Updated: Nov 12, 2021
"What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours” is a popular saying that has been tested and put up for debate for a very long time. Combining finances is a scary topic for a lot of people, especially for those who are married or in committed relationships. It’s no surprise that financial destruction or the lack of proper financial handling is said to be one of the leading causes of divorce these days, but one can see why when the understanding of finances is not always equal in a union.
According to LendingClub Corporation, more than half of the American population struggles to pay bills, and alarmingly, 40% of those with a salary of $100k or more per year also live paycheck-to-paycheck. These facts, coupled with differentiating views on how to handle money, is unfortunately a formula for eventual financial disaster in a relationship.
Marital distress due to disagreements about money can be highly avoided with the mindset of “we are one and so is our money”. This common ground can take a while to achieve as you join multiple perspectives into one, but the following three tips can help you get to a place of agreement and on a connected path to financial wellness in your marriage.
Openly share your money goals with each other. Discuss what you’ve accomplished so far, what hasn’t worked out for you yet, and what you hope to achieve in the future.
Learn about money together and also share what you know. Make it a habit to intentionally learn new things about money with your spouse. Topics can range from the basics of budgeting to the complexities of investing. Keeping an open mind and sharing your knowledge with each other can help you hold each other accountable while building trust in your new financial journey together.
Develop a list of your own relationship money goals and take action. Before my husband and I got married, we opened a joint checking account where we each contributed $25 per week for our nights out. That “small” account grew into major trust and eventually one of the several areas where we have our funds held today.
Mixing up your money with someone else’s is not anything slight, but if you see yourself building your life and legacy with someone, one best practice would be to harbor the same understanding when it comes to large matters. Although easier said than done, combining finances is a sure way to prevent financial infidelity and ultimately build a lasting and successful financial foundation for your family and legacy.