When I eventually get married to my current girlfriend we are going to combine our finances. It is what makes sense to us and what will work best for us. We could decide to keep our finances separate but we have our reasons why we won’t. So why are we so against us keeping separate finances?
1) We Have the Same General Financial Goals
I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t marry someone who doesn’t have the same general goals (financial and otherwise) as you. We want to live a decent lifestyle while making sure we are prepared for the future. We don’t want to incur debt unless absolutely necessary. We want to be able to retire comfortably and are willing to save a decent chunk of money now to be able to retire comfortably later.
2) We Don’t Want to Create Resentment
If we kept separate finances we’d likely get tired of the income inequality between us. On top of that maybe my girlfriend would save more money and if I spent all my money I’d expect her to treat me to dinners, etc because she has money available! That wouldn’t be fair to her but it’d seem like a good alternative in my eyes.
3) We Will Be A Team So Our Money Should Act That Way
On a more basic level when you become married you become a team for life. If you’re a team for life why wouldn’t you want your money to act like a team as well to maximize its potential? Often, separate finances means little communications about finances. Having separate finances could easily lead to duplicate effort and a non optimal use of each person’s money.
4) Separate Finances Makes It Easier To Hide Financial Problems From Each Other
If you keep your finances completely separate chances are you’ll never talk about your finances to each other. Even if you do, chances are that you’ll never see the complete picture of the situation your spouse is in. Why? You kept your finances separate for a reason. If you can’t co-mingle your finances and agree to how to spend money together you’d hide the part your other partner doesn’t want to see. After all, those fights are why you keep your finances separate right?
5) It Wouldn’t Work For Retirement
Unless we both attacked retirement, both saved a good chunk of our separate money for retirement and both had the same goal for retirement it just simply wouldn’t work. We’d likely end up retiring at significantly different times. We’d retire with different sized nest eggs that would lead to different amounts of money to spend.
It would likely end up with one person supporting the other person, at least to a point. Then chances are there would be resentment from #2 above. I mean wouldn’t you be upset if you saved aggressively for retirement and then gave most of your money to the other spouse so they can keep spending like they have their whole life? You’d never reap the full benefits of all of your hard work saving for retirement.
So what do you do (or plan to do)? Do you have separate finances? Do you combined? How does it work for you?