Who hasn’t had awkward conversations about money? You know, those that start with “Where did our savings go?” or the classic “On what did you spend it?”.

We’ve all been there, with different opinions on how to manage our finances, based on our experiences and the financial education we received. But even though it may be somewhat uncomfortable, talking about money is key, especially when sharing expenses with another person.

To make you feel better, let’s begin by telling you that you’re not alone. Here we share several tips on how to maintain a healthy financial relationship, whether it’s with your partner, roommates, or family members!

1. Keep healthy communication about spending habits

Some people are savers by nature, while others prefer to indulge. That’s completely normal, but when sharing expenses, it’s important that both parties are on the same page and reach a happy medium.

To achieve this balance, discuss the following:

  • What expenses are necessary to keep things running (rent or mortgage, water, electricity, telephone, internet, etc.)?
  • What’s the plan in case of reduced hours at work, job loss, a medical emergency or even a hurricane?
  • Besides paying bills and thinking about emergencies, what else do we want to do? This can be as simple as a road trip around the island, traveling a few times a year, or something more long-term like buying an apartment or house.

Keeping an open line of communication regarding our priorities and financial boundaries allows us to avoid misunderstandings.

Platea x Popular Tip: It’s equally important to understand that we all have different needs and not everything can revolve around a single lifestyle.

2. Distribute the key budget

Known as the 50/20/30 rule, it consists of the following:

  • Fixed Costs 50%
  • Optional expenses (miscellaneous) 30%
  • Savings 20%

If you need help putting this rule into practice and understanding how to allocate your expenses efficiently, you can use our interactive budget sheet.

Using the boxes on the sheet, enter the information for each section. Anything that doesn’t apply, just leave it blank.

This budget sheet will help you determine how much you can spend on each item —without falling short— while getting a full picture of your finances.

This can help you:

  • Identify opportunities to reduce costs.
  • Visualize where most of your salary goes.
  • Optimize your savings opportunities.

It will also help you see how, based on individual income, these expenses can be evenly distributed.

Activate your alerts and monitor your balance

When it comes to distributing expenses, another useful tool is the Mi Banco Alerts1 feature. By activating this option, you’ll receive notifications about your balances, payments and transfers, and even purchases made with your Popular debit or credit card.

This will keep you aware of everything that happens in your account while taking care of your finances.

3. Split expenses based on income

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to contribute equally to household expenses. However, in many cases salary differences can be quite marked among people who live together. In this scenario, it’s important to be empathetic towards the other person and be realistic about how much they can contribute.

Ways to deal with this include:

  • Utility bills such as water, electricity, car insurance or cell phone payments can be paid by the person with the lowest income.
  • The person with the highest income can take care of things like rent or mortgage payments, groceries, or monthly school fees.
  • Understand that not all contributions are economic in nature. Household chores, running errands, and taking care of children or pets are also ways to contribute.

Dividing expenses based on each other’s income helps keep things fair and balanced in any relationship. It also helps avoid misunderstandings and is an essential part of making both people feel that they contribute something of value while living under the same roof.

Although simple, these tips can help save your relationship and your wallet. If you’re interested in exploring even more tools, continue browsing our Future Me page and choose all the services that apply to your financial reality.

Start planning your future today!