By Encompass Outreach Group
Marriage is the combination of two individuals into one union, so why not combine your finances as well? While it may seem like an insignificant aspect of your marriage, combining finances can be very beneficial. In addition to making it easier to access your money and pay for things, combining your finances after marriage builds trust, promotes honesty, and shows your commitment to the life you have started together. You also display that you agree on your goals and how to achieve them. Here are some actions to take to combine your finances after marriage.
Communicate. Financial arguments are the number one predictor of divorce in marriages. That’s why it’s essential to be open and honest about your finances with your spouse. Set aside a time to talk about combining your finances and what you both want going forward. This way you can guarantee you are both on the same page and have the same goals.
Then, make a plan to start actively combining your finances by deciding which accounts you will keep open and which accounts you will close. You can choose to share only one or two bank accounts or you can choose to share everything completely, including bank accounts and credit cards. Each couple can decide what is best for them.
Act. Once you’ve decided to combine your finances, it’s time to take action. Whether you are dealing with bank accounts or credit cards, the first thing you’ll want to do is stop using the card associated with the account you’ll be closing. Then, move any automatic recurring payments or direct deposits you have set up to your new joint account. Once that is completed, close the accounts you’ve decided to and transfer your money into the new joint account. You will usually get a cash or check payment from the closed account which you should then deposit directly into the joint account.
Don’t think your work is done just because your finances are combined now. Continue to talk about your budget often and honestly. You can even make it a part of your routine where you reward yourself after.
Encompass Connection Center helps couples learn about their money personality and the best ways to handle finances together as a team. For more help, look into our RINGS Experience, an in-depth education and coaching model that helps build intimacy and growth skills to create fulfilling, productive relationships.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.