7 Holiday Budgeting Tips for Couples<br />

Couples who budget together stay together

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will quickly tire of having you go along on holiday shopping ventures.

6. Agree on financial fidelity

Either one of you can blow your holiday budget if you keep financial secrets. Surprisingly though, many people keep money secrets from their spouses or significant others.

If you’re shopping on the sly, buying clothes, shoes or other goods and hiding them from your partner, you may think you’re avoiding an argument. In reality, you’re being financially unfaithful and are building up a wall of secrecy that prevents open and honest communication.

Even worse, if your mate finds out you’ve been keeping secret bank accounts, spending without his or her knowledge, or making other financial moves in secret, he or she may resent you and wonder what other secrets you’re keeping.

7. Realize that separate accounts are OK

It’s perfectly fine to have separate checking or savings accounts even when you’re in a committed relationship. In fact, separate accounts (again, one that your partner knows about; not a “secret” account”) can be healthy and beneficial for both parties in several ways.

Having your own checking account helps you learn to balance a checkbook and manage cash flow. It also reduces arguments about money, because it gives each individual a greater sense of financial autonomy. And finally, a separate account can be a nice way for the more fiscally “responsible” party in a relationship to demonstrate or model “good” financial behaviors to the other person.

After all, if you’re the saver or planner in a relationship, and your mate is always spending and constantly broke, it’s possible that your good habits might rub off on your honey, particularly if they see your separate account is never overdrawn or down to its last dollar—even if it is the holiday season.

Many couples that achieve financial harmony ultimately find that it’s best to have both separate accounts and a joint account as a way to most effectively manage their budgets.  

And when you’re on the same financial page as your mate, money differences start to fade into the background—giving you both greater happiness and togetherness during the holidays and all year-round.

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox is a personal finance expert and co-founder of the free financial advice site, AskTheMoneyCoach.com. Follow Lynnette on Twitter @themoneycoach and Google Plus.