Merging Your Money Checklist (Printable PDF)
Work as a team to merge and manage your finances. Maintain equal voices, because financial and non-financial contributions matter.
Your love has created your romantic partnership. Now it’s time to establish your financial partnership. It is very important that both of you are involved in financial planning and decision making, even if one partner will be handling most of the day-to-day tasks and transactions. Here are the four important financial issues to discuss before moving in together or marriage.
- Define Your Financial Machine
Do you want to have separate accounts? Split monthly expenses? Pool all your income? Many experts recommend keeping separate personal accounts and creating a joint account for household expenses. Having your own accounts and maintaining at least one personal credit card will ensure good individual credit standings. Then, make a financial plan and monthly budget together. Work as a team to create a plan for bookkeeping to ensure that bills will be paid and all financial obligations will be met. Download our Equal from the Start workbook to help as you discuss your individual assets, debts, and spending habits.
- Be Insured
Do you have a will? Do you need to update it to reflect your partnership? Wills are important for everyone, especially those with children. What kind of insurance do you have—and do you need a joint policy? You may each have your own health, car, and life insurance, but it is still important to discuss these policies to decide if it is better for you to retain your individual policies or look into combined options.
- Discuss Financial Goals
Work together to set goals that compliment your individual plans as well as the future of your household. The Equal from the Start workbook can help you as you discuss your financial goals for the future: You may both want to buy a house, get a new car, invest for retirement, or prepare for children, but you might prioritize these goals differently. Talking openly will help you create a financial plan that represents both your interests. Remember, compromise is an important part of any partnership’s financial plan.
- Start Establishing Strategy
What’s your plan to achieve your financial goals? Investigate investment opportunities and vet financial advisors together as this is an important step to establishing equality and making sure that both of you are informed and active participants in your financial future. Overall, it is important you are both aware of the structure of your financial machine and the status of your savings, debts, investments, donations, and any other money matters. Remember that both of you need to be able to locate and understand documents related to your finances and that copies of this paperwork should be kept somewhere safe as a backup.
Check Yourself: Decide what’s Next:
- Define our financial machine
- Be insured
- Discuss financial goals
- Start establishing strategy
For more specific questions to ask when merging your money, check out the Money Merging Specifics document.