When two people become one, so must their finances.
When it comes to wedding bells, you’re all ears. When it comes time to think about dollars and dimes, you may wince. Combining accounts is a topic that no couple enjoys talking about, but it’s important that you and your spouse understand each other’s situations. If you’re getting married, deciding what to do, or married and maintain separate accounts, check out the top tips on how to merge your finances.
Start the Conversation
Money can be a complicated subject, particularly in the context of a serious relationship. One common area of tension is whether and when to merge your bank accounts and debt, along with whether to take on shared expenses. Combining finances takes compromise, planning, and potentially uncomfortable conversations, but if you approach it strategically, it can be (almost) painless.
Cover the Basics
Inform each other where your vital financial information is located. Discuss salaries, bonuses, stock options, checking and savings accounts, mortgages, insurance and more. While you’re at it, tell your spouse where important documents are kept.
You can avoid unnecessary arguments and confusion down the road by determining if the bills will fall onto one person’s shoulders, or you’ll both bear the brunt by opening a joint checking account. There’s no right or wrong way to merge your finances – you can combine your money completely or partially. Some couples see this as a great way to simplify things, but it also requires a lot of compromises.
Establish a Joint Account
It can be hard for newlyweds to merge finances, but it’s almost always a good idea to open a joint account. The couple can add a specific amount of funds into the joint account to cover bills such as the car payments, childcare, utilities, mortgage, and more. Having a shared account forces you to have communication and share responsibility.
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