Historically, finances are one of the top sources of conflict in relationships, new and seasoned alike. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully. You promised ’til death do you part, but do your finances have to? Here are a few things to think about before joining your accounts.
First, understand the whole picture.
Before you look at joining finances, take a look at what’s going on with your money. Understand where you’re at and where you want to elevate your communication with your partner. If your partner does the same – you’re off to a great start!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you have the money talk:
- How much credit card debt do you have, if any?
- Do you have any student loans, auto loans, or a mortgage? Do you pay them regularly?
- What does your spending look like; are you an impulse buyer or a saver through and through?
- Where do you want to be financially in 1, 5, and 10 years?
Understanding those details is good insight into your partnership’s dynamics. You’ll find critical areas to focus on and where you already harmonize.
Next, open up a transparent dialogue with your partner.
Here are a few questions and topics to get a transparent dialog started:
- What will your joint-funds cover?
- What amount will each co-owner contribute to the account?
- Do you want ground rules to establish who will withdraw funds and why?
- How will you communicate with your partner if you need to withdraw funds?
- Discuss each of your histories with money, how was it handled at home, have you had any challenges managing it? Etc.
- How do you and your partners’ spending habits differ? How are they similar?
Are your money-handling styles compatible?
Ever thought about the over-arching theme in your money-handling habits? If you’re looking for the answer, try a quick Money Management Style quiz. Does it surprise you? Personal finance is just that… personal. We all have our habits and techniques – and that’s okay!
Combining finances is a cinch if you both budget every penny. You may have more to work through before you decide your partner’s habits cramp your spending style.
Your first task as a new couple will be to decide what works for both of you, so your two styles can coexist in a way that spurs you toward your shared goals.
How will you divide up the jobs?
Now that you understand and are both comfortable with each other’s histories and styles, it’s time to plan how it’s all going to play out.
Is one of you more inclined to stay on top of bills and creating shopping lists? Is the other a wiz at clipping coupons and deciding on daily budgets?
Have a general idea of how to save, track, and budget your dollars leaves no surprises when the moments for spending arise.
Declutter and combine.
When joining households, most people combine their belongings too. You may find a lot of redundancy in the items you both own. The same goes for joining accounts. Deciding what accounts, rates, or branches you prefer and want to merge toward is entirely up to you. Comparing and contrasting them will help you find what’s right for you.
There is no one “right way” to combine (or not combine) accounts.
What works best for you together should be the top priority – and you’ve got a team of experts here at Altana ready to set you up for success.
You’re a good lookin’ team.
Whether you plan and decide every aspect of your finances upfront or face the challenges as they come, you’re sure to find the flow that’s right for you.
There’s no rush, no formula, and certainly no pressure to stick with the first option if you find it’s not for you. Finances, whether combined or personal, are a work in progress. Armed with a new partner in crime and a team excited for you to begin this new phase of life, anything is possible!