Options for Couples Merging Finances

As your lives become more entwined living together, having a dog together, eating out, and sharing bills, it begins to make more sense to combine your finances in some way. I know people who have been married for years and still don’t have joint bank accounts and it works really well for them. For us though, it made more sense and saved needless bickering to combine finances. I do think it is always smart to have your own money just in case you need it.
Here are some options for couples merging finances:
  1. The first and most obvious solution is to have one bank account with all of your money going in and all of your bills coming out. This works for us and saves us from worrying about who paid for dinner last, how much each person is contributing, and how much savings we have for big purchases (like our wedding or a kitchen remodel).
  2. I know a couple that deposits all paychecks into one account. At the beginning of each month, they deposit a portion into their own personal accounts to do whatever they wish. If you are using this method in a happy marriage, you will use that money to buy something fun for yourself like a massage or shoes. But in a bad marriage, you will probably save that money to prepare for divorce. This system works great for the couple I know because it has saved them from many fights about whether a purchase was a good use of their money. One is a spender and the other is a saver. With an allotted amount to spend, they don’t have to discuss personal, unnecessary purchases.
  3. The reverse of the system above is to have your paycheck deposited in your personal account and then deposit some of it into a joint account. The money in the joint account can be based on a percentage of your income, a set amount, or an amount proportionate to the income you make compared to your spouse.
    1. You could each move 25% of your income in to the joint account.
    2. You could each move $1000 in to the joint account.
    3. One person could move 33% of their income and the other could move 66%. This means the person moving 33% makes 1/3 of their total income and the person moving 66% makes 2/3 of their total income.
  4. Options for Couples Merging Finances  |  bexbernard.comAnother option is to make more of your own money, which is what I’m trying to do, and then using your side money for personal use. I’m doing this to get out of debt faster (student and car loans). There are many ways to make more money, so find something that builds on your skills. You can get a second job from home or work on the weekends. You can sell handmade goods like I do on Etsy. You can do side jobs every once in a while. If you and your significant other pool all of your money together, make sure you talk to them about your extra money. Is it going into the joint fund or do you get to put it in your personal account?

You also need to think about when it makes sense for you to do this. Only merge finances before you’re married if you’re absolutely sure you will be together for the long-haul. If you both agree it’s better to keep separate accounts, then do that. All that matters is that you find something that works for you.

If you are trying to reduce your debt, check out Dave Ramsey’s books likeĀ The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

Do you have any advice for couples merging their finances? Whether it’s bank accounts or paying bills? Comment below!

I'd love to hear your opinion (good or bad)!

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