Should You Merge Your Finances After Marriage?
Generations ago, merging finances is not a problem. Maybe because before, the man is the one expected to work while the woman stays at home, managing the finances.
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Now, because of many complicating factors including Filipino families struggling to provide the needs of the family, equality of rights and responsibilities, and up to the extent of issues regarding men’s ego and women’s hormones, both parties need to work and will have each of their own sources of income. What comes after is the real deal. So should married couples merge their finances?
The short answer is ‘Yes, but not all’. Here’s why:
There are actually different answers as different solutions work for different couples. For instance, some people get married older than the majority. Then these couples or one of the two may be financially-established already so merging finances might seem like too much trouble, especially if there are no prenuptial agreements. Generally, it all depends on where you are financial as individuals – how much you trust each other, and how well your spending and saving habits blend. Let’s trim that out.
Blending your accounts doesn’t equate to trusting your partner or not doing so means you don’t trust them. Before you even think about marriage, one of the big questions is how well you trust your partner to manage your finances. If you don’t at all, or if you worry that your partner will send you both into debt, you might want to take a step back from the entire project.
On Merging Accounts…
The rule is to put your money in the same place each month; the question is ‘How much?’ What if the other has more income than the other? Talk about whether you’re in percentage, in full, in a fixed amount of shares every month, etc. From your merged finances, you can pay every household bill, from the same account and you won’t need to worry about splitting the household costs.
For some people, sharing a bank account makes them feel like they are actually married and not simply two people living as housemates. But to be brutally true about it, if one of you makes more than the other, sharing everything might seem a bit unfair. Or say, one of you got into so much debt before marriage, but the other partner may feel a little aggrieved about having to chip in to pay down the other’s debt.
On Merging Some, But Not All…
Yes, you are married but at the end of the day, you’re still two different individuals – with different needs, different routines, and different lives. Opening a joint savings account is great, but also keep separate bank accounts. Pay household bills, save money for your goals as a family from your joint accounts, and use your separate accounts for your individual wants.
Merging some of you each one’s finance is a convenient option if your financial habits differ. It lets you share expenses, goals, and savings while giving you a bit of personal financial freedom.
On Making the Decision…
Surely, there are and there will be disagreements about money that could lead to many cases. Take time to discuss openly finances and how you’d like to handle it and back it up with your logical reasons. Merging finances after marriage isn’t a decision to take lightly, so talk to your partner and come up with a plan that works for both of you.
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