Most couples find it hard to discuss their financial situation.
In fact, some studies show that money is one of the leading causes of divorce. However, there’s no cause for you to panic just yet. There is a way to talk about the elephant in the room. Here’s a simple guide on how you can combine your finances with your partner without any hassle.
Combining Finances Explained
Joint finances mean something different for every couple. Some couples keep separate bank accounts while maintaining one shared bank account, which contains all their shared wealth. Others would prefer to combine all their finances into a single account. This includes bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and more. The thing is, there isn’t really a right or wrong answer here. It all depends on what setup you and your partner are comfortable with. When tackling this matter, it’s best to have a wealth adviser or financial planning expert to guide you through the pros and cons of combining finances.
Requirements for Combining Your Finances As a Couple
The process of combining finances can be a little tricky. It’s all about reaching a common ground and making important decisions together. That alone requires a lot of empathy, patience, and a willingness to compromise. You also need to have the following :
- A Set of Shared Priorities: This outlines your goals and lists your needs according to importance. You need to talk to your partner about how you want to allocate your finances.
- A Household Budget: Of course, a household budget is extremely crucial. As a couple, you have to set a budget that works for you both.
- A Spending Plan: Now that you have a set budget for your household, it’s essential to know how to spend it wisely. You need to determine and allocate funds according to your needs and wants.
How to Begin the Process of Combining Finances
The process starts by first having the conversation of combining your finances. This can be especially difficult if you’re not used to talking about money. You can touch on the topic slowly and gradually until you’re both comfortable discussing it. If you find it difficult, here are some tips that could help you.
- Be Completely Honest: You’re talking about finances here, so it’s crucial that both you and your partner are honest with each other. If you find it difficult to divulge information about your finances, you must first learn to be honest with yourself, then with your partner.
- Create a Joint Balance Sheet: You’re basically going to list all the assets and debts you and your partner currently have. Although they’re mostly used during divorces, joint balance sheets can be an especially useful tool to help you have a complete picture of where you are as a couple.
- Deal with Surprises and Learn to Accept Them: After completing your joint balance sheet and sharing it with each other, you will then need to deal with any financial surprises that you may both hold. If you or your partner have, let’s say, an unexpected credit card balance or a staggering loan, you need to both come to terms with this. Do this in a judgment-free space regardless of how good or bad your situation is.
- Create Systems: Now that you know where you currently are in terms of your finances, you need to start thinking about what money systems you need to step up. This could come in the form of account setups, apps, defined roles, and even rules when it comes to spending, saving, and investing. All this can easily come together with the help of a financial adviser for couples.
Combining your finances as a couple can be the best decision you can make for your relationship, or it could be the reason for your divorce. That’s why you need to take great care and understanding before deciding anything. Once you’re ready to undertake the process, seek help from a financial planner in Central Coast to help you set up everything.
Central Coast Financial Planning Group lets you have the lifestyle you’ve always wanted by helping you make sound financial decisions. Whether it’s about retirement planning, insurance advice, wealth creation, or just general financial planning services, our experts are at your disposal. Contact us today to book a meeting!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice Group’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author. This information (including taxation) is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice. Newcastle Financial Planning Group, Central Coast Financial Planning Group, Sydney Wealth Advisers, Coastal Advice Port Macquarie and Coastal Advice Ballina Byron are subsidiaries of Coastal Advice Group which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, ABN 23 001 774 125 AFSL 238429.