If you’re sharing your life with someone else, are you sharing your bank account too? Or do you stand by the saying “What’s mine is mine”? Here’s the breakdown on how to share your finances with your partner, or why you shouldn’t.
When should a couple start their finance journey? Is there a right time?
Couples think about combining their finances at all different stages. Moving in for the first time after dating for a few months or years, getting engaged or married, buying their first home, or having their first child may all be points in which couples think about sharing finances. There is no true standard for when couples think about sharing their money. So, it logically follows that there is no right time to start sharing – it’s about when both are ready.
How can couples start to share their finances with each other?
A couple of ways to start sharing money are:
- Discussing the hard questions of finance sharing and setting house rules and boundaries around shared money
- Understanding your partner’s money story – everyone has their own story and therefore, their own relationship with money
- Setting team and individual goals – we all have goals we want to accomplish and often goals are tied to a cost. Make sure you and your partner are aligned in your goals
- Learning about operations – where does money flow and from where
- Establishing a strong and open communication style between you and your partner
- Celebrating each other’s achievements – it’s important to make sure finances are more than just stress and gloom!
How do you take the first step to start talking about sharing finances?
Plan a night to sit down and discuss so both parties can come to the table with a prepared mindset. Create some easy to follow rules for discussion, such as no interrupting each other. There are the obvious taboo questions like how much do you make, what do you own, but a candid discussion will include these questions. There are some really tough questions too, like “what do we do if we break up?” or “how much money is too much to spend without consulting you?” These are definitely things to think about before taking the leap.
What are the different ways to join finances?
There are 6 methods of joining finances:
- Joint Expense – 50/50 Contribution
- Joint Expense – Income Based Contribution
- Joint Income – Equal Spending
- Joint Income – Income Based Spending
- Joint Income – All for One
- Separate Income – Divvy Up
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