Newlyweds: How to Blend Your Finances
Money is a common cause of conflict among couples. Blend your financial lives successfully, and you are more likely to have a happy marriage, according to Cathy Pareto, a financial adviser in Coral Gables, Fla.
Early and frequent communication discussing debts, income, credit history, investments and goals is critical. When starting out in a relationship, until you've had plenty of honest dialogue, set the ground rules and built the trust you need to put your money together, Pareto recommends keeping accounts mostly separate.
After the honeymoon, especially after you buy a house and have kids, it makes sense to merge more of your finances. Although, most financial advisers recommend that you each keep at least one credit card in your own name and have access to some money that you can spend without having to consult your spouse (you should check with each other about large purchases).
Talk frequently about your plans, and don't let your emotions become stumbling blocks. Doug Pauley, a financial adviser in Austin, TX., said sometimes it can help to consult a financial counselor or a financial planner you both trust, who can add perspective and help defuse arguments.
To read more about blending finances, visit Kiplinger.