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Relationships and Money: How to balance individual spending and future plans?

Maintaining the couple's financial health is critical to a good relationship.

Couples living together share not only their future plans and their home, but also a host of responsibilities, commitments, and bills! The decision on how the household budget will be managed and divided depends on each couple, but one thing goes for everyone: sometimes not everyone shares with their partner all the individual expenses made over the course of a month, for example. 

And who shares the expenses of living together knows how it is. We don't always count on buying a new shoe here, a video game launch there ...

And there is nothing wrong with fulfilling small personal wishes. However, transparency and organization are demonstrations of caring not only for each other but for your future and the one you love. 

We at MetLife believe individuality is a very important factor for a good relationship, as is maintaining a couple's financial health. So, here are some tips for learning how to better balance these two factors. Check out!

Set aside a portion of the budget for individual spend

Living together does not mean losing financial independence, but your partner may be upset if he finds that the expensive watch you bought cost just the amount they agreed to save each month to change the car, for example. 

To avoid such misunderstandings, it is critical not only sincerity but planning and organization. Make a spreadsheet of all fixed expenses - including investments for short- and long-term goals - and set a value for individual spending and extra purchases according to what's left over. 

That way you can blame it on that little gift for yourself when you feel like it. This will avoid frustrations and many misunderstandings.

Talk about finances

The tip seems obvious, but the subject is still taboo for many couples. Some choose not to tell their partner how much they earn. According to financial advisory experts, this is not a good option.

In the opinion of experts, for joint financial planning to work, it is critical to share numbers (how much you earn, how much you spend, how much you owe), goals, and priorities.

The couple who act transparently find it easier to overcome a bad financial moment, as one feels comfortable suggesting solutions to the other. So put the cards on the table

Define the responsibilities of each

If in a business things work better when each one has specific functions, why wouldn't logic work for a home? With that in mind, how about determining who pays what based on their income? Thus you establish a fair division of expenses and avoid hurt and misunderstanding.

As life is not just paying bills, set your common projects as well. What do you intend to invest in? How do you plan retirement? How much do you need to gather each month to make that dream trip? 

With dialogue, you no longer have to lie when deciding to buy a shoe, even if it's expensive. When it is inevitable to give in to an impulse, explain to the other why that purchase was important to you and make it clear that the spending did not compromise the plans they made together, let alone the home budget.

MetLife understands that planning for the future is critical, so it is always looking to offer insurance plans for the most diverse profiles and lifestyles. Meet and rate the hiring!