When two people agree to share their lives together, there are many important decisions that need to be taken into consideration. Issues such as learning to live with each other's concept of an ideal household include how will certain arrangements such as cooking, keeping up with the bills, and various household chores. Whether you're a married couple that has made that fateful commitment or a pair of individuals who've decided to take your relationship to the next level, you need to be certain this is the right decision for you. As the old cliche goes, love is blind, so with this in mind, are you certain the person you've agreed to play such a huge role in your life is worth the effort?
Too often, people shack up together as a couple without taking into consideration there are just as many cons to doing so as pros. Also too often, couples will opt to pool their financial resources together, only to realize this probably wasn't such a good idea once they start to get on each other's nerves enough to think about separation. When it comes to something as touchy as your personal finances, nothing is worse than finding out the person whom you've agreed to trust most has taken advantage of you in a manner that leaves you penniless and most likely in debt. There are five good reasons why a couple should combine finances together and five times they shouldn't.
According to Money Management International Statistics, statistics consistently show that finances are one of the most common reasons why fights and breakups happen. Unless the two of you are completely honest with your financial intentions as a couple, think long and hard before making a commitment such as this as it is every bit as important as agreeing to spend the rest of your lives together.
Five Good Reasons Why to Combine Finances
5. Family Investments
Normally, when couples get together with a lifelong commitment in mind, children become part of the picture. As parents, investing in your child together is one of the best reasons why combining your finances together for this cause should be taken into consideration. Together, you two can set up a trust fund for each child you have in a manner where you're both financially responsible for the deposits as a couple, under the arrangement that money cannot be touched by anyone other than the intended recipient once they reach a certain age. Aside from a child's trust fund, there are also other family-related investments needed to be taken into consideration as well. For couples who don't have children yet but want at least one, there is the cost of bringing a newborn into their lives such as setting up a nursery, as well as covering all the expenditures until that child grows up enough to venture out on their own. Just like homeownership, this is a lifelong investment that usually doesn't have a set end date as loving parents usually look after their children even long after they've moved out on their own. When doing this together as a couple with a special bank account set up to do such a thing, the ability to financially be there together is just as rewarding as seeing your child grow up as a product of your love together.
4. Vacation Planning
Vacations, even if it's just a couple staying at home to enjoy quality time together, is an essential need. While many may think otherwise, sometimes one needs more than just a day or two to shake off job-related issues that could probably use a vacation too. As a couple, pooling your financial resources together to enjoy that time off together is one good way to make sure you two make the most out of your time together. If you happen to embark on a dream vacation, having the money saved up together seems to make the event even more magical. Knowing the two of you worked this matter out together without issue simply shows how strong you are as a couple and that it's more than simply about living together as one. Couples spending quality time together in a vacation-like environment is what helps keep the connectivity between two people alive, especially if there happen to be children involved.
3. Business Investment
As a couple, you decide to go into business together. Assuming you can work together just as well as you live together, this could be one good venture for the two of you to combine your resources together and make it work. On a financial level, should the two of you set something like this up, a business account that requires both signatures before any kind of monetary transactions can take place would be as good of a reason as any to combine finances as a couple. However, before doing so, draw up agreements between yourselves should something go sour. Whether the troubling times come about due to the business venture not succeeding as well as hoped or something at a more personal level, making sure the financial situation isn't compromised for either party involved is essential. Insurances are in place for a reason, you know.
2. Bill Payments
Unfortunately, bills are an expensive part of life that doesn't go away. Don't think just because an envelope states "final notice" that the people looking for money based on the services they provide are going to simply leave you alone. That red lettering on the envelope is their final warning to you that if you don't pay what you owe you will be cut off. If you don't keep up with your cable subscription, or what keeps lights on, the house heated, and the water running, then you will find yourself in an unpleasant situation that will not only require you to cough up what you owe in full but a hookup fee just to get it back. Setting up a special account to cover these monthly bills would be one good way to ensure the two of you are truly in this together. Those bills, which can also include insurance payments and mortgage payments, need to be kept up no matter what. As a couple, this should be important enough to you to pool your financial resources together to have this covered.
