Merging Marital Finances

Posted by Andrea Haskett on May 16, 2023

Andrea Haskett
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Wedding BannerAs we enter wedding season, let's talk about one of the less fun topics: marital finances. When you get married, one of the major decisions you will need to make is how to handle your finances as a couple. There are several different approaches to merging finances when married, and the right approach for you will depend on your individual circumstances and financial goals.

Common Ways To Manage Marital Finances

One common approach to merging finances when married is to combine all of your financial accounts into a joint account. This can be a simple and convenient way to manage your finances as a couple, as you will have fewer accounts to manage for tasks such as  paying bills, saving for the future, and managing your spending. However, this approach may not work for everyone, especially if one spouse has significantly more assets or debt than the other.

Couple Looking at ComputerAnother option is to maintain separate financial accounts, but to establish a joint budget for shared expenses. This can be a good choice if you want to retain some financial independence, but still want to work together to manage your shared expenses. To do this, you will need to identify your shared expenses, such as housing, groceries, and bills, and create a budget that covers these costs. You can then each contribute to the joint budget based on your individual income and expenses.

A third option is to maintain separate financial accounts and to handle shared expenses using a system of allowances or reimbursements. Under this approach, each spouse has their own financial accounts, but they also establish a system for handling shared expenses. For example, one spouse might pay for the mortgage and utilities, while the other pays for groceries and entertainment. This approach can work well if you have very different financial circumstances or if you prefer to have more control over your individual spending.

Regardless of which approach you choose, it's important to have open and honest communication about your financial goals, expectations, and needs. This can help you avoid misunderstandings and conflicts over money and can help you work together as a team to achieve your financial goals.Couple Budgeting

Important things to keep in mind

I encourage you to review your financial situation regularly. This helps make sure you are on track to meet your goals and to identify any areas where you may need to make adjustments. This can be especially important if your financial circumstances change, such as if one spouse gets a raise or if you have a change in your family size. Communication is key!

Finally, it's important to have a plan in place for handling financial emergencies or unexpected expenses. This could include setting aside money in an emergency fund or having a plan for how to handle large expenses that arise. By having a plan in place, you can be better prepared to handle financial challenges as they arise.

Remember, the right way to handle your finances will depend on what works for your relationship. There is no single approach that works for all. Regardless of which approach you choose, it's important to have open and honest communication, to review your financial situation regularly, and to have a plan in place for handling financial emergencies. Work together as a team to manage your finances and achieve your financial goals as a married couple.


Topics: Budgeting, Financial Education

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