If you are committed to someone, you probably want to share much of your life with them. Whether you’re married or in a monogamous relationship, you’ll probably want to sit down at some point to talk about what aspects of your finances it makes sense to share.
While sharing most financial undertakings and expenditures is sensible, there are a few you may want to keep separate. We’ll talk about some of those right now.
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1. Credit Card Debt
Maybe you get married, or you’re in a committed relationship with someone. One of you has excellent credit, while the other has a significant amount of credit card debt.
The one of you who doesn’t have very good credit can certainly look into the best way to consolidate credit card debt, and you can also take steps to be more careful with your spending. In the meantime, you’re probably best not combining your credit card accounts, at least for the moment.
The one of you with better credit can apply for things like bank loans or apartment leases. While the one of you who doesn’t have such great credit can work to improve it, the other partner will be in a much better position to get approved for things that you want or need as a couple.
If you get married or you’re committed to someone, it’s an act of trust if you combine all of your funds into a checking or savings account. While there’s no harm in opening an account and sharing it, it’s also usually prudent to each maintain separate accounts.
Each of you having a separate savings or checking account as well as a joint one does not mean that you’re keeping things from each other. A sensible way to look at it is that if one of you gets the other a surprise gift for their birthday or your anniversary, they won’t know about that expenditure because they won’t see the money being deducted.
Also, it’s not a bad idea to keep separate accounts on the off chance that you two break up. You probably don’t want to think about that, but it’s always possible.
3. Life Insurance
Having separate life insurance policies is also a good idea. If each of you is committed to the other, both of you having life insurance policies with the other person as the beneficiary is a smart play.
If you do that, each of you will know that you’ll be leaving the other person and your family money they can use if something unexpected happens to you. Most people don’t like thinking about their mortality, but you never know if you might get an unexpected medical diagnosis or if you could be in a tragic car accident.
Each of you having a separate life insurance policy in place shows you care about each other. You want to provide for one another if something unforeseen ever occurs.
Keep Some Financial Matters Separate
If you’re in a committed relationship with someone, you can combine your finances in many ways, but you should keep them separate in certain others. You’ll each want a life insurance policy with the other person as the beneficiary. You should each have separate bank accounts as well as at least one joint one.
You can keep separate credit card accounts if one of you has better credit than the other. The one with the credit that’s not so wonderful can work at it. The other partner can use their better credit to apply for new credit cards, personal loans, apartment leases, etc.
Being smart with money as a couple means combining some of your financial matters while keeping a few select ones separate.