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Tips to Combine Finances as a Couple Successfully

Tips to Combine Finances as a Couple Successfully

It can be a little tricky, managing finance as a couple, as merging two-income and financial situations can be quite hard. There could be differences when managing money with one partner who earns the most and the other trying to pay off student debt.


This article will explore five different ways couples can manage their finances to avoid financial stress.

  1. Bring all Your Financial Details Together 

The First Step before combining your finances with your partner is to know where the finances stand. For people that already linked their account on a finance app, it is possible to start there. However, one also needs to check with each person's financial institution to know where it stands. 

You can check here:

  • Retirement account

  • Student loan accounts

  • Entire income for the year

  • Other debts like personal loans, mortgage, credit card debt, etc. 


  1. Explore Your Current Cost 

For a sound decision on the best way to combine your finances, both parties need to come to terms with the debts you owe each month. Gather monthly expenses for both parties and explore them. Example expenses are:

  • Food bills

  • Cell phone bills

  • Mortgage or rent

  • Additional costs of housing like cable, utility, etc. 

  • Costs of transportation

  • Debt payments like student loans and credit cards

  • Retirement contribution

  • Costs related to kids like team fees, 529 accounts, etc. 


  1. Decide on a Method

Combining your finances with your partner can happen in different ways. You can try another method to determine what works best for you.  Besides, you need not combine everything within your finances. 

For instance, one partner might have a considerable credit card debt, so it might be a wise decision to allow the person to foot the repayment of such debt. The other party can shoulder larger goals like saving for a home down payment or stocking up the emergency funds.

 

Here are some common ways couples combine finances: 

  • Merging all and dividing it: This might be the easiest way to split and be on top of your finances as a couple. You will combine everything – the debt alongside the income and divide everything from the middle. 

For couples whose income is almost the same with pretty similar debt, it will work for them as it is easier to track.

  • Some couples might prefer to integrate some part of their finances and keep other things separate by combining a couple of things. 

For instance, if a student loan takes a considerable part of the monthly income, you might decide that it's best to keep shouldering the responsibility. The team, however, can combine other expenses like food, housing, transportation needs, etc. 

  • Base Your Living on one Paycheck: some couples might decide to live on one party's income, while the other party directs their entire payment towards joint goals like settling debt or savings. 

This is recommended if one person makes a lot of money compared to the other or if the other person's income cannot be relied on. 

  • Combine Nothing: there are times that when you explore your finances, it makes financial sense to keep everything separate. This is valid for people who are worried about what lies ahead in the future. Keeping your finances separate will go a long way to help you avoid any financial hassle down the road. 


  1. Consider it One Step at a Time.

You don't need to cover everything in a single sitting. If you have a series of things to take care of, it makes sense to discuss a financial area like a goal or debt at a time. 

  1. Decide what will become of your account.

When you bring together your financial info and discuss, both parties must understand what to do. 

You might have to take steps like opening new savings or credit accounts, adding new names to the account, and others. However, if you get joint credit cards, the action of one party on such credit cards will affect the other person's credit score. Ensure that trust is not a problem in this case. 


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