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Merging Finances With Your Significant Other? Consider These Factors First

Merging Finances With Your Significant Other? Consider These Factors First

Last week, couples across America celebrated with their significant other during Valentine’s Day. Chances are that most people who celebrate this day were thinking about love and romance – not finances.

Once the roses, chocolate and wine run out, couples return to their everyday lives. A huge part of everyday living includes managing finances. And for those who are married or in committed partnerships, sharing finances can be a routine part of the relationship. Some of the most common financial problems for couples include overspending, lack of saving and building up loads of debt.

Fiscal harmony is just as important as love when you make the decision to partner up with another person for the long run. According to a study by Suntrust Bank, 35% of people cited that money was the primary cause of stress in their relationships. In the study, 47% of respondents said they have completely different saving and spending habits than their partner. Unfortunately, this leave lasting challenges. Research by Utah State University showed that married couples who disagree over money at least once per month are 30-40% more likely to end in divorce.

Despite these statistics, money doesn’t have to be the main cause of strife in your relationship. Even if you and your significant other have vastly different opinions around money, you can reach a common ground through open and honest communication.

Whether you’re still dating, a newlywed or have been married for years, it’s important to keep these five factors in mind when you decide to merge your money with your partner’s.

(1.) Discuss money sooner rather than later. Open communication is the most critical component of a successful relationship, and that certainly applies to money. Be honest, transparent and communicate on a regular basis about financial goals, progress and obstacles.

(2.) Think before you swipe. Don’t overindulge on purchases in hopes that your partner will cover you. Discuss your plans with your partner before making major purchases.

(3.) Open a joint account. Of course, each person in a relationship should have their own money to spend. But it’s important to combine finances around shared fixed expenses, such as your mortgage, car payments, insurance, utilities and child care. You can also save for larger joint goals such as a home or a wedding in the shared account.

(4.) Build up an emergency fund. Things happen in life. Your partner may get laid off or experience an injury. Having an emergency fund can help you both get through tough times.

(5.) Merge your lifestyle expenses. You should always be your own person. But when you decide to merge finances, it’s important to consider what lifestyle expenses you have in common. To easily manage this, you can open a joint credit card account to pay for common ground lifestyle expenses such as dining, travel, gifts, etc. When the credit card bill comes at the end of each month, each partner pays off his/her portion of the total bill.


While I’m a financial planner and not a couples therapist, I can say that couples should practice honesty and transparency about their finances. This will ensure stability not only as individuals, but as loving partners.

I'm Helen

Having worked in finance for over a decade, I know what matters most to clients. Here, I share with you what you really need to do to stay on top of your money and retire rich.
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