“Money is an opportunity to reach unity in marriage. When couples work together, they can do anything.” -Dave Ramsey
There’s really no ideal way for couples to merge their finances together once they’ve said “I do.” However, to avoid future financial communication issues, it’s important to have a conversation about how you both plan to handle money going forward.
There are several different ways to manage your finances as a couple, and that arrangement will be determined by several different factors. This includes lifestyle, religion, sources of income, etc. How you, as a couple, chose to handle your finances is totally up to you! The most important part of that decision is that you both are on the same page.
Here are a few types of arrangements you can have:
- Joint accounts – everything is managed out of an account you both have access to.
- Separate accounts – each spouse has their own account. Bills and other expenses are split down the middle.
- Joint & separate accounts – one joint account for bills, and separate accounts for spending.
As I mentioned, the way you as a couple manage your finances is completely up to you; there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. However, when trying to decide what works well for your household, you’ll want to consider these four things:
Personality differences – Opposites attract, right? Of course, that’s what makes relationships so unique! What many people don’t realize is that the difference (or alikeness) in your personalities is a major deciding factor when it comes to how well you may work together with your finances.
Spending habits – Is your spouse a shopaholic while you put the ‘fru’ in frugal (extremely corny, but you get my point). It’s important to know each of your spending habits to help determine what you can and cannot put up with. Having a joint account for bills, and separate accounts for spending may work well for you because you’ll know the money being spent is after the necessities have been paid. Be honest and realistic about each other’s habits.
Financial goals – This is a really important factor to consider when trying to decide how to manage your finances as a couple. You have to be on the same page about where you both want to be financially and why. Once that’s determined, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what you’re both striving to achieve, and adjust your account management to fit that purpose.
Lifestyle – Are you a busy couple or family that’s always on the go? Does either one of you travel frequently for work? Are you a military family where one spouse deploys or TDY’s often? These are just a few examples of the different types of lifestyles that can impact the way you spend money together. It also helps determine the best method for managing your finances as a couple.
How do you and your spouse manage your finances? Have you had to switch it up after a few trials and errors? Let me know in the comments!