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Combining Finances with Your Partner

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May 08, 2022

According to TheKnot.com, 80% of all weddings take place between May and October each year. We're officially in wedding season! Many important decisions are made when planning a wedding, like picking your venue, flowers, and deciding which family and friends make the cut on the guest list. Yet, even more important decisions need to be discussed during this time as well: how will you and your partner handle your family finances?

Financial discussions with your spouse or partner can be a heavy subject especially for those couples who don't have the same financial habits. Whether you're soon-to-be married or have been married for a number of years, it's important for both partners to be on the same page when it comes to the family budget and how the household money will be handled:

  • Be on the same page: Regardless of what you come up with as a family, it's extremely important for both partners to be of the same understanding of the budget, how the money is spent, and what goals you are both working towards. Just as with everything else in marriage you must work as a team towards a common goal for your family. Sit down together and review all sources of income, savings, and have meaningful discussions about each partner's thoughts on money. Talking about money can sometimes be a tense conversation so think about ways you can find a middle ground so neither partner feels like there is too much or too little spending.
  • Make bank account decisions: Bank account decisions are often one of the first steps discussed after marriage. Having one joint bank account for all household funds may not be for everyone, and that's okay. Many couples keep separate bank accounts and have one joint checking account with a set draft coming in each month to cover household expenses. Other partners choose to pay a percentage of each bill every month or are individually responsible for set bills. Regardless of what you choose to do, this is one of the most important decisions you will make.
  • Set Rules: Combining finances doesn't mean you should lose your privacy or have to ask before making a purchase. You can implement the dollar limit rule: If one partner wants to make a large purchase over a set dollar amount, they must talk to their spouse about it. This could even be as small as purchases over $100, but it reinforces the idea that the money is household money and large purchases affect everyone in the household. Make sure to discuss with your partner what rules you think would benefit your household, and come to an agreement on what is the best fit.
  • 50/20/30: The 50/20/30 rule is our standard "budgeting" rule at oXYGen and we believe it's one of the easiest ways to set a budget. 50% of your income goes to needs like the mortgage and groceries, 20% goes to savings, and 30% goes to your wants. This is an easy way to keep the household spending under control while not having to stress about each and every dollar you & your partner spend. By following this rule, you will be able to structure your budget to cover needs and wants for both you and your spouse.

At first combining finances can be scary and it can be hard to feel like you have to answer to someone else, especially if that wasn't your norm before marriage. If partners can get on the same page spending wise, you will be well on the way to household harmony.

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About the author

Allison Baines

Allison Baines

Wealth Plan Design Specialist

Allison graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's of science in family & consumer sciences as a double major (financial planning & consumer economics). She started at oXYGen Financial shortly after in the Fall of 2014 and has been building her career in financial planning ever since. One of her biggest accomplishments was passing the CFP® exam in 2018.

Allison was born and raised in Dallas, GA but currently lives in Ball Ground, GA with her husband Rob and their son Carter. They also share their home with a Labrador named Sunny and a German Shepherd named Lola.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. Investor Disclosures: https://bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. https://Bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

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