Dating may be expensive, but having a partner may actually save you money and make you more financially responsible along the way. So, whether you’re early in your relationship, moving in with your partner, or enjoying married life, here are some ways a relationship can help you with your finances.
1. YOU CAN SPLIT EXPENSES BOTH BIG AND SMALL.
This is an obvious one, but it’s also the most beneficial. If you’re moving in with your significant other, big items like rent and other recurring bills—such as internet and cable—can be shared, helping both of you save big each month. Even if you and your partner move into a new place together, the price can still be cheaper than an apartment you were living in alone.
Those are the big, notable expenses, but there are plenty of smaller ones along the way that you might not even be thinking of. All of those streaming video and music services you have? Those can be cut in half, leading to savings that can really add up by the end of the year. New purchases like electronics, furniture, and appliances can also be shared. And with two people looking out for the best deal at all times, chances are you’ll be able to spot lower prices, too.
2. YOU CAN SAVE MORE.
It’s fun to think that any extra money you save by splitting bills can be used on a relaxing vacation or the 4K television you had your eye on, but if you play your cards right, it can be a huge benefit to your savings account, too. Whether it’s a rainy-day fund or a retirement account, think of the leftover money from shared expenses as an investment in your future. Discussing financial goals with your partner is key, and it can be easier to put away money for the future when it feels like a team effort.
3. YOU CAN LOWER YOUR DATE COSTS OVER TIME.
Studies have shown that the average single American spends around $1596 a year in the dating scene, including meals, movies, new clothes, and other expenses. Couples who live together might not have date nights as frequently, and if you do, you can always work out a system to alternate who picks up the tab in order to save a little money. Or, you can go a step further by having more dates at home, complete with a movie and a homemade meal.
4. MARRIAGE CAN SAVE YOU MONEY.
Marriage has a number of potential financial advantages over the single life. Depending on your income situation, you may be able to save money on a joint tax return at the end of the year, and family plans for health and car insurance often offer a discount when compared to the same coverage for single people. And if your spouse’s employee health plan has advantages over your own, it might be possible to get on theirs for better coverage at lower prices.
There are also other legal advantages of marriage, such as being able to enjoy up to 50 percent of your spouse’s social security benefits if certain conditions are met. These might not sound like exciting perks when you’re in your 20s or 30s, but they’ll be appreciated in the long run.
5. YOU CAN BE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS.
This is one of the underappreciated financial benefits of being in a relationship. When you’re living with your partner, you have someone with you to always keep you in check when it comes to money. You can lean on each other to be more financially responsible, and your partner can be a voice of reason when thinking about an unnecessary purchase.
It may seem easier to make more impulsive purchases when you’re living alone, especially when no one is there to dissuade you from buying that new expensive gadget or accessory that you don’t really need. But when you’re sharing expenses—or a bank account—with another person, there may be more accountability for every dollar spent. Think of it as a way to learn about finances together as you both work toward common financial goals.