Marriage involves making a thousand, big and small decisions daily — and 700 of them are about money. Often, the biggest decision is whether to merge finances after marriage. But, when it comes to marriages, money topic is the toughest to talk about. Statistics show that money is one of the top reasons for divorce, and also one of the top reasons for breakups even before the wedding happens!
For newlyweds and even for people who have been married a while, merging finances can be a difficult task. In this post, we make it easier for you. We’ll share some tips on how to combine finances after marriage.
7 Tips for Combining Your Finances After Marriage
- Talk about your finances early on and often
You are committed to living a life together, so communication is very important. Some of the things you should communicate about finances before marriage are:
- Your current financial situation (debt, saving, credit, and investments)
- Your financial goals
- Financial goals as a couple
Remember, this conversation is not a fight or an argument; the motive here is to establish financial plans. So, keep an open mind and listen to your partner’s opinions and suggestions. Also, ensure that you revisit your conversation on finances often.
- Work on your financial goals together
One of the crucial steps of combining finances is creating financial goals together to achieve financial success. Sit down together and create short-term and long-term financial goals. Create a financial vision board that would include the following financial plans:
- A money saving plan to meet your short-term and long term goals
- An investment plan to build wealth and achieve long-term goals
- A saving plan for creating an emergency fund worth 3 to 6 months of living expense
- A plan to pay off debt
- Create a budget together
Creating a budget involves determining your total income and your essential monthly expenses such as rent, electricity, insurance, home loans, etc. Also, consider non-essential expenses such as eating out, going to movies, shopping, travel, etc., and your savings or investment plans.
Talk about who will pay for what. Work as a team here to determine what works best for you as a team. Also, be fair and don’t expect your partner to pay for your personal expenses. Decide by breaking the things as follows:
- what you pay for separately,
- what you both pay for together, and
- what you need to discuss before paying.
- Decide who is accountable for which payments
The next thing to do is determine who is responsible for managing the bills and making the payments. It’s an important step because if it’s not decided, your bills can end up unpaid, attracting unnecessary late fees. Whoever is paying the bills should consider automating the payments to ensure that the bills are paid on time.
- Decide on separate accounts and/or joint accounts
There are no rules here. Combining finances doesn’t mean that you have to combine bank accounts. You can choose to have a joint account and also a separate personal bank account for your individual expenses. Discuss your options and decide what works best for you as a couple.
- Add beneficiaries
You need to make sure all your accounts and your investments have beneficiaries. You can add your siblings/parents or each other as beneficiaries. When you have children, you could consider adding them as beneficiaries.
- Get life insurance
Life insurance provides a lumpsum amount to your dependents upon your death. If you have a spouse or children and huge financial commitments such as a home loan, life insurance is the protection you should provide to your dependents.
Combining your finances with your partner may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The above tips can make the process as smooth as possible. Remember, when you get married, you become a team, and working together is the only way to stay stronger.
Author Bio: Aatish Khanna works with the Content Marketing team at Money Club – a digital chit fund platform that makes saving, borrowing, and investing your money more efficiently. He writes on topics to help his readers understand processes so they can make better financial decisions. He’s the go-to person that his family, friends, and colleagues turn to for all their money matters. He loves to play board games and aspires to one day build his one finance-related board game and app.