Joint Finances and how to manage them
As a married couple, it’s important to play open cards regarding finances. Nowadays it’s quite common for couples to share the monthly household expenses, and the perfect way to do that is through a joint bank account.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should only have one account. The idea is to have one joint account to cover all household expenses, and each spouse can still have a private account to pay personal expenses from.
Here are some pointers around how to approach the decision around joint account and if it could work for your home:
- Sit down and talk about your joint and personal financial goals.
- Remove emotions from financial talk, although it is tempting.
- Come up with a plan to meet your goals.
- Develop a system for finances that works for both of you.
- Have regular financial meetings.
- Above all, stay positive and be honest.
Why is Budgeting important?
Simply put: it helps you control your spending, track your expenses, and save more money!
When preparing a budget, the following steps are important to keep in mind:
Step 1: Note your net income. The first step in creating a budget is to identify the amount of money you have coming in.
Step 2: Track your spending. List all your monthly expenses, even if they seem immaterial and no matter how small.
Step 3: Set your goals. This can be weekly, monthly or yearly goals.
Step 4: Make a plan (AND STICK TO IT!)
Step 5: Adjust your spending/saving habits if necessary.
Step 6: Keep checking in and making sure you are within your budget.
Savings – Why and How
To me, the main reasons for saving is to build up an emergency fund and to build wealth. We have spoken about budgeting and when preparing a budget, you also need to apportion a percentage of your monthly income for savings. The first question that pops to mind is probably “how much should I budget on savings per month?”. The general rule here is to apportion 20% of your monthly income towards your savings.
There are various monthly saving strategies you could apply. Some of the most common are monthly investments in a fixed savings account, additional monthly payments towards your mortgage bond or other financing loans. Below are some tips when you attend to your monthly savings:
- Record your expenses. The first step to start saving money is to figure out how much you spend.
- Budget for your savings.
- Find ways you can cut your spending, since this will mean you have more funds available for savings.
- Decide on your priorities.
- Make your savings automatic.