No one wants to think about the end of a relationship while the wedding bells are still ringing, but unfortunately, money is still the most commonly cited cause of divorce in the United States.
Here are three reasons why combining finances after you get married might help you build a stronger marriage… though of course, not combining finances certainly doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed :-).
1. Combined Finances Makes Money a Team Effort
When you share a bank account, there’s no getting around communication. From dining out to paying the utililty bill, to saving for retirement, you have to talk about your habits, goals, and intentions with money to make sure you’re on the same page.
But it goes far deeper than that. Sharing a bank account helps put firm details to the fact that all of your goals are common goals. You fail together, you overdraft together, and if you plan properly, you succeed together! Your finances are no longer a separate challenge or indulgence — they’re a team effort that you both participate in.
2. Matched Finances Equal Matched Priorities
If you and your spouse are on the same page with how you spend and save your money, it means you also have similar priorities in life. On the other hand, if you have greatly different priorities with your money and life in general, it is a good idea for couples to discuss how their finances and priorities will work after they marry.
Even if you don’t have matched priorities, what’s important is to at least understand and acknowledge that fact. That way, if there is some sort of irreconcilable difference in priorities, you have the opportunity to discuss it before the wedding to help a couple tackle the issue straight on and determine whether or not they are capable of functioning as a unit.
3. Remove Financial Barriers to Build Intimacy
No matter what your religious perspective in marriage, in many way marriage is the process of two people becoming one team or unit. Keeping finances separate can make it feel that, even though the couple is together in lots of ways, they are not together in every way. Sharing finances with each other can often help to establish unity in all areas of your life and really approach your challenges as a single unit.
There’s no one right answer, which means that each couple needs to decide whether or not to share finances as a couple. And make it a long conversation! There’s no such thing as talking too much about finances, priorities, and goals before you get married, because every conversation and argument you have before you get married is one less fight you will have after the wedding.
What do you think are the main benefits of sharing finances with a spouse? Do you think the benefits outweigh the perceived loss of independence?