Money and Marriage: What You Need to Know

Chances are if you recently got married, you were most likely living together beforehand and figured there would be no conflict once you sealed the deal since you already knew each other’s living habits. But when it comes to finances, there may be some changes you want to make now that you’re officially Mr. and Mrs.

While there are many ways to figure out how to split the finances once you’re married—completely separate, completely combined, or a mixture of the both—no matter which option you choose, there are still some surprises and shifts in thinking when it comes to marriage and money. Read on to find out more about what you need to know when it comes to talking about money in your marriage.

Money: His, Hers and Ours

No matter which option you decide on for managing your finances—completely separate bank accounts, completely combined bank accounts, or a his and hers bank account with a joint checking for mutual expenses—there still needs to be a talk about how you both view your finances now that you’re married.

Even with completely separate checking accounts, does your attitude toward money mean that you don’t share finances completely? Who pays when you go out to dinner? How do you decide how much to spend on family birthday and Christmas gifts? How do you save for vacations? Are you both saving enough for retirement?

It’s important to continue to have conversations about money in order to make sure you’re still on the same financial page, no matter how you decide to manage finances.

Which brings me to my next point…

Seeing eye to eye: Financial Goals

The regular money conversations to make sure you’re on the same financial page about money and share the same attitude about how you look at your money will also be the launching point to talk about your financial goals as a couple.

Even if you’re both happy with completely separate finances, there are some goals that should be shared in a marriage that involve finances, such as buying a house, your vision for retirement, and long-term investments.

But no matter how hard your plan, you can’t always be prepared for…

Family, Medical, Unexpected Emergencies

What will you do in an emergency? A health scare? A death in the family? A job loss?

In these types of situations, how would you manage the resentment a partner may feel when they unexpectedly become the primary breadwinner?

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While you may think that combining finances in a marriage is just about deciding how you’re going to pay the bills, it’s important to go beyond the day-to-day and really talk about your goals and plans for the future, which most likely will involve some money talk.