A Couples Guide to Merging Finances

Posted: August 1, 2019

A couple sits at the table in their home as they look over guides on merging their accounts.

Congratulations! Marrying someone is one of those big life moments that, although rewarding, can come with many large adjustments in your financial life. We’ve put together a quick guide on seamlessly merging your financial habits, so you and your spouse can happily say “I do” to your new financial life together.

Have an honest conversation about money

If you’ve already tied the knot, there is a good chance you have already had this conversation with your spouse. However, there are some automatic payments that may have been forgotten or a personal loan that may not have been mentioned along the way. Sit down with each other and go over all of your financial statements. This way, you will both know where your money is going each month. If you’re still paying down a student or auto loan, let your spouse know what your monthly payments are, how much you still owe on your loans and what your debt repayment plan is. It’s important to fully disclose your financial matters with your spouse so there are no surprises when it comes time for a credit check or when the bills are due.

Create a budget

If you and your spouse haven’t done so already, creating a budget together is essential for your financial well-being. It shows you where your money goes and anticipates how much money you have left to spend or save at the end of the month. Whether you’re using a spreadsheet, a white board or a cool app that crunches the numbers for you, creating and sticking to your budget helps you build a strong foundation for your financial future.

Come up with a plan for how you’ll handle your finances

Your parents and grandparents probably had joint accounts, and maybe that’s what you and your spouse will do as well. If that works for you, go for it. Joint accounts are a great way to work toward your financial goals while also keeping your budget on track. However, you shouldn’t feel strapped to a joint account. If you’ve been living together for awhile and feel you both operate better with separate accounts, that’s perfectly fine. What’s important is that you’re using a money system that works for both of you, keeps you on track to reach your financial goals and that you’re being honest with each other about how you’re handling your money.

Set financial goals

Speaking of goals, lay out some financial targets you want to achieve together. Maybe you want to be debt free a year from now, move into a different home or have an emergency fund built up. Go over your goals together and come up with a plan to achieve them.

Decide who takes care of what

Once you’ve laid out your budget and financial goals, go over how you’ll jointly handle your money. Maybe one of you is better at keeping track of day-to-day expenses while the other is better with long-term investments and debt repayment. Delegate who will handle what based on your strengths so the water bill or payment to a retirement account doesn’t slip through the cracks.

Check in with each other

There are some couples who will schedule monthly or even weekly meetings with each other to discuss their finances. This is a great opportunity for you both to see if you’re meeting your budget, on track toward your financial goals and to address any financial issues and make sure neither of you are feeling stressed over your finances. This is also a chance for you to celebrate any recent financial success. If one of you got a raise at work or you made your final payment on a loan, use this as a time to celebrate your accomplishments.

It's incredibly exciting starting the next chapter of your life with someone. As you grow together, you get to partake in new experiences as well as new challenges. With our quick guide, you can be on your way to creating a happy union between you, your partner and your finances.

Ready to open an account together? We offer checking accounts where you either earn points on purchases or are paid monthly dividends.