Getting Married? Wonder If You Should ‘Merge’ Your Finances? Here Are Some Things to Consider

black married couple

*Getting anxiety jitters from the excitement of your upcoming nuptials? You’ve found the love of your life, and you both have made the decision to… “Have and to hold. In good times and bad. In sickness and in health.”

“For richer and for poorer…”

Yeah, about that.

Of course you probably have questions and concerns where your financial future as a couple lies. And they may look something like this: What about my bank account? Does that mean I have to merge it with my spouse’s? Can we just open another account together?

What to do? What to do?

Well the first thing “to do” is: B-r-e-a-t-h-e. Knowledge is power, right? And help is on the way!

Recent research from TD Bank shows 82 percent of Americans in serious relationships maintain joint bank accounts with their partners, but also that 42 percent of such individuals have separate accounts in addition to their joint accounts.

Thing is: there’s no one “right way” to manage money with your partner. But there are things that couples headed towards the alter should explore and take into consideration. Here are four tips to get you started.

Bank couple

Find a bank that works for both of you.

TD Bank research found that Americans consider convenience to be one of the most valuable aspects of their financial institutions, specifically regarding bank locations, ATMs and hours. Therefore, when merging finances with a partner, it’s important to have an open discussion about your schedules and habits. Are there locations that are convenient to where both of you work? Does one or both of you have a job that would make evening banking hours a big benefit? Finding a bank that is convenient for both of you may not be easy, but our research shows that it’s very important.

Consider how merging finances may change your financial situation.

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to consider that when you merge finances with your partner, combined incomes could change your financial situation. If you’re fortunate enough to maintain higher minimum balances in a joint account with your soon-to-be husband or wife, then you should explore premium bank accounts. At many banks, such accounts allow customers to reap the benefits of high-end features like paying interest on your balance and reimbursing for out-of-network ATM fees.

Same-sex newlyweds should pay particular attention to this advice, as a 2012 study found that LGBT people tend to earn more than their heterosexual counterparts. Premium joint accounts may be the best option for same-sex couples who have the ability to keep a higher balance in their accounts.

Wait! There are two more. To find out what they are go to Huffington Post here.

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