Every relationship is different, but one subject seems to cause more stress than others in a relationship: money. Specifically, how we create it, spend it, and speak about it.
Do we open a joint checking account? Do we make different investments? How will we divide the bills? Is it necessary for us to notify our partner about every penny we spend?
Finances can be a touchy subject — whether you’re married or not — but it’s an incredibly important one. What you do today can affect your future together (think: buying a home, going on vacations, retiring) and you need to be on the same page.
Here are the times you should combine your finances:
1. Car Insurance Payments
Did you know you could save money by combining your car insurance with your partner’s? Yes — by putting two cars on one insurance policy, you could be eligible for discounted rates. Some up to 20% per additional car.
That’s why this is one financial move you should make together, and one you should check out every six months or so — it could save you some serious money.
2. Emergency Funds
If you share a life together, you’ll likely share the emergencies, too. Sick kids, company-wide layoffs and natural disasters don’t pick and choose their victims.
So having an emergency fund together is a smart move to make sure everyone is protected and has access to it.
3. Credit Cards and Loans
You’ve got big plans. Maybe you’ve got your eye on a new car. Or you’re hoping to buy a house in the next few years. Or you’d even like to start your own business. But here’s the thing: No matter what your goals are, you might not realize how much your credit score is standing in your way.
But if you and your partner work together to pay off debts and keep low balances on credit cards, you can both benefit from any bumps in your credit score.
When you invest in the stock market, you could earn an average of 7% year over year just by holding your investments.
And if you invest alongside your partner, you’ll also get an average of 7% — but 7% of a larger sum. That’s why it could be a smart move to combine your account with your spouse’s or open a new one together.
5. Tax Returns
This combined financial strategy might not work for everyone — it depends on how complicated your tax returns are or what your financial goals are.
But for most married couples, the tax credit you’d get on your yearly tax returns is enough to make it worthwhile.
6. Life Insurance
Ok, so you can’t combine life insurance policies even if you wanted to. But you should both have life insurance policies with each other as the beneficiaries.
Why? Because you need to think about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone — Like how they’ll pay the bills or send the kids through school. Now is a good time to start planning for the future by looking into a term life insurance policy.