As a married couple, you are no longer an individual person: you are a team! Part of married life is learning how to merge your finances, since you are no longer living as a single individual. Although merging your finances can seem intimidating, once you know the basics regarding combining your finances once you’re married, it is a relatively simple process to understand. The following are some essential things to do when you want to merge your finances now that you are married.
How to Ease the Financial Merge Transition
It’s important to ease the transition into your financial merge as much as possible. The best way to do this is to go step by step with the following financial transition considerations.
Open a joint checking account
As a married couple, you will need a joint checking account that you both can access for things like bills, shared assets, and so on. To do this, you need to open a joint checking account under both your names. This can be easily done in person at your preferred financial institution.
Open a joint savings account
You will also need to open up a joint savings account as a married couple. This can typically be done at the same time as you open up your joint checking account. Again, make sure that the account is under both your names, and it can be opened at your preferred financial institution.
Close out old single accounts (optional)
This can be optional depending on how you choose to merge your finances. Some couples prefer to keep old single accounts and live solely with joint accounts, meaning your income/checks go into your joint account, your bills come out of the joint account, and any money you spend on personal items or gifts comes out of the joint account, and so on. Some couples, however, do prefer to keep single accounts open so that they have some (mutually agreed upon!) independent money that they can access for personal items and other personal expenses. Some couples may also designate a certain spouse as the payee for certain bills, which could come out of their single account rather than the joint. This is up to you and it’s something that you and your spouse will need to discuss together. You might find it simpler and better to not keep additional accounts open and to allow a certain budget for independent purchases.
Create a budget together
Finally, now that you and your spouse have your finances merged, you need to sit down and create a budget. Financial planning is essential for a successful and stable marriage, so make sure that you cover everything in your budget - bills, debts, expenses, fun money and so on. Make sure that you have a system for tracking your budget as well, since you will need to carefully monitor your budget in order to ensure that you and your spouse are on the right financial track.
Remember, merging your finances is a big step - but it doesn’t need to be intimidating as long as you follow the above guidelines that will make the transition towards merged financials easier.
To help promote happy and healthy marriages, please share or like us!