Options for combining your finances
One of the first money decisions many serious couples make is if and how to rearrange their finances once they decide to spend their lives together. As with many relationship-related decisions, there isn't just one approach that will work best for every couple. However, these are a few popular arrangements that could work for you:
Don't put all the pressure on one person
One slip up can occur when one partner is clearly "the money person" in the relationship. He or she may be more interested in finances and even (gasp) enjoy budgeting. You may be inclined to let that person handle every serious money-related decision, but that could result in issues down the road.
When one person takes on 100 percent of the financial responsibilities, it can actually lead to resentment in both partners: the money person has an added burden of potentially making the wrong decision for the entire household, and even if the non-money person doesn't enjoy managing money and is comfortable letting his or her partner handle the finances, he or she might not want to be left in the dark when it comes to financial decisions or be made to feel like their input/help isn't needed.
The same principle can apply to other areas of your finances, such as researching large purchases or choosing investments. Whether you have regular financial discussions or have one-off financial conversations before making any big money-related decision, it's the act of having those conversations that results in both individuals feeling a sense of ownership and contribution.
Bottom line: Managing money tends to be complicated even before you add in all the dynamics of a long-term relationship. However, when you are part of a couple, having a system for how you'll share your money and make financial decisions together could help you avoid problems and keep small disagreements from becoming bigger. Couples can strengthen their relationships when they learn how to discuss money and how to work together to achieve shared financial goals.
This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered health, legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.