I just don’t get why more married couples aren’t merging their finances.
A growing number of people are set on “my” money and “his” money and then “our” money. These same folks have “his” and “her” bills to pay.
I get that marriages don’t always last. I get that it is important to protect the assets that you bring to a marriage.
But it seems like if you’re in this marriage for life, then shouldn’t you be a team when it comes to your finances?
My husband and I lived together before we got married, but it wasn’t until after we tied the knot that we linked our finances. While we were living together, I bought a house, in my name, that I could afford on my income. We paid our own expenses, and he paid part of the house payment. This makes sense when you’re in a situation that is not legally binding.
But soon after we got married, we merged our finances. We did this because we wanted to be a team. We felt that our individual debts were now both of ours, that our individual savings now belonged to both of us.
We also merged our finances because it is just plain simpler to manage our money.
I’ve watched friends struggle with their married finances. One spouse will be the chief breadwinner, easily paying her share of the bills, while another struggles to find work, and ends up working several menial jobs just to pay “his share” of the bills. It’s a miserable way to approach life as newlyweds.
It’s not easy to merge finances, but it can be done. Here are some tips:
Talk. Talk. And talk some more. Share all of your debts, income, and savings with your spouse.
Plan. Set up a budget, and set some goals. The more you can develop a shared vision for your money, the stronger your marriage (and finances) will be.
Set allowances. Make sure you and your spouse each have an allowance to spend on anything you want, no questions asked. It helps you feel some autonomy even as a team.
Review. Budgets aren’t just a set and forget kind of thing. Income levels change, career goals change, children are born. Keep those lines of communication open as you encounter life changes.
Do you have “his” and “her” finances? Why or why not? If you’ve merged your finances, how did you do it?