Participating in Household Financial Planning

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What to do when your significant other doesn’t participate in the household planning

It is still very common to find that only one person in a relationship handles all the finances. We think that younger generations keep separate accounts and pay for expenses separately, but I have seen that once people live together for a while, it shifts back to one person handling everything.

Is this right or wrong, fair? Well that’s a hard question to answer. One person may have the time to handle more or think they can do it better. But the fact is, both people need to be vested in what is happening with the household income and expenses. Sure one person can physically pay the bills in order to not duplicate payments or miss a payment, etc. However, when only one person is in charge of everything there are potential dangers:

The dangers of one person handling everything:

Anger or resentment by the one handling

The non participant spends more than available

The goals of the one handling are put above others’ goals

Fosters a lack of communication about what is important to the family, both in the short term and long term

The non participant doesn’t get that managing all the finances is work

The non participant loses sight of what things really cost

Going through the financial planning process can greatly aid in bringing couples back on the right path to their goals. It can help the non participant understand the budget and also help the one that handles everything be able to share the responsibility or talk with the other in a positive and open manner.