Maintaining a healthy relationship is no easy task. In addition to spending time and effort on building and keeping a strong connection with your partner, spending money on the relationship is necessary as well.
This means that having a healthy relationship can impact your wallet more than you might think. Relationships can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to risk destitution to be happy with your significant other. Planning ahead and budgeting accordingly can allow partners in a relationship to spend money while avoiding financial strain.
Here are 5 ways to budget for a healthy relationship.
It often comes as a surprise for people how quickly day-to-day activities with a partner can add up and get pricey. It’s important to budget for everything, even for things that might not seem significant – like your day-to-day expenses. This includes budgeting for groceries, date nights, bills, and hobbies you like to do together.
It’s important for couples to figure out their priorities with respect to these types of expenses, especially since money squabbles account for most of the friction in 35% of couples. For instance, if either or both partners in the relationship have a hobby that the other does not, it’s important to discuss exactly how much of the budget goes to that hobby. This minimizes the chance for misunderstandings and hurt feelings over unexpected expenditures that might benefit one partner more than the other.
By coming to an understanding with your partner regarding day-to-day expenses, you can be assured that you’re budgeting for a healthy relationship.
Special Occasion Expenses
There are also certain special occasions that come up in any long-term relationship that you’ll need to budget for in order to avoid stress and arguments.
For instance, if the relationship goes especially well, it’s important to budget properly for a wedding to keep the focus on the big day and not your empty bank account. The average American wedding costs over $30,000 – a significant chunk of change for the average couple. Luckily, there are a few different options to make sure that your relationship doesn’t undergo stress related to funding a wedding.
Consider putting away money into a high-interest savings account by cutting some of your expenses in other areas or even getting a second job to fund your wedding. You will thank yourselves later when you aren’t fighting about whether or not you can afford to invite Aunt Mildred.
Living expenses are another unfortunate reality for couples. Whether it’s buying a home together or just renting an apartment, you’ll need to carve out the room in your budget to handle rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and other housing-related expenses.
When setting up a housing budget if you’re living with your partner, it’s important to consider each partner’s income. If one of you is making $95,000 a year and the other is making $45,000, splitting rent and utilities down the middle can generate resentment in the lower-paid person. Considering that the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a city like Seattle is $1,412, it can deeply affect their ability to spend on other necessities. A common recommendation is that each person in the relationship contributes an equal percentage of their income to housing.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your credit so that it’s easier to find a mortgage together once you want one. In fact, according to CreditRepair.com, the housing market may actually improve if more consumers improve their credit.
Future Relationship Events
There are also some unexpected events that can come up in a relationship that can strain both the partnership and your budget.
Having kids, for example, is one such expense that sometimes crops up unexpectedly. If you two have a child together, having some money saved to dedicate to your kid will relieve a lot of stress, especially when you need a cleaner. And believe us – having kids can be extremely stressful on a relationship already. Make sure that you both are in agreement about having children and have a plan in place, just in case – especially considering that the average cost of childbirth in the United States is between $18,329 and $27,866.
This way, you can immediately get a second job, change careers, or find other ways to make enough money to raise a happy child in a happy relationship without having to fight about it in the moment.
Rainy Day Fund
Finally, having money saved back in case of emergencies can make or break your relationship. If one of you loses a job, gets ill or injured, or has another unexpected emergency, it’ll be important to have a rainy day fund to draw on to relieve some stress off of your partnership.
The average cost of an emergency room visit in the United States is $1,233, so making sure you have money saved in case of disaster is imperative to maintain both of your safety and happiness.
Making sure you budget for a healthy relationship will help ensure your happiness with your partner for years to come. If you take it into account now, you’ll thank yourselves for it later.
What are some other common expenses you’ve noticed cropping up in your relationships?