Marriage brings about a lot of changes in your life, with one of them being finances. While some couples may decide to keep their finances separate and maintain multiple accounts, others may feel it is time to combine finances the same way you would other marital assets. The process may seem simple, but it may quickly get challenging unless properly thought through.
When You Want to Combine Finances After Marriage
While combining finances after marriage is a personal choice for couples, certain conditions should exist to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Combining finances is the ideal choice if you both have the same financial priorities, which means you both must openly discuss both current finances and future aspirations.
You may also want to consider merging your finances if you plan to have a shared household budget, but doing so means you will also have to agree on spending ideas and goals. Wanting to save and spend on the same types of things will reduce arguments when using marital accounts.
How to Combine Your Finances After Marriage
The process of combing finances after marriage usually consists of moving money into shared accounts or listing your spouse on your current accounts. No matter which option you choose, below are a few simple steps to include in the process.
The only way that combining finances after marriage works is if you are completely honest about your current financial situation. Sit down with your partner and discuss all of your various assets and where they are located.
The next step is to then review the debt you owe and your current plan for paying it off. Don't hide debts. It is important to make them known and to come up with a plan to attack them—together. Avoid passing judgment on your significant other for the financial choices they have made in the past, as this will lead to hurt feelings and little to no progress.
Create a Balance Sheet
Combine all your assets and debts into one balance sheet. Then, add in your income. Together, this will give you a clear picture of your combined finances as well as the information you need to create an effective budget. When drafting your combined marital budget be sure to set aside money each month for emergencies so that you won't run into surprises that may derail it.
By following the tips above, you will have an easier time combing your finances after marriage and hopefully enjoy a smoother financial transition.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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