Co-managing money with your significant other can be one of the most stressful parts of a relationship. You may want to take a budget-friendly vacation while your partner wants to splurge. Or maybe you want to go out for dinner, but your partner wants to live on rice and beans so you can pay off some debt. Let’s face it: Disagreeing on these types of issues can lead to a lot of unrest.
In fact, not being able to see eye-to-eye on money management can cause more than the occasional riff with your partner. It can lead to resentment, lying about spending and even personal attacks — all of which do nothing for your budget or your relationship.
It should probably come as no surprise that fighting about money is the top predictor of a doomed relationship. Studies have found that the frequency and intensity of money fights are directly correlated with higher divorce rates, so getting on the same page about your finances is critical for a happy, healthy relationship.
Luckily, technology can help the two of you manage your finances in harmony. Here are some of the best apps to improve financial responsibility so that you decrease the fights — and maybe even increase the romance, too.
After seeing that many couples were using spreadsheets to manage their household finances, Honeydue founders Eugene Park and Thien Tran saw an opportunity to build something better for co-managing money.
Honeydue helps couples track shared bills, look at their accounts in one place, comment on transactions and build big-picture goals. A key feature is the ability for couples to decide how much information they share with their significant others. This helps them stay focused on their goals and not get caught in the weeds, arguing over the small stuff.
It seems almost impossible to remember everything you need when you’re grocery shopping. And trying to keep track of — and share — all of a household’s needs can be super frustrating.
It can also wreck your budget: Studies show that when you shop without a list, you can end up spending a lot more on items you don’t really need.
Grocery can eliminate some of this shopping frustration by allowing all the users under one roof to sync and view a single list of things needed. Now, instead of looking for a pen and paper so that I can write down that we’re running low on toothpaste, I can simply jot it down in the app, and my husband can grab the item when he’s at the store.
As someone who has long been a fan of the envelope system for saving money, this is the app I have been waiting my whole marriage for. Better Haves takes the concept of the envelope system and puts it into a synced app so couples can see how much they have to share in each spending category.
Better Haves lets you view your combined finances at a glance, telling you how much money you have left overall as well as in each individual “envelope.” You can also use shared envelopes for some categories (like groceries) and individual envelopes for “fun” personal spending.
While not a purely financial app, Any.do can really take the pressure off managing bills and spending-related tasks between couples. The app’s simple, no-nonsense design makes it easy to add and view all “tasks” that need to be done and sync them across your household. There are separate sections for things that need to be done today, tomorrow, upcoming or someday. Once you add your significant other to a task, push notifications can keep both of you in the loop, including letting you know when a task has been completed. This app makes completing chores quick and easy, and — best of all — there’s no nagging.