When things go wrong it could define your financial future. I had to understand that finances are something that was not really discussed at the beginning of my relationships in the past when it most certainly should have been. It may seem like it is something that is sensitive to talk about but it is so necessary. Especially if you plan on being with the person long term and eventually moving in with them. Another great decision I made in my current relationship.
Before you move in make sure you both lay out all of what it will take to make it work for the both of you. Making sure you both have jobs, making sure they are stable, and making sure you are in a relationship where communication is open. No hidden bills, and knowing when you each get paid. Knowing who is responsible for which bill depending on who gets paid more. Most important saving and splitting the bills you are responsible in 1/3 before each bill is due if that method works for you.
Speaking about finances in my current relationship gave me a sense of relief. It also helped me to trust my partner on a new level. Being open about the bills you have to pay is okay to talk about to. I suggest you find a way to become comfortable speaking about them because it’s what affects most of our lives anyway. It is what causes so many breakups and nasty situations. Learn to be open and comfortable about who makes what and how much you can handle. Learn to put your pride aside and understand that you two are a team, you are in this together and you only want the best for each other.
The more you save, the better off you both will be. When you are married it is important to make sure to keep this communication in the relationship. There maybe times where you may not have the funds and your partner does, it happens and will happen. Just make sure not to take advantage of them, love them and always do what’s best for you and your pockets. I hope this helps those of you who decided to read about finances in the Millennial generation.Your partner will appreciate you much more for that and always remember it takes two. Try it, your future self will thank you!