1. Real Estate Purchase
As a couple, buying a house together will be the biggest financial commitment next to the agreement of tying the knot. Buying a home together is exciting but also incredibly expensive. Between the actual purchase of the house, combined with insurance costs and legal fees, this is a debt that will likely see you forking out big money for many years. This is why it is vital you are sure the person whom you've agreed to spend the rest of your life with is truly in this relationship for the long haul. Pooling your money together to cover the cost of the home, which includes covering the mortgage, is the most important reason why couples should combine their finances together. Ideally, setting up a joint bank account where there is a dual arrangement for automatic deposits and withdrawals to cover the real estate purchase, including the mortgage, would be your best ticket as a couple to handle this expense together.
Five Good Reasons Why to Avoid Combining Finances
5. Just Because
Just because you two have made a commitment to each other as a couple doesn't mean you should automatically put your personal finance at risk. Even if you think the two of you have zero reasons to not trust the other, keep in mind several couples made this mistake also. They pool their money together only for some kind of disaster to come up that witnesses one take advantage of the other. Sometimes, couples split up over this. Sometimes, they manage to stay together but at that point, there's already a deep wedge between them that has forever altered the relationship shared by the couple.
4. Moneymaking Schemes
As a couple, the desire to make their lives together as profitable as possible while keeping the romance alive may see an interest to become involved in a moneymaking scheme with hopes to strike it rich as business partners. For starters, if the scheme seems too good to be true odds are it is. Avoid them at all costs, especially if you happen to have money already combined in a special account. Doing business together while as a couple not only means the two of you live together but also work together. Unless the two of you have a business plan every bit as sound as the lifetime commitment you've made with each other, going in on any kind of investment with a joint bank account is unwise. Should something go wrong, both of you are at risk of losing more than just money. This can ruin your credit rating and your life. Is it worth it? Odds are, no, it's not.
3. Personal Debts
Each person should be held for their own debt. Although as a couple the idea is for the two of you to live your lives together for better or for worse, the last thing you two may want to consider is putting your finances together to cover each other's personal debts. It's one thing to owe money together on something the two of you have invested in as a couple but for one to put their own finances at risk just to cover the loved one's personal debt they brought unto themselves is foolish. Bottom line, you're not really doing your partner any favors by agreeing to take on a responsibility that shouldn't be yours, to begin with. Their debt is their own and it is up to them to handle it. It's okay for you to help that person out should they need it but don't put your own financial portfolio at risk by combining it with your significant other when they may have a debt load much higher than your own. The same can be said if you're the one with the greater debt. Also, dealing with debt can be a stressful experience. Why add to it by giving grounds for a fight should the person covering the debt isn't paid back by the person who
2. Bad Track Records
You and your loved one are great people and as a couple, you two are absolutely dynamite together. However, when the issue of being able to keep up with important bills and other financial matters comes with a bad track record of disconnections, late payments, and repossessions, then this is a huge red flag why pooling your money together would be a bad idea. Good intentions or not, desperate times often cause a person to kick any ounce of common sense out the door in favor of doing whatever it takes to survive the hour. This includes going as far as draining each other dry at a financial level that can prove to be disastrous. Perhaps the two of you are really honest people who make a dynamic duo but if there's too much financial instability in your life that is more than enough to put your relationship on the rocks and cause even more issues than you may have already.
1. Trust Issues
If you are in a relationship with somebody you can't trust, why would you remotely consider pooling your money with such a person? Already, your relationship is on shaky ground as it is, even if you happen to love who you think is your soulmate with all your heart. If that person has given you every reason not to trust them, then don't foolishly set up an account with someone that puts your finances at risk. Should you even stay together as a loving couple committed to each other no matter what, keep access to your money away from your significant other.
Doing This Together
There are many reasons, aside from what's already listed above, why couples should consider combining their finances together, as well as when it's time to refrain from doing so. From The Balance, its complete money guide offers a lengthy source of information on how to go about your finances as a person and as a couple. Whatever type of couple you think you are, there's information shared that covers at least most of the relationship types, married or unmarried. From Wife.com, there is a list of tips and reasons revolving around a couple's agreement to pool their financial resources together. Whether it's under the agreement to form a joint account or do so separately, that's up to you to decide. You're in this together, yes, but what would be the smartest move the two of you can make as a couple where your money is concerned? As important as it is to make a serious go with your commitment to your significant other, it's equally important to look out for yourself as well, including your finances.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee