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  • Writer's pictureLaura Donovan

Relationships & Money

February brings us two of the greatest holidays of all time: Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day.

I always look forward to Groundhog day because 1. Groundhogs are adorable, and 2. I love the that in today’s modern era we still rely on a groundhog to let us know if we’re in for six more weeks of winter. As the temperature’s in the single digits this week … I know I’m not alone in hoping that the groundhog predicts an early spring!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re dedicating this blog to two of our most common money & relationship questions! Enjoy!

Is my relationship ready for the money talk?

It’s normal to wonder when your new relationship might be ready for the money talk… and the anxiety that goes along with thinking about having that conversation. We believe that money conversations should become normal – not taboo – especially with someone who is now a significant part of your life.

There is no magic clock to tell you when it’s time to start discussing this topic – trust your intuition. Some points in time to consider: if you’re planning a trip together – that might be a good time to bring up budgeting; if you’re meeting each other’s family, share what you learned about money growing up and how that might impact you today (the good & the bad).

If you’re thinking about taking a big step together – such as moving in together or adopting a joint fur-baby it’s definitely time to sit down and hash out the (financial) details.

When and how do I combine finances with my significant other?

When we’re working with couples who are either engaged, newly married or have been partners for a long time, we often hear some version of: we think it’s time to combine our finances, but have no idea how to do that.

First I’d like to give a disclaimer: “combining finances” does not have to mean that you & your significant other are going to literally combine bank accounts, credit cards and other financial accounts, and from this day forward, only use the same bank, credit card, and other accounts.

Remember, it was in the 1960’s that women were allowed to open their own bank accounts, and it was only in 1974 (!) that a woman was allowed to open a credit card by herself with the passing of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

In today’s day and age, most folks keep their own banks accounts, credit cards and other accounts, although they might have a joint bank account that they use as well. What’s more important to me with this question, is that both parties have a general sense of where all the accounts are, roughly the balances in them, and if there is any debt - have a sense of how much that is as well, and what the payment plan is for the debt.

When we talk about combining finances today, we’re really thinking about how do these two separate financial plans come together as one, so that both of you are working together towards the goals that matter to you.



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