Who remembers that old Nigerian song, "Love without money no dey work"?

Well, if you don't, best believe that the lady who sang that tune was and is still very correct. Relationships need a lot of love and understanding to work, but money also plays a key role in the grand scheme of things.

It takes a high level of maturity for a couple to decide to shoulder their financial responsibilities together, especially if they've already moved in with each other. However, there needs to be some sort of rules or guidelines in order to ensure accountability and avoid unnecessary arguments over cash flow and spending.

Below are a few tips to keep in mind if you are in this sort of relationship and you don't want to have to fight with your partner over money matters.

1. Create a budget

Having a weekly or monthly budget helps you to plan properly for all your individual or joint financial needs. Both of you should create your individual budgets based on your priorities, and then compare both lists to help you cut out whatever isn't important enough that can be carried over to the next month. Have a fixed amount which you mustn’t exceed each month. This helps to curb unnecessary and frivolous spending.

2. Share bill payments

As long as both of you are gainfully employed or have a business that generates a regular income, each of you should be actively involved in paying the bills incurred together as a couple or family. Except one party opts to handle this alone, paying utility bills, rent or even groceries bills should be shared equally or based on an agreed percentage. This makes such financial commitments easier to handle.

3. Sort out loans on the go

If either or both of you happen to be paying back a loan, it's important to work this into your monthly budget. By doing so, you are able to offset the loan quicker and avoid incurring additional interests on it, which would of course make it even more difficult to pay back.

4. Save for the rainy day

Cultivate the habit of setting aside a certain amount of money from your income as often as possible. Your savings is your cushion when unforeseen or unexpected financial challenges arise. It doesn't matter how little you earn, never spend all of your money. Always remember to set aside some cash for later.

5. Treat yourselves

As much as you are both trying to be financially responsible people, you also need to realise that every now and then, you may feel the need to splurge on something as a treat to yourself or your partner. Allow yourselves a little leeway in the midst of all the budgeting and saving. As Nigerians will say, "body no be firewood". Every once in a while, reward yourselves with a little treat because you actually deserve it.

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