When two people get married, what’s the best way to handle the finances? Keep it separate or make the money pot a little larger? What other financial things should we consider when we get married?
This weekend, Bailey and I attended the wedding of some friends. Cue the bells and sparklers! So I am taking this appropriate opportunity to talk about finances when households are combined.
Bailey and I had to go through this very thing when we got married. Believe it or not, we’ve been married for 3.71781 years already! Full transparency, that’s rounded up to the nearest hundred-thousandth of a year.
Anyways, there are 3 things newlyweds need to focus on shortly after the wedding.
1. Joint Bank Accounts
When you tie the knot, do your finances tie the knot as well? And by that I mean, should you get joint bank accounts? I say absolutely. And here’s why.
One of the number one characteristics of a healthy marriage is trust. When trust doesn’t exist, bitterness can set in and cause issues within the relationship. Combining finances takes one more question of trust out of the marriage equation.
There’s this thing called financial infidelity. It’s where one spouse is being dishonest with the other by keeping something financially a secret. Maybe it’s a debt, maybe some kind of indulgent expense. When finances are combined, everything is transparent. Either spouse can log into the bank and see exactly what the purchases are.
Unfortunately, this isn’t all Dr. Pepper and chocolate milk. Uhhh…we’ll use a more relatable term. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Having joint bank accounts can cause some headache too when one spouse says to the other, “You spent how much on _______??”
Which brings us to our second point that MUST be combined with the first.
2. Budget Together!
You knew I was going to say this, you were just waiting to see which number I put it at. Seriously, this is so important to work as a team on money. When you’re on the same page, there are fewer arguments that arise that are financially focused.
A study conducted by Kansas State University found that money fights were one of the leading causes of divorce in America. Why not get off on the right foot and stay focused on your money together?
3. Life Insurance Beneficiaries
This might not be something you have to worry about just yet if you don’t have life insurance. Which I would recommend if you don’t have it already!
If you do have life insurance, make sure your spouse is your number one beneficiary for it. It just makes it a lot easier for them to access life insurance money if something happens.
Don’t get too large of an insurance policy, though. We don’t want you to have to sleep with one eye open!
I get it, many people don’t like the idea of combining finances in marriage. It certainly throws off what you’re used to with the handling of money.
But I firmly believe that as a couple, it’ll be far easier to accomplish your financial goals with combined finances. It’ll likely lower your spending too because you’ll be accountable to someone.
One other thing, please don’t combine finances until after you’re married!It will save you a whole lot of headache if you break up. You won’t have to deal with separating your money after that.
So let me pass this question onto you: what’s your view of combining finances with your spouse? I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!
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