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How to Manage Money as Partners When Your Income is Unequal

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When living with your partner, it is important that you both spend time deciding how you will manage your money.

It becomes even more important if your income is not at the same level as your partner’s.

If one of you is earning more than the other, you will need to look at your money management in greater detail.

Get started by checking out the following helpful tips.

Create a Budget

The first thing you should do when looking at money management as a couple that is living together is to work out a budget for shared expenses like groceries, utilities, petrol money, and insurance.

By sitting down together to explore how much money you need each month and how you will proceed with managing the budget, you will feel like equals, regardless of your different incomes.

Once you know the costs of your monthly needs and wants, you can move on to working out how you will both monetarily contribute to the budget.

Contribute the Same Income Percentage to Shared Expenses

You may both want to pay equal shares for all your outgoings, even if one person is on a lower income, as the person on lower pay may want to feel as though he or she is paying his or her own way and the other person may not want to feel as though he or she is giving handouts to his or her partner.

However, given the disparity between your two incomes, it may feel fairer and be more realistic to each pay the same percentage of your take-home pay towards all necessary monthly expenses.

Open a Joint Bank Account 

Whether the two of you decide to split costs down the middle or go with a percentage payment option, you should talk about whether it makes sense to open a joint bank account, where all of the funds for your shared expenses can be kept.

You could even abandon individual accounts altogether and go all-in with a single joint account.

It will likely be much easier to handle all of your monthly expenses when the money is taken out from just one source.

If you do not get a joint account, one of you would have to pay money into the other’s account each month for shared expenses, and you would both have different responsibilities concerning your joint payments.

So, getting a joint bank account often makes life a lot easier.

Save Money, Such as Opting for Credit Cards That Offer Benefits Like Cashback

If one person is on a low income and the other is not on a high salary, it could be challenging to save money. So, look at ways in which you could save.

For instance, you could apply to a credit card company like SoFi because when you are approved for a SoFi credit card, you can earn 3% cashback and put it towards your financial goals. Furthermore, there is no annual fee to pay with a SoFi credit card.

You could also review your budget and make changes to your weekly spending habits to help you save money. For instance, you could make sandwiches rather than buy lunch out each day.

Consider a Partner Allowance

If one of you is not earning at all or earning very little, the other person could give the non-earner an allowance each month.

That is often done in traditional-like households where one person stays at home to do the housework and/or look after the children, while the other is the main breadwinner.

Regardless of your specific circumstances, you might want to choose the allowance option, whether you provide an allowance for necessities only or for personal spending money.

But before you go down this route, make sure you are both comfortable with the idea.

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