Remote working is a great equalizer. Your course or your past work history won’t matter as long as you have the skill to deliver the results. That’s why most families are keen to work from home today. Couples are now earning relatively more because you can juggle taking care of your household while working. Isn’t that nice?
But it begs the question, should you combine your budgeting jars together in one household, even if you can? It’s quite easy to create shared accounts today with digital banks. Tonik bank even offers an extra 0.5% for a shared account.
With more money coming in, should couples merge their finances? Here are advantages and disadvantages of merging your finances as remote working couples.
Greater Security for the One Earning Lesser
Not all couples have the same income level in their careers. One is probably higher than the other. And even if they are, most of the time, the other half would take a pay cut to tend to their family. Some totally forego their careers.
With that, combining your finances will give more security to the one earning lesser. S/he will have more buffer for emergencies. After all, you’re family. You’re partners. You want the best protection and comfort for your better half as well.
Creates Shared Goals
You’re a team. Both have responsibilities to bring to the table. But sometimes, one partner might feel that s/he is doing all the legwork. And combining your finances will somewhat avoid that.
There’s shared responsibility with bills and life goals. It might even strengthen your relationship further. But given these advantages, there are disadvantages that arise, depending on circumstances.
Questions on Spending
When you combine your budget, your spouse might question some of your spendings. For example, you bought a designer bag for 100,000 PHP. It might lead to arguments when your better half doesn’t approve.
And sometimes, they have a good reason for it. What if your other half has a gambling addiction? Or maybe she is a shopaholic. Spending your combined money is something you have to talk about, especially for your personal wants.
Share on Your Spouse’s Debt Payments
Not everyone has their finances sorted out. Some might have student loans or bad credit card debts before you enter your marriage. Combining your finances forces the other one to share in your spouse’s debt payments.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that you might feel your financial progress went backwards when you absorbed their responsibility. Deep-seated arguments might arise in the future because of it.
Constrained on What You Can Spend
Financial management is not all about saving. You need to enjoy your money to invite abundance in your life. Want that bag? Buy it! How about that fancy meal? Go order. Maybe take your family on a shopping spree. As long as it’s part of the budget, you can splurge for whatever you like.
But when you combine your finances, it might be hard to have expenses just because. You might be constrained with what you like.
Amidst these advantages and disadvantages, is there a way to do both? There actually is.
You can take advantage of a hybrid approach. It just means that you have shared finances. But you also retain your own bank accounts for some. And it promoted the following.
We established that income levels are not the same for most. And by doing a hybrid approach you can still merge some of your finances. But up to what extent? Some couples do equitable sharing.
Instead of a fixed amount, you can opt for percentages from your salary. If your husband earns 200,000 PHP, and you earn 50,000 PHP, sharing the same 10,000 PHP would be quite hard for you. If you use a percentage, let’s say 5%. It’s much more doable.
Assign Expenses to be Paid
Another strategy is assigning expenses to be paid. For example, you may take care of the electricity bill. While your husband pays for food expenses. By allocating each one which expenses to pay, you can save the remaining money on your own money jars. Simple.
What’s Left is a Clear Conversation
So which one is best for you? For me, the hybrid method provides the best flexibility for your shared expenses and your personal expenses.
But ultimately, you need to have a clear conversation on your money matters. For some couples, it might be a taboo. But knowing how you handle your finances with be a solid foundation for your relationship in the long run. Good luck! Cheers!