If you have decided that it is time to combine your finances with your partner there are some things to know. Relationships are about sharing, however, one of the most challenging areas for couples to work together is their finances. In fact, up to ¼ of all relationships dissolve due to money. In this brief guide, we will provide some steps that will lend to the success of combining finances with your partner.
The Meaning of Combining Finances
Combining finances or joint finances has a unique meaning for each couple. Many will keep the money that they make separate with their own bank accounts, while opening a third one that serves as a mutual bank account. Others will close individual bank accounts and open up just one mutual bank account. Others may have a mutual checking account and savings account, as well as mutual credit cards and loans while others may have individual accounts across the board. When electing to combine finances with a significant other, there is no wrong or right way. You must simply choose what it is the best method for you and your partner.
Start with a Discussion Regarding Money
We all have unique beliefs, strategies, rules, and levels of appreciation when it comes to money. While having a discussion regarding money is a challenging endeavor, it is a necessary one. Prior to combining your finances, you must have this conversation. Use the following steps to make it a productive discussion:
- First, you should discuss the fact that you need to have a money discussion. You should then schedule a mutual day and time. This will give you both time to consider what it is that you want to say and how you want to say it. Never start a random conversation about combining finances with your significant other without providing them with ample notice.
- Remember that each and every single person has their own relationship with money. You do not have to understand or approve of the way that your partner feels or handles money. Simply acknowledge their beliefs and ways and remember to respect them.
- There are many different techniques and strategies that people use when it comes to money. You should never attempt to force your partner to conform to your ways. Simply allow them to utilize their own techniques and strategies that they are comfortable using.
- Do not expect to just have one conversation about money. You will discuss finances on a regular basis while with your significant other. Keep in mind, though, the more that you are able to discuss finances, the more comfortable you will become.
Determine Deposit Accounts
When discussing finances, you will have some deposit account options. You may choose to have individual accounts, a joint account, or a combination of both. Ideally, there should be one bank account where money can be placed to pay for recurring expenses.
Additionally, it is important to have at least one savings account. This can be used to put aside funds that are not used for future emergencies, expenses, goals, etc. You should always have savings in place for emergencies and expenses that are not expected – such as a vehicle breakdown.
Create a Budget
Prior to deciding to combine finances, you need to create a budget. You should initiate the process by outlining the sources of income that you and your partner both have. Then, make a list of all expenses you have – individually and together. This will allow you to come up with who will pay what, what will be shared, and when it needs to be paid.
If you have similar incomes, you may do a 50/50 split. If one brings in more income than another, you should determine a split that goes with that ratio. For example, if one brings in 60% and the other brings in 40%, the split should be 60/40.
The next conversation that needs to be had by both you and your significant other is your credit. You must review all that is on each of your credit reports. That way, should you need a loan or another form of credit in the future, there are no surprises.
If your credit scores aren’t where you want them to be, the both of you can work together in order to improve the scores. Remember to monitor your free credit report each year and to examine for misinformation. If misinformation is found, you should dispute it immediately as it could detrimentally impact your credit score.
The process of combining income should start with an open mind, excellent communication, patience, and even a high level of empathy. Both of you should go into the process with a sincere desire to truly compromise. The following outlines the main basic requirements that will lend to your overall success:
- Shared Priorities – When it comes to money management, you must figure out what the both of you want and what you each value. Then, you should make a list of priorities that you both share. This list should be used to influence that which you engage in – in terms of all of your financial-based decisions.
- A Combined Budget – You should create a budget that outlines how much money you plan on having between the both of you and exactly where that money will end up going. You could create an individual budget for each of you, but to successfully work together in combining finances, a shared budget is the way to go.
- The Spending Plan – Finally, you will need a spending plan. In short, the budget is a theoretical snapshot of the finances that you have and the spending plan is what transitions that from a theory to reality. It outlines expenses, goals, and how you will get from where you are to where you want to be – in the future.
Contact Us Today
If you are in need of assistance in combining your finances with your significant other, we here at Somerville Bank are capable of assisting you! We have just over 113 years of experience in the financial market. Established in the year of 1910, we are a small institution that places a priority on our clients. We currently have a total of seven branches that offer a complete list of services throughout the State of Ohio. We have gone from the smallest nationally chartered bank in the country to one of the most reputable with the widest variety of services, while still maintaining that small financial institution atmosphere.
Each of the individuals on the senior management team have been with us for over two decades. Every single team member in that management team has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry. We can assist with checking accounts, savings accounts, online banking, mobile banking, loans, identity theft services, and more! We specialize in offering low competitive rates, highly flexible terms, and low closing costs on the loans that are perfect for building a life with your significant other. Additionally, we specialize in consumer loans, auto loans, and more! If you would like direction or assistance, please contact us today at one of our locations: https://somervillebank.net/locations/
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