How to Combine your Finances when Engaged

by Sahirenys Pierce

In this 2 Minute Q&A Tuesday, we’re going over how to use the High-5 Banking Method as a couple to help you combine your finances. This is a real topic of conversation when engaged and even when you move in with your partner. Bills are an expense that affects everyone and you have to create a game plan that works for you. I’ll be sharing how my husband and I transitioned into managing our finances together during the different stages of our relationship. The High-5 Banking Method is something that we naturally started doing once we started getting more purposeful with our money. Hopefully our journey can help you decide how you want to use the High-5 Banking Method as a couple.

Money Conversations

One of the most important conversations you can have with your partner is about money. I know it’s not a popular conversation to have. But you can learn a lot about who you’re partnering up with. Once my husband and I got engaged, we had a deep conversation about how we wanted to manage our finances once married. This was lead us to discuss our income, expenses, debts, and financial goals. We also talked about how the 2008 recession affected our families and how we wanted to protect ourselves from that. Since both of our dad’s couldn’t find work, it changed how we saw money and the balancing act of marriage.

This is when we both started having a mutual understanding of our bigger picture as it related to money. We committed to having each others back and to deal with the tough times together. Meaning that we were both ready to let go of this notion of his money vs my money. We understood the bigger picture and decided that we were ok combining our finances. I know this isn’t popular, but recessions, job loss, and illness is defiantly unpopular. Seeing that life isn’t always going to be roses and rainbows allowed us to see how rather we can go together.

Separate or Joint Finances?

While we dated we kept everything separate, our finances, our living situation, and our debt. It wasn’t until we moved in together that the conversation and realization of joint bills became a reality. It was awkward sending money to each other for every expense or giving each other the weird look of who’s swiping the card. Having a joint bills account just worked for us. We needed to see how much we actually needed to bring to cover our necessities and it helped us when I lost my job. I only lost it for a little bit of time, but now all the bills were on his plate. This made it clear to us how important it is to have a joint emergency fund.

Take Your Time

When you first move in together or get engaged you don’t have to run to combine finances. This can be done once you start seeing the red flags that something isn’t working. For us, we clearly saw that something wasn’t working. It’s important to understand that how one person does something doesn’t mean that’s how you have to do it. When a level of commitment is presented with trust, this can be the time to put your finances on the table. This will always be the first step to figuring out how slow or fast you need to go.

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