Family Finance

By Darryl Budge

Two becoming one in finance

couple

Many financial advisors recommand couples keep separate bank accounts, and have a joint account for paying shared expenses.

For some, financial independence, autonomy and "never be dependent on somebody else" sounds like helpful advice.

But does this build a healthy, growing relationship that survives tough and good times?

Among those who have long and successful marriages, the more profitable adage is "As independence decreases, interdependence naturally increases".

Wedding celebrants often talk about marriage as a union of man and woman becoming 'one flesh'.

This oneness, produced through mutual respect and trust, will naturally be expressed in the sharing of all finances.

If a couple is unwilling to join all assets and bank accounts after marriage, this may be a signal that unresolved trust issues are lingering or developing in the relationship.

And, even if one partner may feel more secure with a separate account, this only treats the symptom when the core issue is unresolved distrust.

You may then ask: Wouldn't keeping the finances separate decrease money fights and make a divorce less likely?

Not exactly. A separation of 'his money' and 'her money' frequently leads to a him-versus-her mentality. Worse still, separate accounts may easily become secret accounts.

Your approach to money is symbolic of your values and priorities, therefore separating accounts only delays or excludes essential discussions on shared values and priorities.

An old proverb says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

SPEND AND SAVE TOGETHER

For some couples, you may agree upon all budgeted purchases and an agreed weekly amount for spontaneous purchases.

Another suggestion is to set a threshold dollar amount where the purchase must be mutually agreed upon.

Becoming 'one' in financial values and priorities will improve your shared compassion, personal discipline and 'oneness of mind', and bless your marriage for a lifetime.

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