When you marry, you’re choosing to merge two independent lives together; this can include many aspects such as kids, homes, and finances. All of these areas require careful merging and handling in your new marriage so that they can grow and thrive – especially your finances.
Merging finances with your spouse is an important step and can be tricky, but if the right steps are taken it can be beneficial to you both and the life you’re building as a couple. For help, below are some tips for joining finances after marriage that you may find handy.
Lay Everything Out on the Table
When you’re discussing your finances with your new spouse, it’s important to give them details on every aspect of your money situation. Be sure to include the following amounts and information when meeting with your partner:
- Monthly bills you are responsible for
- How much debt you have currently
- The amount of income you plan on contributing regularly to your family
- Any savings you have set aside
- Credit score or history problems you have that may impact goals you have together as a couple
When you don’t give all information to your spouse on the aspects above, it can cause tension or strain in your marriage at a later date, leading to other problems. Because your finances are now going to directly influence both of you, it’s important that your spouse has the whole picture so you can both make a plan together.
Merge Your Checking and Savings Accounts
There are always exceptions to this rule, but generally it makes sense for married couples to merge their checking accounts and savings accounts together. When you married, you joined your families, responsibilities, and lives together; therefore, it makes sense for your financial means and assets to also be compiled together so it can benefit the entire family’s spending and saving needs.
Compile a Plan and Make Goals Together
Now that you’re merging your finances together, it’s important that you also set common financial goals as a couple and outline a plan for you both to follow. It’s difficult to accomplish financial goals in a marriage if you aren’t working towards the same thing. By setting goals together, you both can agree on what’s important in your lives; and by outlining a plan, you can establish what takes priority.
Be Transparent and Accountable
Throughout your marriage, it’s important to be up front and honest with your spouse on your spending habits, financial responsibilities, and any issues you may be having; by doing so, it gives you and your partner the ability to make adjustments as needed based on real numbers and figures.
Accountability is also important, meaning you take responsibility for your spending as an individual and allow for change when needed. Similarly, this does not mean placing blame on your partner when there is a problem or them blaming you; you should tackle any problems that arise as a team.
Regular communication in your finances is essential to healthy money growth and budget maintenance. Many couples will admittedly avoid discussing money as much as possible as the conversation can be uncomfortable or boring, but this can cause further issue. The reason communication failure on your finances can cause issues is the fact that every spending decision you make will ultimately affect your family and your spouse; clear, concise, and regular communication allows your partner to be involved in your decisions so you both can make changes if necessary.
Remember, financial communication doesn’t need to be dreaded or boring. Make light of it by turning on some music you both enjoy, perhaps share a drink or two or discuss over a nice meal, and don’t take it personally.