When you get married, your lives become intertwined in a million little ways. You share a home, you share meals, you share clothes and toiletries. You also share finances. Merging finances can be a daunting task, but it is important to face it head-on and create a plan for managing your money as a new family.
Keep in mind that you do not have to merge finances while merging families. Ultimately, it depends on your financial situation and what makes sense for your family. If both partners are bringing significant debt into the marriage, it may make more sense to keep finances separate. This can help to prevent one partner from being burdened with the other’s debt.
On the other hand, if both partners are in good financial standing, merging finances can help to simplify budgeting and make it easier to reach shared financial goals. Whatever you decide, be sure to have a candid conversation about finances with your partner before getting married. This will help to ensure that you’re both on the same page financially and can make the best decision for your family.
–Emergency savings: Do you have enough saved up to cover unexpected expenses? Would you need to take out an emergency loan? Do you plan to keep separate emergency funds or combine them into one pot?
-Short-term goals: What do you want to save for in the next year or two? A new car, a down payment on a house, or just a cushion for unexpected expenses?
-Long-term goals: What are your financial goals for the next five, ten, or twenty years? Retirement, college savings for your children, or paying off debt?
-Monthly budget: How much income do you have coming in each month? How do you want to allocate that money between bills, savings, and discretionary spending?
-Debts and credit: Do you have any outstanding debts? If so, how do you plan to pay them off? Do you want to consolidate your debts into one monthly payment or keep them separate? What is your credit score and how can you improve it?
These are just a few of the many things to consider when combining finances as a new family. It can be helpful to sit down with a financial planner to discuss your options and create a plan that meets your unique needs.