Credit Cards And Relationships
When it comes to marriage and finances, there are generally two schools of thought. Some feel that partners should keep their finances separate, while others believe that resources should be combined. With either approach, credit card usage may be the most difficult challenge facing some couples as they manage their personal finances.
When Couples Join Their Finances
As two people go about integrating the most intimate aspects of their personal lives, it can feel natural for them to manage their finances jointly. Unfortunately, conflicts can arise when people enter into a relationship with different histories of credit card use. When one person has maintained highly responsible habits of credit card use, it can be hard to learn that their partner has not. For example, those who always pay their credit card balances in full will probably never accept the practice of paying credit card interest.
Yet at the same time, these differences can be seen as an opportunity for one person to grow from the experiences of another. By jointly managing their credit card usage, and controlling their debt, couples can reduce the interest they pay each month while increasing their savings. Finally, when couples join their finances and pay their credit card balances in full and on time, it will make sense to leverage the relationship to make the most of their credit card choices. For instance, both partners can apply for the same sign up bonuses or each person can hold a portfolio of cards that compliments each others.
When Couples Manage Finances Separately
Despite some of the advantages of jointly managing their finances, many couples prefer to keep their accounts separate. This too carries its own risks. Some people struggle to pay their bills on time, and may hide this fact from their spouse. As time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to disclose debt from their partner. At one time, there was always the possibility that one person would open the mail of the other and discover the secret. But today, many cardholders only receive their statements electronically, making it even easier to conceal debt from their spouse. Nevertheless, honesty and openness is key to any sustainable relationship.
Regardless of which financial strategy a couple chooses, it is important to work together to best manage each other’s credit card use. By learning from their partner’s successes and failures, couples can work together to manage their credit cards responsibly, even if they choose to hold separate accounts.