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Having the money talk before you move in with a partner is essential. Part of the talk is whether you will combine finances or not. Here’s a look at why combining finances could be a good idea.
You need to have the money talk when it comes to moving in with a partner. This is more than just showing each other your incomes. You need to know what type of savings goals you both have, how much you like to spend on personal items, and any debts that you have.
A big part of the talk should be about combining finances. Not everyone wants to combine finances with a partner, but this is a great way for both of you to be on the same page. Here’s why you should do it and how you can do it and still have your own money.
Why combine finances when you move in together
Let’s start with the why. There are a few reasons why it’s worth doing this. The first is that you pool both of your incomes together. You will also pool all the outgoings together. It can be much easier to manage everything that’s going in and out.
You can both see where your money is going when you have access to the same accounts. This is important if one of you is a big spender, or if there are joint savings goals that you have. You’ll also have access to any emergency money should you need it.
According to Mint, couples who combine their finances have been happier together.
Honestly, I can’t say that is the case. Being able to see that it was my ex-husband spending the money but having the audacity of telling me it was my problem when we didn’t meet savings goals just made my unhappy. It’s important that you are both on the same page with all your goals.
Just remember that when you do combine your finances, you need to have the same outlook on life. If you still want your own accounts (and I highly recommend this) then you’ll need to do the following. This is how I’m going to work if I ever combine my finances with someone again.
Have a couple of joint accounts but keep separate accounts
You don’t need to have everything together. This is not the 1950s when women couldn’t have bank accounts in their own names. Of course, we could end up with something like The Handmaid’s Tale happening, but for now, let’s just focus on the positives. Women can have their own bank accounts. We can make our own money.
So, have a couple of accounts that are joint. You’ll want a checking account where all the joint bills go out from. You’ll both put a set amount of money into this joint account each month. I suggest doing it proportionate to income rather than a strict 50/50. That way, if one person brings in 80% of the income, they don’t end up with a lot of extra money while the other person struggles to pay for things.
You’ll also want at least one savings account together. I’d suggest having two: one for long-term plans and one for shorter-term plans.
Now you can have your own individual accounts. This is where your paychecks go into each month. You’ll have your own savings to plan for various things in the future, and you’ll have some privacy and freedom over how you spend your money. If one person has debts that the other doesn’t, it’s not both of you paying them down unless you choose to work together on it.
I know a lot of people say that if you combine finances then you combine them fully, but there are so many problems with this. One of my issues was not having money right away to get out of my marriage. Now, I will always make sure there is an individual account, and my daughters will learn the same through me.
MORE: Top tips to go from two incomes to one
What do you need help with when it comes to finances? Will you combine finances with your partner? share your thoughts in the comments below.
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