Should Couples Merge Their Money?February 2, 2011 No Comments
Like many newly wed couples, Jessica Grose and her husband are trying to work out what their marriage means for their finances. They have been splitting the bills 50/50 but maintaining separate accounts. But should this change?
Like any good journalist she couldn’t ask the question without doing her research. She found that less than 50 percent of the married couples in her survey pooled their cash. Obviously this is a new trend. One generation ago most married couples pooled their incomes and a generation before that the man controlled the purse strings.
So what option is best? Keep entirely separate accounts? Merge everything? Pool some cash and stash the rest?
“Independent Operators,” as she termed them, like the sense of freedom controlling their own income gives them. They can avoid petty fights about small purchases, but financial issues can become tricky to deal with when they have to work together.
“Sometime Sharers” each keep an individual account in addition to the account the couple share. This means that they can have some sense of control while also easily managing household bills. However in addition to having the best of both worlds, they also have the worst.
“Common Potters” merge all their assets and make decisions about what to do with them as a couple. This makes working out financial plans easier, but means that both parties must be on the same page to avoid arguments.
Personally, I like the idea of merging finances. If a couple are married their financial fates are entwined anyway. If you have savings but your partner goes bankrupt, you are hardly going to throw him out on the street, are you?
Although money is often cited as one of the leading causes of divorce, the real issue is the lack of communication around it. There is no wrong method as long as both people are clear about what works for them.
How do you divide your dough?
Contact the author here: firstname.lastname@example.org