You learn a lot from being in a relationship with someone for years (4.5 to be exact), and part of that is understanding each other’s views on finances. Here are some highlights from what I learned from my financial-opposite boyfriend, Terry.
Venmo is Your Best Friend
Since my boyfriend and I live together, we share the cost of bills, groceries, pet purchases and whatever else we feel like splitting. We use Venmo to send each other our portions of the costs. It’s free, easy and it helps us stay on track for what we’ve spent on what.
Budgeting is Important
I used to be really bad at budgeting because I would just track my purchases, and not really limit myself to stay within a certain spending range. Now that I share finances with my boyfriend, I take the time to use budget apps including Learnvest and YNAB (You Need a Budget). Both are paid programs, but you can sign-up for a free one-month trial of YNAB, which I’m currently using for the month. I’ve used free programs and apps in the past, but knowing that I’m paying a fee to use a budgeting program, helps me make sure I create a budget and stick to it. For example, I budget our groceries for $250 a month, and I know that every week I don’t want to exceed a certain amount if I want to stay on target.
Don’t Let Marketing Tactics Trick You
I’ll admit it, I’m the ideal consumer that marketers target. If it’s something new or different, I’m curious to try it out. My boyfriend is the opposite of me, and he can sense a marketing ploy a mile away. He helps me stay grounded and reminds me if I really need 10 boxes of pasta just because they’re 10 for $10. I’m happy to say, I don’t look at deals the same way, and I’m saving us both money.
Be Honest and Transparent
We do our best not to make a purchase without letting the other one know ahead of time. I think it’s courteous and helps keep the dialogue open and honest because finances can be a sensitive topic in relationships. It’s it’s a smaller purchase, we’ll make it and then let the other know what we bought. It’s not about asking approval or anything, it’s simply about being open about your finances.
What has your relationship taught you? And if you’re not in one, what is one important financial lesson you’ve learned from your family or friends?