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Should you combine finances after marriage?

Splitting expenses and saving for shared goals can be key financial pieces of a marriage. There are 3 ways to coordinate your money after getting married: keeping separate accounts while dividing shared costs and savings, partially combining finances to cover household bills, shared expenses, and shared savings, and completely combining finances and using joint accounts for spending and saving, except for retirement. Let’s review some pros and cons for each of these styles of money-management for couples.

Keeping your finances entirely separate

Pros: Each person gets to keep and manage their own money.

Cons: It takes ongoing effort to make sure expenses and savings are split equitably.

Having your finances partially separate and partially combined

Pros: You can budget for household bills and joint expenses, it’s easy to track payments for joint expenses and partners have some autonomy for personal spending and saving.

Cons: This requires some math and budgeting upfront to understand how much money each partner should contribute to the household finances.

Having your finances entirely combined

Pros: It’s convenient to pay bills, track spending and saving, and owning bank and investment accounts jointly can be an easy estate planning move.

Cons: Your spending habits may not always line up, one partner may have more debt, and it can be messy to untangle.

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This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.