Marriage might mean you and your partner become one. But does that have to include your bank accounts? Based on the numbers, maybe not. According to one study, millennials are 13% more likely than other age groups to say, 'you gotta keep 'em separated.' But combining finances can come with a few perks — even beyond the bank.
Okay. So is keeping finances separate after marriage a good idea or not?
Depends who you ask. Money-related issues can stir up major tension in a marriage. Divorce-level tension. Keeping finances separate after marriage could be a good way to eliminate arguments before they start. So it's worth a try, especially if personal freedom is your main priority. You won’t have to think twice about every single online order. (Hello, Amazon Prime.) But remember: you’ll still need to talk money with your partner regularly. Because financial infidelity is a real thing. (Hint: that's when someone keeps money secrets from their partner.)
Any other reasons I should keep finances separate after marriage?
Yep, different spending patterns. If one of you is frugal and the other is addicted to online shopping, combined finances might not be the best idea. (Psst…here’s how to tell if you’re financially ready for marriage before you even get engaged.)
So should I just forget about combining finances?
Don’t rule it out. Most couples choose to stick to tradition by combining finances after marriage. Sharing accounts might be particularly helpful for some big money milestones you're working toward together. Like buying a house. If you decide joint accounts are the way to go for you, consider setting allowances to help prevent spending-related conflicts. Oh, and bonus: studies show couples who mix their money have overall happier relationships because of it.
Tell me. What are your best tips for how to manage finances in a marriage?
There’s no one size fits all method. The most important thing is that you and your partner are on the same page. That doesn't mean you have to agree on everything when it comes to money. But you do have to agree on what works best for you both. That means continuing the financial conversations throughout your relationship. And being flexible. Whether you decide now to keep your money separate or mixed together, you can always change your mind later down the line.
There’s no right or wrong way to handle finances after marriage. Most couples stick to tradition but more and more are opting to keep finances separate. A word of advice either way: be transparent.
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