When should you combine finances with a partner?

When to combine finances with a partner

When should you combine finances with a partner?

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You’re in a great long-term relationship. Chances are that you’re looking to combine finances, but is this the right time? Is there a right time to do it?

In the past, I’ve shared when you should and shouldn’t combine finances with a partner. This isn’t something that works for everyone. I combined finances with my ex-husband as soon as we moved in together. For us, it made sense, but I wouldn’t necessarily do that again with someone else.

You don’t always need to combine all aspects of your finances with a partner, whether you live with them or you don’t. There are times that it will make sense to do this, though. Here are signs that I’d follow to combine finances with a partner in the future.

Combine finances when you get married

Once you’re married to someone, it doesn’t make sense not to have combined finances*. After all, you are both working and living with the same goals in mind, aren’t you? If you’re not, why did you get married in the first place?

There are so many aspects to untangle if you decide to divorce. Even if your finances aren’t combined, they are in the eyes of the law. Unless you have a good pre-nup, your divorce will end up with your finances being split in half even if they weren’t combined.

If you do have a pre-nup—and I highly recommend this—then you may not need to combine all of your finances. You’ll still want a joint account for your household and life expenses, but you can still have separate other accounts. You’ll still want to combine your lives, though.

MORE: How to improve your finances after divorce

When you have the same goals financially

If you’re only living with someone, you may not want to combine all your finances together. However, it’s worth having one account for your household expenses.

This only works well when you both have the same goals financially*, though. Honestly, I couldn’t be with someone who didn’t have the same financial goals as me, though. This is important for my life now and in the future.

If you don’t both have the same goals financially, you will find it hard to move forward in life with either combined or non-combined finances. After all, you don’t have the same plans for owning a house, for saving for an emergency, vacations, and more. Money is one of the biggest reasons for couples to split up.

Combining finances can help with transparency and trust

If you don’t trust your partner, I wouldn’t move in with them. However, you may have had trust and then that trust was broken. Maybe your live-in partner has a history of gambling that you didn’t initially know about. In such cases, seeking guidance from family law attorneys could help in determining the best course of action for your situation. You need to find a way to build that trust back up if you’re going to stay with them.

Combining finances can help with this. You get to see where the money is going, and you can rein it in if you need to. There’s a transparency that you wouldn’t get if finances weren’t combined.

What I will say is to look out for hidden credit cards and debts. Too many people end up hiding things when it comes to finances. I lived through this, and it was so stressful when it all came out. So, even though you are combining your finances, it doesn’t mean that you’ll see everything.

Even if you’re not going to fully combine your finances with your partner, you need to be open and honest about it all. This is essential if you want a supportive and positive relationship.

MORE: Why you shouldn’t combine finances with a partner

Are you planning to combine finances with your partner? Is this a conversation currently on the table? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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