Combining Finances? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Being in love and living together, often go hand in hand with “the talk”: combining finances. Merging your finances with your partner is a significant transition, but it doesn’t necessarily mean all-or-nothing. There is no wrong way to customize your banking and bill paying, as long as it is transparent, fair and sustainable for both. Communication is therefore an essential part of money management. In this article we discuss some financial practices that can help you and your partner navigate money matters better. After all, you want best for both!

Separate or Together

Financial status, prior obligation and comfort levels are all factors that can influence you beliefs regarding money. For some among us it is not uncommon to keep the bulk of the finances separate and have one joint account that each can acces. If you’re in a committed relationship for a wile, it makes more sense to combine your funds. Either way, it is important to have a good understanding of how you and your partner look at money matters, saving, credit cards and financial goals for the future. Below we discuss 3 examples of how you and your partner can decide to combine the finances.

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Different Methods of Combining Finances

Method 1: Raw Contribution

As it says in the name, the raw contribution method means that each person in the relationship chip the same raw number, regardless of how much you make. The remainder of the money stays in most cases in separate accounts. A great advantage of this method is that the person who is earning more is not penalized for theirs success and the partner with lower income doesn’t feel subsidized. On the other hand, this method can feel a bit like a “roommate method,” which is not the most romantic option.

Method 2: 100% Combine

A totally different method is the method of fully combining the finances. Couples who do this, completely combine their bank accounts and pay all bills from the same fund. On top of that, all personal purchases are also made from the money on the same account. This method is more “we” minded that individual minded and a great way to balance each other out. The record keeping of the finances will also become a lot easier, because you’re operating form just a single account. However, there can be an disbalance if agreements are nog being made beforehand. If one of the two tends to be a spender for example.

Method 3: Proportional

The last method we like to discuss is the proportional method. This means that finances are combined the way that it is proportional to their income. This way, neither partner feels the pressure to keep up with or to budget down to the earning of the other partner. It is possible to share all the household bills and also to keep separate money for themselves as individuals.

Be Realistic & Open

It is not nice to be faced with surprises, so make sure that you have a realistic overview and idea for what can come. We all know that debt is not an easy subject when you’re in a relationship, but don’t ignore this subject. Many researches have shown that many people don’t share basic financial information with their partner, including debt. It is of course better to openly discuss and work together to a resolution plan, in which you’re both comfortable.

A realistic overview of what you can afford, and what not can help you gather the right insights. Make sure to provide an accurate picture of what is coming in and what is going out. This creates a great overview and prepares you for the upcoming month. Also invest time in discussing investments, the future of you and your partner is something to look out for too. Talking about investing is often put on the to-do list, and often seen as an individual thing, since stocks and bonds are held in different accounts. However, any changes in them can affect you both. So make sure that you have investments for the future together that you mutually agreed upon.

Be aware that money talks and money matters will be present throughout the course of the relationship. It is not just one conversation that will be enough. Ongoing conversation and communication about finances allows you to make decisions based on beliefs, life goals and priorities. Talking about money can be difficult sometimes, but it is necessary to make relationships work over time.

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