From Separate to Joint: A Millennial Couple's Guide to Combining Finances

May 8, 2023

Combining finances with a partner is a big step in any relationship, but for millennial couples, it can be especially daunting. With student debt, rising housing costs, and a lack of proper financial education, it's no wonder that money is a major stressor for many young adults. However, with some planning and open communication, combining finances can actually help set you and your partner up for a more secure financial future. In this post, we'll explore some tips and strategies for millennials looking to move from separate finances to joint accounts.

Start with a conversation:

The first step in combining finances is to have an honest and open conversation with your partner about money. This can be an uncomfortable topic for many couples, but it's important to get on the same page about your financial goals and values. Don’t be afraid to discuss your income, debt, savings, and any other financial obligations you have. Make a plan for how you'll manage your money together, including how much you'll each contribute to joint expenses and how you'll handle individual spending.

Envision your shared financial future:

Combining finances is not just about managing money in the present; it's also about planning for your shared financial future. Take some time with your partner to dream and envision the life you want to build together. What are your long-term financial goals? Do you want to travel the world, buy a house, or start a business? Having a shared vision for your future can help you make better financial decisions in the present. Consider creating a financial plan that outlines how you'll work toward your shared goals, and regularly revisit your plan to ensure you're staying on track. By working together toward a shared vision for your future, you can build a strong foundation for a happy and financially secure life together.

Decide on joint or separate accounts:

One of the biggest decisions you'll need to make when combining finances is whether you'll have joint accounts, separate accounts, or a combination of both. Joint accounts can be a good option for couples who want to pool their money and make joint decisions about spending and saving. Separate accounts can be useful for maintaining some independence and privacy, as well as for managing individual expenses. Consider your personal preferences and financial situation when deciding what will work best for you.

Set up a cash flow plan:

Creating a cash flow plan (or budget) is an essential step in managing your combined finances. Start by tracking your expenses and income to get a clear understanding of your financial situation. Then, make a plan for how you'll allocate your money each month, including how much you'll save, how much you'll spend on necessities like rent and groceries, and how much you'll allocate for discretionary spending (bonus points if you automate your expenses and savings). Remember to be flexible and revisit your cash flow plan regularly as your financial situation changes.

Be transparent and communicate regularly:

Open communication is key to any successful relationship; this is especially true when it comes to managing your finances. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about your finances and be transparent about any changes to your financial situation. Regularly check in with each other about your budget, spending, and progress toward your financial goals.

Combining finances with a partner can be a big step, but with some planning and communication, it can set you up for a more secure financial future. Remember to start with an honest conversation, envision your future together, decide on joint or separate accounts, set up a cash flow plan, and communicate regularly with your partner. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to reach out to a financial planner who can help facilitate these conversations and provide expert guidance on how to achieve your shared financial goals. By working together and seeking professional help when needed, you can build a solid financial foundation for your future as a couple.

Let's Make a Plan.

You wouldn't wait until the morning of a flight to plan a trip.

Don't wait until retirement to make a financial plan.