It has never been more important for households to adopt a frugal approach and pool their resources where possible. But how can you go about splitting household bills with partners in a fair and amicable way? Here are some tips to keep in mind when splitting household bills.
If you’ve previously kept your finances separate from your partner, you may find it difficult to share your current financial state.
However, this represents the first, crucial step to pooling resources and splitting household bills, so it’s important to press ahead even if you find it a little uncomfortable at first.
This will help you to determine key pieces of insight, such as how much you both earn (and your subsequent combined earnings), your spending habits and whether or not either of you follow a budget.
You can also delve a little deeper into how much each of you has saved in the bank, along with any investment interests, long-term debts and your real-time credit scores.
The key is to process all information calmly and logically while refraining from judgement or commenting on your partner’s financial past.
This definitely aids the process, which ultimately enables you to develop a clear understanding of your combined financial circumstances and allows you to determine how much disposable income can be contributed towards shared bills.
Make no mistake; this will provide a solid foundation from which you can share bills and make the most of your combined resources as a couple.
If you thought the first step was difficult, the next one can be even more challenging for couples!
This involves attempting to physically split shared bills and expenses, in a way that’s fair, amicable and as transparent as possible.
However, the goal isn’t necessarily to agree on every single priority or split disposable funds straight down the middle, but to create a bespoke agreement that’s mutually acceptable and enables each individual to retain their own spending money.
The key considerations here are your combined income and the precise amount that each individual contributes to this, which can form the basis of a simple equation to distribute bill payments equally once you’ve identified all shared expenses.
More specifically, you should start by adding your monthly incomes together to create a total amount for your household. Then, calculate the precise percentage that each partner contributes, whether this represents a 50/50 split or there remains a dominant earner.
The next step is to follow the same process with your shared expenses; by totalling these and applying the same percentage to create a fair (and more importantly, manageable) split.
This means that no partner ever has to pay more than they can afford, with each contribution carefully weighted and based on their monthly (or weekly) earnings.
Remember, this only needs to be applied to bills or expenses that both partners take responsibility for, creating personal debts and disposable income that belong to each individual.
The latter point is particularly important, not least because we all have private debts and personal spending habits that we’d like to fund without using our partner’s money.
However, you’ll ideally want to pay all shared bills using a single, joint bank account, and one that offers transparency and a full transaction history for your records.
So, how do you manage this particular issue? The answer is to open a joint bank account once you’ve identified shared expenses and calculated your percentage share of repayments, while committing to transferring your contribution by Direct Debit every month.
At the same time, both partners should retain their existing individual accounts, which can house their remaining funds that can be deployed as they choose.
Whether this money is used to settle individual expenses or treat your loved one is up to you, but the important thing is that you retain control of your finances and a fundamental sense of fiscal independence.
At the same time, you can contribute fully to an adult financial relationship and assume your fair share of household expenses.
Even at this stage, you may discover some issues when attempting to manage your bills, particularly if you have minimal disposable income levels and are struggling with mounting debts.
In such instances, you may need help consolidating debt payments into a single, manageable sum, or take advantage of similar services to improve the efficiency of your monthly bill repayments.
Additionally, this service is ideal for sharing household bills (either between couples or multiple housemates), as it enables you to calculate individual shares and maintain transparency at all times.
You can also make a regular repayment covering the entire amount due (depending on your chosen range of services) on the first of each month, contributing to a clear financial and repayment plan that helps to build positive household credit scores.
This type of flexibility and help is crucial in a challenging economic climate, especially when you try to simultaneously cope with the complexities of combining household expenses.
So there you have it; four tips to help you split household bills fairly, proportionately and in a way that won’t trigger endless rows and domestic disputes!
Just remember to maintain an open mind when you start such a process, while communicating with your partner constantly to ensure fair and reasonable outcomes.
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