Managing Finances as a Couple

Published June 2021

Getting married was an easy decision, but now you and your new spouse need to decide how to manage finances as a couple. Consider the following tips when making the financial decisions for your new life together. 

Key Points:

  • Manage your finances as a couple through joint accounts, separate accounts, or a mixture of the two.
  • A budget can help you plan how to manage your new income and expenses after marriage.
  • Communication is key to managing finances as a couple.

How to Manage Family Finances

Now that you’re a family, you and your spouse may have different financial goals. Decide how you will spend and save your money with an updated budget to reflect your new income and expenses. Include savings as a line item on your budget to ensure you reach your future financial goals.

Sitting down and writing out a budget can also help ensure you and your new spouse are on the same page financially. Avoid future arguments by coming to an agreement on how to manage your finances. This includes how much you can spend without consulting the other, how much you both would like to save each month, and any other financial decision that could come up.

How To Combine Finances After Marriage

You don’t have to combine your finances with your spouse’s finances after marriage. Some couples opt for separate accounts while joint accounts work better for others. You may even consider a mixture of separate and joint accounts. Choose whichever option will better help you to reach your financial goals.

Separate Accounts

With separate accounts, you and your significant other will need to decide how to split the bills. Some couples choose to separate the bills amongst the spouses while others split the bills evenly. Take into consideration any income gaps between you and your spouse when dividing bills.

Make sure you and your spouse are excellent at communication before deciding upon separate accounts. It will be much easier to keep track of who is responsible for what bill with a lot of communication. It may be easier to create two budgets if you’re going to have separate accounts—one for each spouse and their bills.

Separate accounts after marriage may be a good option if one of you has accumulated debt. This option will prevent the other spouse from being responsible for that debt.

Joint Accounts

Joint accounts often make things easier for couples as everything is streamlined. You and your spouse will only need one budget to keep track of income and expenses from one joint account. This can be especially helpful if you and your spouse have children. Any bills related to the shared children only need to come out of the single account, for example.

If you and your spouse choose to have joint accounts, be sure to come to an agreement when it comes to saving and spending. Since you are sharing this money with your spouse, he or she may want a say in how the joint money is spent. Consider a dollar limit on how much one spouse can spend without consulting the other.

Both Separate Accounts and Joint Accounts

This option can be complicated but also has the best of both worlds. You and your spouse would have a joint account you contribute to, but also separate personal accounts that are your own. This way, you and your spouse have the option to spend as you please while still contributing to a joint account for bills, retirement funds, etc.

This option is best for those who are organized enough to handle more than one bank account. It may be wise to stick to just one or the other if you think you may get your separate or joint account confused.

How To Split Finances in A Relationship

Communication is key to splitting finances in a relationship, whether or not you’re married. Talk about who is responsible for which bill before the issue arises to avoid an argument. Don’t forget to take into consideration each partner’s income and debt before making financial decisions.

If your debt is preventing you from sticking to a budget or managing finances with your partner, ClearOne Advantage can help. Contact a ClearOne Certified Debt Specialist at 866-481-1597 today to discuss your situation, explore your best debt relief options, and get a free savings estimate.

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Topics: Financial Education