Financial Decisions That Should Be Made as a Couple

financial decisions as couple

This post comes from my friend Kristina, who’s the daily blogger over at DINKS Finance and today we have decided to trade blog posts. Kristina will be blogging here on Careful Cents and Carrie will be blogging over at DINKS Finance.  So be sure to visit our site and check out (your beloved) Carrie’s post.

Here’s a little bit about Kristin. Hello Careful Cents! I am in a dual income no kids (DINK) relationship with my long time (12 years together) boyfriend Nick.

We are both in our early thirties and for the time being kids are not in our future; but as we get older I am wondering if we are making a huge mistake by not at least considering the option of having kids.

One of the great things about being in a DINK relationship (or any type of relationship) is the fact that we have our spouse to help us make important decisions.  When we are on the fence about a life choice our spouse can be the deciding factor.

If we are weighing the pros and cons of a life choice our spouse can be the angel (or the devil) sitting on our shoulder whispering into our ear.

However, being in a relationship can also be a downfall when we are trying to make life decisions. When we are in a relationship we always have to consider our spouse before we react.

I enjoy having my boyfriend Nick to help me make decisions because very often he is the voice of reason.  However, sometimes I just wish that I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to.

Here are some decisions that we should (try to) make as a couple:

Purchasing or selling assets

One of the biggest decisions that new couples have to make is where we are going to live. The choice to rent or buy a home is a major decision and both people in the couple have to agree on our living arrangements.  It may be a good idea to let the newlywed dust settle as we adjust to living together before we decide to jointly buy assets.

Monthly bills and living expenses

Merging individual finances into our new couple’s life will definitely be an adjustment, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one.

If we talk with our spouse and we are open to the discussion of money then we can decide how we are going to divide the monthly grocery bills, utilities, rent, transportation costs, and other living expenses.

Some couples decide to split the monthly living expenses evenly 50/50, however some other couples divide the monthly bills into a percentage that is proportionate to each spouse’s income.

Paying off debt

When we are in a relationship we may accumulate debt as a couple, or maybe one spouse brought their own individual debt into our relationship.

Regardless of how we accumulated our debt we have to make a plan to pay off our debts as a couple because our spouse’s debt can be harmful to our couple’s credit.

Choosing to have kids

This is a major decision that most couples need to make.  Like most major couples decisions such as where to live and how to save money or pay off debt, we have to weigh both the pros and cons of having kids and then make the decision to have kids or not to have kids as a couple.

What is the biggest decision you have made in your relationship?

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  1. Modest Money says:

    I think the decision to have kids should be made before committing long term as a couple.  Since it is such a major decision, you need to know where each other stand on the issue.

    It is also important that you are on the same page financially with similar goals in mind.  With my ex we were living together splitting bills, but it turned out I had much different long term goals than her.  That created a lot of tension and resentment.  Her needs ended up holding me back from the things that I wanted to pursue.

    • Carrie Smith says:

      I agree, in both cases. Big life decisions like getting married, having kids and long term goals for handling money, should all be topics discussed at the beginning of the relationship. It’s much more difficult to compromise later on.

  2. Kristina says:

    Deciding to merge all of our finances as a couple is definitely a big decision, but so is the choice to have or not to have kids.  It is very hard to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t share our long term personal and/or financial goals.

  3. So far we’ve moved cities, planned a wedding and purchased two houses together.  We have discussed our future at length though and have jointly decided on when to buy more houses, when to have children, when to move out of the city and when to retire.  I love being able to bounce ideas off of my husband… and more often than not we’re on the same page.  That tends to make things pretty easy for us =)  No compromise needed!

    • Carrie Smith says:

      That’s an awesome way to go about your relationship Julie. I haven’t had the success you are having in a committed relationship yet. But I’m working on it, and taking notes for the future.

  4. Daisy says:

    Moving was probably our biggest joint decision, and I told him I’d do it regardless because I couldn’t stay where I was. I would have stayed in a LD relationship with him, but he came with me,  and I’m every grateful.

    It’s difficult in a relationship is one person is more portable than the other. I want to live in Toronto, or anywhere else in Canada for a year or two – he wants to stay put and never leave. It’s difficult balancing my life dreams with his life dreams.

    • Carrie Smith says:

      That’s very true. I am in a LD relationship right now, and it’s very stressful at time. He just moved to be closer, but for awhile we were over 4 hours away from each other. He prefers to move all the time, and I like to stay in one place (at least for more than a couple years). I totally agree with you, it’s difficult to balance each other’s dreams and life goals.

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