My husband (Paulo) and I got married back in September and we have been going through the process of combining our finances. This has been the biggest pain since we've gotten married. We are now almost 3 months into marriage and it is still something we are working through. Yes, there is no doubt that it is important as not combining your finances could result in financial stress and arguments with your spouse. Here are 5 tips to help you and your partner to combine your money with ease:
Decrease the number of accounts - My husband had 15 different accounts and most of them were savings account or money he put in various apps to get $200. I'm telling you the $200 you are getting from an app is not worth the headache of managing multiple accounts.
Get Quicken - Quicken is a great program to keep track of your spending and money transfers to other accounts. The key to keeping Quicken clean is limiting it to one or two accounts. Keep in mind these should be the main accounts that you use to pay for your bills and everyday life as well as the accounts that money is going into regularly. Any accounts that are for savings or retirement, do not include them in your Quicken updates.
Limit your spending to one account - Simplicity is key! Knowing how much money is going out is important and if you limit it to one account you are going to make your financial management 10x easier for yourself and your spouse.
Devise an overview yearly savings plan - During December, my husband and I sat down and discussed some of our goals. Mostly our focus has been getting rid of his student loans within the next 3 to 6 months, saving for a house, putting away funds for pet emergencies, traveling plans, and retirement. Over the next year, we have broken out our goals to put away about $40,000 and pay off his $22,000 in student loans. It is going to take some sacrifice, but I'm hopeful we may be able to do more if Paulo returns from deployment early. We focused on looking at everything monthly so the numbers above seem less daunting. When you are making that yearly plan - remember that.
Find ways to decrease expenses - By combining not only our finances, but we are also combining our households as well including car insurance, internet, electrical...etc. I have paid for condo, and he has a rented apartment. In the next few months, we will be moving in fully to the condo and we will no longer have a $3000 monthly rent payment. This is a big expense but look at any expense you and your spouse may share as there may be a way to combine and save money at the same time.