Just Married: What to do with your finances?

by Chaz Gaines

Congratulations on tying the knot!

You and your spouse might find yourselves fortunate enough to wonder what to do with your newfound resources.

In either case, do you say “I do” to merging your savings and checking accounts or do you keep it all separate?

Years ago, it might have seemed like a no-brainer for newlyweds to merge their accounts. But today, it’s much more likely that both spouses have their own sources of income prior to getting married.

Either way, the answer varies on a case-by-case basis.

When it comes to your finances, you’ve got three options:

  • Completely merged accounts. There is certainly a level of comfort that comes with combining your savings and checking accounts. Both you and your spouse will know the current state of your finances, and every bill—from utilities to mortgages to groceries—can be paid from the same account. It’s important to keep in mind, that each of you will be supporting the other’s purchases.
  • Partially merged accounts. Is keeping some of your finances separate and merging others the best of both worlds? Couples can consider sharing some of their money while keeping personal accounts to use as they choose. But you still have to consider how you are going to fund that shared account. For example, will the higher earner contribute more?
  • Completely separate accounts. For couples who have both achieved financial independence prior to marriage, keeping completely separate accounts might make the most sense. But keeping finances completely separate still requires you to consider how certain bills are going to be split, for example.

Money is an important aspect of life, but the level of its importance varies from person to person. At the end of the day, it is critical you remember that no matter which option you choose, you should talk openly about your finances. The more conversation that occurs, the more likely your financial objectives will be the same.

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