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Your current relationship is going well, and now you and your partner are moving in together. Should you combine finances?
When you move a relationship forward, there are a lot of conversations to have. One of those is whether you should combine finances or not. When you move in together, there are a lot of joint outgoings, so it would make sense to have joint finances. However, this isn’t always smart to do.
There isn’t really a wrong or right answer when it comes to this topic. It all depends on what you’re willing to do, what you’re comfortable with, and whether you and your partner are compatible when it comes to your finances.
Why you should combine finances with a partner
Combining finances is certainly beneficial. When you move in together, you will have joint expenses. You’ll both contribute to the rent or mortgage, you’ll both pay the joint bills, and then there are the grocery costs.
One of the simplest ways to do all this is to have one account for all money to go into. Your finances become family finances instead of his and hers. If you both treat money the same, this can be beneficial.
However, I will say as someone who has been more responsible with money than ex-partners, combining the finances isn’t always the best option. In fact, I’m probably never going to combine my finances with someone else again.
Have one joint account for joint expenses
Instead of combining all your finances, you could opt for one joint account for all joint purchases. You keep your own individual accounts—and I highly recommend this anyway—and put a set amount of income into the account to cover all bills.
The way you split the costs will depend on your preferences. Some split everything 50/50, which is great if you both have the same or very similar incomes. If one partner earns much more than the other, you’ll want to split things on a percentage. This way, both individuals have a similar amount of personal money available.
You don’t even need a joint account for all this. One person can agree to pay for each purchase and the other will send the agreed amount of money. This is great if you’re worried about having any sort of combined finance with another person. After all, should you break up that joint account can be an issue.
Always keep your own accounts
As a work-at-home mom, you should always keep your own account. I recommend both partners have an account that is just theirs. You just never know what is going to happen in the future. I thought my marriage was going to work out, and then it turned out my husband was having an affair (and likely more than just one).
By having my own account, I had some money available for that split. I will also make sure my girls have their own accounts even when they have a stable relationship with someone else. There are too many horror stories of one partner having no access to any money with an abusive partner.
There is nothing wrong with the other partner knowing you have a separate account. The other partner should also have one, so it shouldn’t be a problem. If your partner isn’t happy about you having another account, this is a major red flag in that relationship.
Don’t feel forced into combining finances
If your partner is pushing you to combine finances even though you’re not ready for it, you’ll want to pay attention. This is another major red flag in a relationship. So, you need to pay attention to it. Nobody should ever push you into something you don’t want to do.
Just because you’ve moved in together doesn’t mean you need to combine finances. You could decide to do it after marriage* instead. Or maybe you never do it. Whatever it is, don’t rush into something because you’re being pressured into it.
If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to file for divorce, these Helpful resources may help you decide.
Will you combine finances with a new partner? What are you doing to protect yourself financially? Share your thoughts in the comments below.