I am a huge promoter of having the money conversation with your spouse long before they even become your spouse.
In fact, you should have a very clear view of how you manage money as individuals and how you would like to handle your money together. But merging your money together with your spouse can be hard.
Not just because your views may be different but also because there are so many ways to do it. Everyone might tell you that you love each other, you tied the knot and now you want to tie the finances together as well. Sounds like the natural order of things right? While the benefits can be clear, there are some drawbacks that shouldn’t be ignored.
You definitely want to consider the pros and cons of before taking the leap.
Pros for Binding Us Financially Together
- Feeling connected and committed
Merging your finances is a very personal endeavor. It means coming clean and not just telling (where you can downplay the sins) but showing your partner what the financial situation is. It can bring you closer together to know that you are 100% a team regardless of how you came into the marriage.
- Breeds Staying power
When it’s harder to leave, you find more reasons to stay. It is tedious but not impossible to uncouple yourself from your spouse, but knowing that you are in it for the long haul and can’t be bothered with the ‘hassle’ of untying yourself, you might be inclined to stay committed and make it work.
- working to help each other
When you are coupled into all financial doings, you have full access to everything. You would know pretty quickly if your spouse was having a spending problem and can help them get on track etc. Although I would hope you saw that before tying the knot.
- No delusions
Your debts and gains are all in the pot for splitting if the marriage splits (depending on which state you live in) so might as well start living that way now.
Cons for Merging Your Finances
- Breeding staying power
Yep, it is a pro and a con. Unwinding yourself financially can be a time consuming and frustrating activity. Difficult enough to discourage many from wanting to attempt it. This creates an unhealthy situation if you really want to leave the relationship but feel trapped that you are unable to separate financially without extensive effort/damage.
- Argue about little things
Do you really want to argue over why there is an extra $50 gone from the account and have to explain what it was spent on, why and when do you plan to put it back? I like to eat out for lunch, my hubby bags lunch. Should I have to justify why I like to eat out every single day?It might be easier to have some separate money, that way we can indulge in our own pleasures without impacting the collective.
- You release of control
With joint bank accounts, shared/joint credit cards, and loans etc. you have no veto power on how finances should or should not be used. So if your hubby decides to buy $50000 golf clubs on the joint credit card then you have no recourse but to pay the bill since he is an authorized user.
- Full impact
Being this tightly joined, one missed/late credit payment impacts you both leaving you both exposed in an emergency.
- You tune out
It’s natural to tune out of the finances if your spouse is more dominant in handling the money. During that time you can become oblivious to the family, and your own finances.
Before you dive headfirst into marital bliss of truly being one person, take some time to make sure if you really want to go all in 100% with finances as well or if a middle ground is best suited for your situation.
The merge everything plan works best when you and your spouse as completely in sync financially and emotionally and even in the best of maria, es we aren’t always in sync all the time.
Only you can determine the best plan for you and your spouse.
You don’t have to conform to any rules set by anyone else. So go out and get started! You can do this!