Grow Your Wealth

Couples & Money: Joint Finances

For couples, joining finances is a big step. It can seem daunting, but Cleo’s here to help you with some top tips on how to approach shared financial responsibilities in a way that sets you up for the future.

Couples & Money: Joint Finances

After thousands of swipes left and right, too many icks to count and enough red flags to fill a football stadium, you’ve finally found someone special. Things are so good, you’ve even moved in together 🫶

But whether that happened a while ago, or it’s a brand new thing, at some point you’re going to have to have the difficult discussion that comes with handling shared finances 😬 If you’re nervous, don’t worry. For a lot of people, talking about money with their partner is one of the hardest conversations to have, but we’re going to simplify it for you.

When it comes to money, everyone has baggage and trauma to deal with. But just like other important aspects of a relationship like alignment on career goals, family plans and sex, building a strong, responsible financial partnership is a key pillar for long term ✨couple goals✨

Not sure where to start? Cleo’s here to help, and in this blog we’re going to be running through a range of insights and tips on joint finances management, to make sure you’re both ready to build a strong financial future for yourselves.

What does joint finances management look like?

Let’s make this clear first. There 👏 is 👏 no 👏 right 👏 way👏  to 👏  share 👏financial 👏 responsibilities 👏

Some couples like to keep their finances separate apart from a single joint account to pay for shared expenses like rent or groceries. Others have a single shared account where all their money is pooled together for everything. 

Some have no shared account at all, but each takes individual responsibility for different parts of their shared finances. For example, one person might pay rent while the other one pays for bills and groceries.

Others have a sugar momma or daddy situation going on, and Cleo’s not here to judge that either 💁‍♀️

The most important thing about sharing finances is that it works for you and your relationship. Next, we’re going to give you a list of tips on how you can organize your finances jointly, but if any of them feel wrong to you, then throw them out and come up with an alternative that better suits your lifestyle.

Basically, you do you 💅 

6 top tips for building a responsible financial partnership     

Need a starting point? Cleo’s not going to leave you hanging. Here are our six top tips for handling shared finances.

1. Have open conversations

Honestly, if you can only take one tip away from this article then it’s this one. So many problems in relationships come from poor communication. When you’re both on the same page about where you are now with your finances and where you want to get to, you’re on the same team when problems arise.

But secrecy or lack of transparency, whether it’s from guilt or shame or embarrassment or something else entirely, is where problems start. It can lead to issues with trust, and can turn minor money problems into big ones 😬

Got debts? Be open about them. Side hustle failing? Tell your partner. Worried about your job? Talk about it before you get the Zoom call from HR.

2. Create your own framework

Those conversations should create some understanding on what’s important to each of you about money, and this should help you decide how best to split your finances on a day to day basis.

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourselves to decide how that will look for you:

  • Are you joining finances or splitting finances? That is, are you moving in together and just sharing the costs, or are you joining forces to start building and saving together for the long term?
  • If you’re splitting things, are you going 50/50 or will you pay based on how much you earn? For example, by both paying a percentage of your income meaning the higher earner contributes more.
  • Are there individual costs which will be excluded from the plan? Some common scenarios are a pet or a kid from before you got together 🐶👶

From there, you can get down to the nitty gritty numbers of how much you’re each going to pay or what you’re each going to pay for. Then it should be fairly straightforward to work out whether you need a joint account, and if so, what’s going to go into it each month.

3. Identify long term goals

A big part of that communication is thinking ✨long term✨ Yes, your idea of an investment right now might be the two avocados you have in the fridge, but actual long term financial plans are super important for couples to think about.

If one of you has a retirement plan that involves a cabin off the grid, and the other wants a New York City penthouse, it’s fair to say this is a money matter that’s going to cause some heads to butt at some point in the future 🙃 

Better to get it out there now, so that you can both agree on what long term looks like, and start to work towards it together 💜

4. Systemize

With a long term plan in place, you need to actually stick to it. The best way to do this is to automate it as much as possible. Check out Cleo’s save feature to help you do some mindless savings. 

This means you’re working towards your long term savings goals, without having to rely on ✨willpower✨ to make it happen.

5. Keep it flexible

At the same time, it’s important to be flexible. When you setup a plan in your 20’s, the likelihood of it staying exactly the same until you retire 40 years late (or maybe 60 - thanks Boomers 🤡) 

You’ll get unexpected challenges thrown at you and unexpected wins. Whenever they happen, you need to be able to discuss them together and be prepared to adjust your financial plan. As long as you communicate, a bump in the road doesn’t have to mean a total car crash. 

6. Maintain some independence

Even if you decide to go all in on shared finances, pooling everything into a joint account, we’d suggest making sure you always maintain some level of financial independence. 

This isn’t about having a secret stash, you should discuss this with your partner, but it’s important for both of you to feel some control over your own money. 

Little things like not having to try and hide the purchase of a birthday present, or justify why you’re back at Target again (although a little scrutiny there might not be the worst thing 😬) is important for your mental health, as well as providing you with a safety net if things don’t work out as planned.  

Cleo - your personal financial therapist

If you feel like you need a little more of a helping hand with running your household budget, Cleo’s got your back. With her AI-powered savings tools, she can help you reach your financial goals.

Need a little financial pep talk? Type ‘Roast me’ in the chat and Cleo will give it to you straight - but be warned, she’s not gentle 😈 Prefer a bit of a gentler approach? Type ‘Hype me’ instead and get some positive affirmations.

Whatever your savings needs, Cleo’s here to help, and you can download the app for free.


(From yourself...) This might be what finally gets you to stop spending your savings.

Build your f*ck it fund
Still have questions? Find answers below.
Written by

Read more

signing up takes
2 minutes

QR code to download cleo app
Talking to Cleo and seeing a breakdown of your money.