You and your partner have been dating for a while and live together. Maybe you got married recently. I know I have to talk to them about money, but I’m worried about how the conversation will turn out. I don’t know how to bring up the topic even though I think that combining finances will make things easier.
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Money matters are difficult for everyone, even if you love and trust them. GOBankingRates reached out to financial experts to determine the best way to discuss money with your partner without fights or embarrassment. Here’s how to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to merging accounts.
Be open about how you approach finance
How we handle money is shaped by many factors. Some are related to our upbringing, others to past experiences. Her manager at Detroit JPMorgan Chase & Co Community Stacey Hunter says it’s important to be completely transparent when you start talking about money with your partner. “Integrating finances requires open conversation and communication, which can be a great litmus test for your relationship,” Hunter says. You can start by discussing how each of you has handled money in the past.” Once you talk about your financial past, Hunter says, you can set good financial goals for the future and stick to them. Together we can make a plan to accomplish
Remember: merging finances both your. Criticizing your partner’s way of handling money won’t do you any good with your finances. Instead, come from a place of gratitude. “The best way to start a conversation is to express how much you care about your partner and how excited you are to build their future as a team,” says Jessica, co-founder and relationship expert at So Syncd. says Alderson. “Beginning the conversation with words of appreciation and willingness to work with your partner can create an atmosphere of openness and acceptance. Avoid being defensive and making assumptions. , don’t try to prove your partner wrong, instead focus on collaborating and finding common ground, and finally, be judgmental or critical of your partner’s spending habits and financial decisions. Don’t use words that can be seen as, if someone feels attacked, it can lead to a negative spiral of defensiveness.”
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Decide how much you want to combine
Every couple is different when it comes to how they handle money. There are no hard and fast rules. Tina DeGustino, director of US consumer strategy at P&BB BMO Financial Group, said she could consolidate some funds while keeping other accounts separate. “It’s important to note that money is personal and joint accounts aren’t always the best option for every couple.”Yours, mine, ours.” That mindset and sharing a budget to cover personal expenses is certainly fine,” says DeGustino.
Hunter talked about setting financial goals together. To make them happen, start by creating a household budget that you both can agree on. “In an ideal world, couples could be on the same page about spending and saving while maintaining some degree of financial independence. It’s about saving or planning,” says Hunter.
Consider opening a joint account
Once you have your budget, decide who will pay for what. One step he makes to make this easier is to jointly bill certain expenses that the two of you will incur throughout her month. “Joint accounts can be useful when expenses are shared between couples and both partners can share access and pay bills easily,” he says. “Plus, joint accounts are especially useful for tracking and budgeting common expenses like rent, utilities, and groceries.”
think carefully about borrowing money
Some couples may go into debt individually or together without considering how it will affect their joint finances. “One of the biggest mistakes couples can make is taking on debt together without thinking and discussing the implications.” It’s important to reveal your credit history, especially if you’re borrowing money together, such as for a house.”
take it step by step
Just because we talked about money once doesn’t mean you suddenly need to combine bank accounts and credit cards. Hunter says to give yourself some leeway to consolidate your finances. You may find that it’s about starting small and doing it step by step.”
You can always adjust your goals and budgets as circumstances change. “As you reach various milestones in your relationship, discuss which parts of your finances you’d like to consolidate and which parts are best kept separate. For example, if you’re buying or renting a house together. , it may be beneficial to start the journey of consolidating finances by opening a joint checking account for household expenses,” says Hunter.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How to Discuss How to Combine Finances with a Partner