Marriage and Money: Together, Separate, or Somewhere in Between?
So, what’s the verdict? Should you have joint accounts, separate accounts, or something in between? Studies show that couples with joint finances are more likely to stay together in the long run. We think this has very little to do with actually having their money in the same account and a lot more to do with a team mentality. If you’re approaching your finances together, you’re often approaching life together, and that what marriage is all about. All that being said, I’ve seen couples with accounts totally separate and accounts totally combined and seen success and failure in both. When communication and a team mentality breaks down, so does your financial position as a couple. So, our advice is this: pick a strategy that works for both of you. Make sure you’re both invested in it and both excited about it. Make sure you’re fully transparent. If you’re keeping accounts separate in order to hide money away from your partner, we can already tell you- it’s going to end poorly.
Remember, it’s more than just whether your accounts are joint and separate. There’s often a division of labor between a couple that occurs naturally. One of them is “good” with money and picks up a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to financial planning. A division of labor in this department can make sense, BUT it’s important you’re both making spending decisions, you’re both comfortable with the division of labor, and you both know the important stuff. Both of you have got to know the basics in order to help make decisions, so it’s important if you’re not the financial expert that you still make the effort to stay up to date and be involved!
You’re a team. While there will be awesome months where you get bonuses or meet your savings goals, there will also be challenging months where you aren’t sure how you can afford an unplanned expense. Remember that your best cheerleader and biggest helper is by your side. These issues are easier to solve as a team, but you have to remember you’ve got a partner in crime!
Finally, don’t be afraid to call in reinforcements. These can be tough conversations with lots of possible solutions. Sometimes, you just need a third party to step in, provide some guidance, and help you both realign your goals. Often, there’s a great solution you both may have missed. If you’re feeling like you need additional guidance or accountability (sometimes you need the extra push to actually stick to the budget), it’s time to hire a financial advisor. Learning the knowledge is an awesome first step, but it’s not equivalent to having a financial adivsor. If you and your spouse need some additional guidance, send us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment on the pop-up at the bottom of your screen and we’ll set you up with an advisor. We’d be more than happy to join your team and help guide you to financial success.