Nick and I gave a lot of thought to how we would combine our finances after marriage. For a long time we thought we were going to combine them a certain way. But, when it came time to do it, that way seemed very complicated so we decided to go a different direction. At the end of the day, we are both happy with what we chose and we managed to get through it without a big fight!
Be open about your finances from the beginning
Being open about your finances can really help avoid a lot of fights. If you each know what financial situation the other is in, you can create a plan for financial success together. This definitely beats the alternative of waiting until the last minute to talk about finance and having that ‘what did I get myself into?’ moment.
accept that things may not always be equal
One person may have a higher salary than the other. Or one person may like to spend their money more than the other. There are so many variables and it is important to accept that things will not always turn out to be 50/50. Be grateful for what you have and work together to be as successful as possible as one financial unit. Know that the tables may turn too. Just because the situation is one way now doesn’t mean it will always be like that.
have a clear financial strategy/plan
Be sure to talk about who will manage the finances and what that means for you. Does that mean one person reconciles the accounts, or makes sure the bills are paid, or both? How do you want to go about saving? You could save money up front, or roll anything extra at the end of the month into savings.
talk about spending
It’s bound to happen. One person will spend too much one month and get the other angry. Try to talk about spending and spending habits up front and often to try to minimize the changes of an argument. Is there a certain point when you want to talk about purchases before making the purchases? Or is it just everything goes? Whatever will keep both people the happiest is the way to go!
Our first steps of combining our finances has gone really smoothly. Here’s to hoping that the road doesn’t get too bumpy!