But as my relationship with my boyfriend continues to grow the thought of joining finances keeps crossing my mind. While I like that I have control now, I also know that two people can accomplish more than one. And more importantly if I were to get married I’d want joint finances. Learning from past mistakes I feel like marriage should be teamwork and that includes money.
If you’re thinking about joining finances with your significant other here are four tips for a smooth transition.
Be Honest and Open with Each Other
First things first – you should NEVER combine your money with someone if you’re not familiar with his or her spending habits. Before the thought even crosses your mind you should know what you’re getting yourself into.
Have an open conversation with your partner and be completely honest. Talk about debt, spending habits (the good and the bad), and financial goals.
If you and your partner are way off in terms of money mindset then it’s probably not a good idea to combine. After all, money problems are the leading cause of divorce.
Create a Budget Together
If everything went well during your conversation then it may be time to combine everything.
Gather up all your bills and both of your past bank statements and credit card statements. Take a good hard look at everything. Then create a budget together with realistic numbers.
You can tweak as you go but you need to have a true snapshot of what your financial life looks like together.
Have Crystal Clear Financial Goals
Opposites attract. That’s why there’s usually a spender and a saver in a relationship. You even each other out.
But if you’re the saver and have financial goals with strict deadlines you need your partner to be on board too. Layout all of your goals and make sure that the other party is aware of what these goals mean to you.
Before you go ahead and merge all of your accounts it’s good to practice first.
You can do this by creating one joint account while still keeping separate accounts. You and your partner can each add enough money to the joint checking account to cover the regular bills while keeping any extra money to yourself.
If everything goes good you can consider contributing all of your income to the same account and working on financial goals together.
Take it Slow
Don’t jump into combined finances if you’re not ready. That’s a good way to cause unnecessary stress to your relationship.
Instead just take it slow and create a custom plan that fits the personality of you and your partner.
Do you have any tips for joining finances?