Once you’ve established financial freedom from your parents, you are allowed to make the decisions about how to use your hard earned cash. You have learned that the money you made belongs to you - it’s yours, not theirs. When talking about your financial responsibilities, you refer to your bills as “my bills,” your spending money as “my spending money,” and your debt as “my debt.” This is a “mine” mindset about your money. This is a normal mindset for a single person to have.
However, once you get married, you need to abandon the “mine” mindset and dive into the “ours” mindset. This change will be economically beneficial, but it may not be easy. You may have learned that what you earn is all for you because you put the work in and the money is your reward. Marriage means joining and sharing your life with someone, which involves sharing the fun parts and the less fun parts, like your fiscal life.
Having an “our” mindset with your spouse about your fiscal life is important for your marriage. Altering your mindset can be difficult for some people who may not be used to sharing their money, but becoming a team with the “our” mindset will be worth it.
Here is the what, why, when, and how facts to combine forces:
What should be combined?
Income - merge “theirs” and “mine” into a “household” income.
Debt - snowball debts together and pay them off as a team.
Assets - become a stronger economic force by connecting separate assets, such as properties and savings.
Why should you combine?
Keeping finances separate can cause a couple to have different opinions about their financial values. For example, one person may be set on paying off debt as soon as possible, while the other would rather use the money they have now to buy new things or go on vacation.
When a couple is not on the same page with their money and goals, it can lead to tension in their marriage. When a couple combines financial forces, they become a team. A team is always more powerful than an individual. The “our” mindset allows you two to work together towards a common goal and become stronger as a couple, and stronger financially.
When can finances be combined?
As soon as the marriage is complete, you should combine your finances. This includes incomes, debts, and other assets.
If you are a couple that does not wish to get married, but plans on spending a lifetime together, then you can combine your finances after you have processed a common law marriage. However, a common law marriage is different, so combining finances may be a bit more difficult due to certain regulations.
How can you combine your money?
Open a joint bank account and dissolve the old individual accounts.
Snowball your debt so that it belongs to both of you.
Budget together as a team.
Looking for ways to get on the same page with your spouse? Sick of fighting about money? I can help! Click here to schedule a free 30 minute session with me and we'll help money become a topic of joy instead of frustration.