Okay, spoiler alert, I’m NOT going to tell you to combine finances. The conversation about finances is so personal and relative to each person and each couple, that whether or not you combine finances in a traditional way is 100% up to you.
But I will share what I have seen work in my marriage. Yes, we combined our finances, but that is not, in and of itself, what made our financial set up healthy.
Let me break down what worked– and what didn’t– so that you and your spouse can make the right choices for your marriage.
Number 1: Build trust by being transparent
Whether or not you decide to combine all your accounts is your personal decision. But what should happen in every situation is transparency. Each spouse should know what’s going on in all of the different bank accounts, and feel empowered to know. This keeps out secrets, building trust in each other and your spending habits.
Number 2: Use a budgeting app
I’m going to be honest with you — we didn’t use one the first year of marriage. And the truth is… we were AFRAID to see what the numbers looked like! But we took a class on finances by Dave Ramsey, and everything changed. We suddenly had freedom, knowing WE were in control of our money; the money wasn’t in control of us.
So after the first year of marriage, we started using Every Dollar, Dave Ramsey’s budgeting app. It was a game changer, giving us POWER over our money.
Starting this last year, we shifted the same strategies to an entirely new banking system called Simple Bank. We still have all the freedom and flexibility and MORE. They don’t have a brick and mortar building, but they can do everything a typical bank can do. They have a built-in budgeting app that alerts your system every time you swipe your card. So when you spend $4 at Starbucks, it tells you how much you have left in that particular category. All of this keeps you informed and in control.
Traditionally finances are the biggest fights– and it’s in the top 3 reasons why people get divorced. But if you focus on building trust through transparency and setting clear boundaries and expectations for where your money goes each month, you’re going to experience a lot of success.