Many things become shared when you tie the knot – a home, holidays, and the remote control. What many people may not think strongly enough about – shared finances – can often become the white elephant in the room if a couple isn’t careful. Sharing a credit card, and finances in general, can be a wonderful thing when you are married, but it can also lead to disagreements and tension in your home.
Usually good communication and responsible behavior can lead to a successful financial partnership. Not all shared credit card experiences will be the same from one couple to the next. As long as you and your spouse are on the same page with your expectations and goals for your joint credit card account, things should go well for you. Consider these tips on sharing a credit card with your spouse.
Stay in constant communication. Don’t just use your credit card frivolously. Surprises with credit card use often are not the good kind of surprises we like to see. Talk to your spouse about your spending and your financial goals.
Set a maximum limit for monthly spending. This way you won’t have a big surprise at the end of the billing cycle when your statement comes due. Decide how much you can each spend separately, and plan to have a discussion anytime it looks like your balance is going to go over what you decided.â¨
Set a major purchase amount. Decide what the highest purchase price should be before you are both required to have a discussion about it. For example, if your monthly credit limit is $1000 and you want to buy a flat screen television that comes in at $999, you will definitely want to speak with your spouse about this purchase before making it!
Know your balance before you go spending more money. If you need to go buy things for the house, groceries, or even new clothes, gifts, or something else entirely, it helps to know how much you have already spent this month and what you have remaining on your monthly limit. Be sure to check your spending carefully on a regular basis to stick to your joint credit card goals.
Designate one of you to be in charge of paying the bill all the time. It keeps things less confusing if one person in a marriage is responsible for handling the bills. Usually the most responsible person, or the person with the best punctuality, can be the most successful bill payer.
Sharing a credit card with your spouse has both benefits and pitfalls. It can help one person gain a better credit score. It can also help to unify your lives. Sharing a credit card can also lead to major disagreements and arguments when things arenât going well. You can prevent arguments about your finances by practicing smart behavior when borrowing and paying back money and especially when using a joint credit card.
Finances may not be romantic, but smart financial behavior can lead to a stronger bond in marriage. Be smart about your spending and saving to keep a happy, even keep financial outlook in your relationship.