Now that you’re married, you’re sharing your life together, finances and all.
While comparing black-and-white figures of your bank accounts may not be the most romantic thing you’ve ever done, you need to have an honest conversation about money.
You’re constructing a future together using the building blocks of each other’s finances, so you’ll want to be on the same page. To help you get there, here are five tips about sharing finances.
1. Share Assets and Liabilities
It’s important to know what you married into, so set aside some time to discuss your financial well-being. You and your partner should share the assets that you have in your name, as well as any liabilities, like student loans, installment loans, or lines of credit debt.
2. Discuss Joint Accounts
Once you know where you both stand financially, it’s time to discuss joint accounts.
A joint account makes it easy to combine resources and access money when you need it. You’ll have equal opportunity to take out money from these accounts, so you won’t have to collect cash from your spouse to pay a specific bill or make a purchase.
Here are the pros to having a joint account:
- Easier to track finances, as everything will come out of the single account.
- More likely to share financial responsibilities when your accounts are shared down the middle.
Here are the cons to having a joint account:
- Just one bank account can make it hard to maintain financial freedom.
- Risk that you or your spouse use shared resources on something you don’t agree on
3. Create a Shared Budget
If you’ve lived together before you tied the knot, this should be easy. But if this is the first time living under the same roof, budgeting may be tricky. You’ll want to figure out your shared expenses and figure out how you’ll want to split them.
Some of the most common shared expenses include:
- Housing costs (rent, mortgage payments, taxes)
- Shared insurance
- Shared personal loans and other debts
- Streaming Services
4. Have an Emergency Plan
Another thing you’ll want to think about is how you’ll handle emergencies. Unexpected medical expenses, auto repairs, and household maintenance happen when you least expect them. These unpredictable expenses may not be a part of your usual budget.
Because you might not have the cash you need in your budget to pay for them upfront, you and your partner need to know other ways you can be prepared.
Putting aside some money into a shared emergency fund each month is one way to be prepared, but if these savings ever fall short, you may consider taking out an installment loan online.
Most installment loans direct lenders won’t allow you to apply jointly, but you can add its repayment to your shared expenses in the budget you make together.
5. Update Insurance Policies and Wills
After you get married, it’s crucial you add each other to your insurance policies. You should also update your wills or write them if you don’t have one already. This will protect both of you in the worst-case scenario.
Do What Works Best for Your Relationship
Every partnership is different, so do what feels right for you and your partner. However you approach your financial life, make sure you do it together.