Combine finances? That might make you wince. People have strong opinions on whether spouses should share bank accounts. If you and your spouse already share, then you’ve probably seen how impactful that has been on your marriage.
If you’re gearing up to walk down the aisle and still deciding what to do, keep reading! Are you dating or engaged? If so, now is not the time to combine. Yes –– you may love each other and the wedding date may be set, but far too many couples have split before the big day. If you’ve already combined your finances, it can be one big mess to clean up!
As soon as you walk down that aisle and say “I do” combining your finances is one of the very first things you should do! That way you and your spouse can manage your money together.
Finance expert Larry Burkett said, “Money is either the best or the worst area of communication in our marriages.” In fact, a study out of Kansas State University found that the number one cause of divorce in America is money fights and money problems. But when you’re on the same page about money, all that’s left to fight over is what you’re watching on Netflix.
So, are you on board? If you’re ready to start, check out these tips for combining finances once and for all.
Money + Marriage | How To Combine Finances
1. Share checking and savings accounts
Each account serve a different, but equally important purpose. Utilize the checking account for day-to-day expenses and the savings account for emergencies + savings goals. Both of you should participate in both areas.
2. Move recurring automatic debits and direct deposits to the new combined account
Prior to closing a single account, start contacting all of the companies with which you have automatic deposits/debits and move them to the new account. Double check all scheduled payments have cleared as well. Then stop using your debit card so you’ll no longer have pending transactions.
3. Schedule a time to make the transitions
Set aside a block of time to complete all account closing, money transfers, and new account openings. Add a little more time if you’ll have to start at one bank and finish at another.
4. Make the switch as simple as possible
Keep the process simple if you and your spouse already have accounts at the same bank. Schedule a time to meet with a bank representative and bring both your ID’s. You can close one spouse’s accounts completely, transfer their money to the other spouse’s accounts, and add their name. Otherwise, you can open new ones with both spouses as account holders. Whichever you feel is easier!
5. Decide whose accounts to close if you and your spouse use different banks
You’ll get a cash or check payout from the closed accounts, so take the funds to a branch of the bank where the combined accounts will be. The spouse joining the existing account will need to show ID to be added, and then they can deposit their funds. Otherwise, if you choose, both spouses can close their accounts and open a brand new one at the bank of their choice.
Simple enough, right? So what are you waiting for? It’s time to combine finances and get on the same page about money! Start your marriage out on the right foot and start working as a team from day one!