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When it comes to relationships, more money doesn’t have to lead to more problems. Just ask Vivian To, the self-made millionaire and founder YourRichBFF.
Tu and her partner have been together for six years and have never quarreled over money, she told CNBC Make It.
“We probably get into one serious fight a year, and it’s never been about money,” she says.
Some strategies help them avoid arguments. First, discuss finances ahead of time. “After a month of our relationship, we put everything on the table,” she says. “We said, ‘How much do you get paid? Show me your salary receipt.'”
Tu says this helped them determine whether or not they share common values about money and whether their financial priorities align.
As the relationship progressed, the now engaged couple began to use the “yours, me and ours” system.
With this approach, Tou and her fiancé each have their own separate bank accounts, as well as a joint account in which they both deposit. She says they use the joint account to pay for their joint expenses, such as utility bills, mortgage payments, and groceries.
Since they know they set aside the money to cover their household needs first, neither person feels the need to monitor how the other spends the rest of their money.
“I have an account with money in it, and I use it for things like going to get my eyelashes done or when I go out to dinner with my girlfriends. He has his own bank account that he uses when he has to pay greens fees to go play golf or get a haircut,” To says. None of us have a problem with that.”
When you get 50/50 in everything, I think it leads to an unhealthy mindset.
Self-made millionaire and founder of YourRichBFF
Tu and her fiancé prefer this system to dividing expenses equally. “When you get 50/50 in everything, I think it leads to an unhealthy mindset,” she says. “You’re not always going to get a perfect 50.”
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t split expenses at all, Tu says. You shouldn’t “nickel and dime” to each other.
“When I go to Venmo and see other couples competing with each other for light bulbs, I say, ‘Light bulbs cost $8.’ And she says, ‘You don’t need your $4 Venmo for light bulbs.'” That’s too much.”
At least once a month, Tu and her partner order a pizza and sit down together Discuss their expenses, investments and family costs. Once done, they watch a movie. Turning the budget into a fun nighttime activity makes it feel like a chore, she says.
“Not only are you able to make it more romantic and fun, but you also make sure that you really deal with your finances every month,” she says.
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