3 Surprising Benefits of Combining Finances in Marriage

benefits of married money combination

benefits of married money combinationGetting married is an exciting adventure that brings with it a lot of change. Changing addresses, last names, and maybe even habits! But one thing many couples don’t want to change is bank accounts.

No one wants to think about the end of a relationship while the wedding bells are still ringing, but unfortunately, money is still the most commonly cited cause of divorce in the United States.

Here are three reasons why combining finances after you get married might help you build a stronger marriage… though of course, not combining finances certainly doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed :-).

1. Combined Finances Makes Money a Team Effort

When you share a bank account, there’s no getting around communication. From dining out to paying the utililty bill, to saving for retirement, you have to talk about your habits, goals, and intentions with money to make sure you’re on the same page.

But it goes far deeper than that. Sharing a bank account helps put firm details to the fact that all of your goals are common goals. You fail together, you overdraft together, and if you plan properly, you succeed together! Your finances are no longer a separate challenge or indulgence — they’re a team effort that you both participate in.

2. Matched Finances Equal Matched Priorities

If you and your spouse are on the same page with how you spend and save your money, it means you also have similar priorities in life. On the other hand, if you have greatly different priorities with your money and life in general, it is a good idea for couples to discuss how their finances and priorities will work after they marry.

Even if you don’t have matched priorities, what’s important is to at least understand and acknowledge that fact. That way, if there is some sort of irreconcilable difference in priorities, you have the opportunity to discuss it before the wedding to help a couple tackle the issue straight on and determine whether or not they are capable of functioning as a unit.

3. Remove Financial Barriers to Build Intimacy

No matter what your religious perspective in marriage, in many way marriage is the process of two people becoming one team or unit. Keeping finances separate can make it feel that, even though the couple is together in lots of ways, they are not together in every way. Sharing finances with each other can often help to establish unity in all areas of your life and really approach your challenges as a single unit.

There’s no one right answer, which means that each couple needs to decide whether or not to share finances as a couple. And make it a long conversation! There’s no such thing as talking too much about finances, priorities, and goals before you get married, because every conversation and argument you have before you get married is one less fight you will have after the wedding.

What do you think are the main benefits of sharing finances with a spouse? Do you think the benefits outweigh the perceived loss of independence?

12 thoughts on “3 Surprising Benefits of Combining Finances in Marriage

  1. When I and my wife got married, this was one issue we seriously talked about. We ended up joining our accounts, which has brought us in good terms and enabled us to be better savers and husband and wife in terms of finances. For those planning to do so, just talk about very seriously and never ever make haste decisions.

  2. Kathy says:

    When we married, my husband and I created joint accounts for everything-except retirement plans of course. We became a team and our finances were just part of it. Although we each have some money that is ours “individually” to spend however we want, it is all located in a joint account. We just designate a share of it for each of us which we keep track of on a note pad.

  3. When we first married we combined our finances to a single joint checking and savings account. Things went great for the first 5 or 6 years but then we started to run into priority issues when the money was tight making it tough to stay on budget and pay all the bills when competing against anything child related. Once my Bride returned to work we opened a second set of joint accounts. Because I made more money I paid for all bills (mortgage,insurance, utilities, nuts to bolts) except for groceries, her gasoline, and any gifts outside of Christmas. We keep the same budget and checking/savings account arrangement in our early retirement. I know couples who split the bills based on percentage of income that keeps the peace. I think you are right about the benefits of combined accounts but it has to be a total commitment and lots and lots of conversations. Sometimes life gets in the way and its tough to have the energy after working ans taking care of the kids to debate priorities when there is a conflict.

  4. There are certainly difficulties in doing finances as a team, but there are benefits too, including those you listed. Another one is that having another person involved is provides a system of checks and balances. your partner may very well keep you from purchasing that completely unnecessary “widget” that caught your eye at the mall. 🙂

  5. Have to say, I’ll never go down the completely joint accounts route again. lol Being burnt once is quite enough of a lesson for me, thanks! Instead, the next time it’ll be a joint “household account” that we both add into to pay bills and food and whatnot. I mean, people should be talking about finances anyway, joint accounts or not, right? 😀

  6. We combined our finances a few months into getting married. It’s just easier that way and I do believe you should have full transparency! That being said, we do have separate accounts for fun money, too, but we both have access to the accounts online (so is it really separate, haha?). Honestly, I think it’s more about communicating about money rather than having a joint account. The account is just a formality!

    Great post, thanks!!

  7. When we bought a hosue, we opened a joint account for house expenses, but kept our own separate accounts too. When we got married it was joint all the way. For us it made things simpler and got us really working together for our shared goals. Now that we’re a single income family and I’m a stay at home mom, I can’t imagine things being any other way for us.

  8. I think the biggest reason I would want to join accounts is because of the team aspect. One of the things I always thought about marriage was that it was you picking another person to be on the same team with for the rest of your lives.

    For good or bad you want to make the trip together. You may have different ideas of saving/spending money but it’s something that I think you should do as a team. Most likely it will take compromises but that’s just a part of combining your life with another persons.

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