We’ve interviewed many experts who agree that it’s important to talk money with your partner. One of the top sources of stress in a marriage is money so taking the time to focus on this before marriage can strengthen your financial partnership with your spouse. Getting married means sharing your money with your spouse. And when you’re used to managing your own money, even the thought of sharing it with someone else can be confusing, stressful — even scary. Banking with your spouse doesn’t have to mean entering into a world of conflict. Power couples bank together in a way that allows them independence while operating as a team.
Before you start combining money, it’s lay all your cards on the table. Shannon McLay, founder of The Financial Gym, calls this “getting financially naked” with one another. Talking money is personal and getting to this level with a partner is intimate. Everyone is bringing baggage to the table. It can be stressful and uncomfortable but ultimately helps better align your goals as a couple. What do you want to save for? Where do we see this money going in our future?
Bank Accounts with Benefits? Don’t be afraid to start small! Some couples who are living together, engaged or married consider setting up an “ours” bucket for finances. This could be a shared account or shared credit card. Determine how much each is contributing and set up a monthly transfer to the account.
This works really well when the individuals want to maintain independence while still easily managing shared expenses. It helps the couple to manage the shared budget for things like rent, household items, eating out together, etc. And most importantly, it keeps pre-marital money separate for things like student debt, if one partner isn’t prepared to take that on just yet.
We love talking about money and relationships! Check out our episodes on aligning financial goals with Lindsay Bryan Podvin.