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Why couples that are ‘financially together’ stay together.

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Before saying “I do “on your big day, one conversation that must come to fruition between you and your future spouse is how you will manage your finances moving forward. It is not the most comfortable conversation, as money is often one of the most challenging topics for couples to discuss. Laying all the cards on the table will most definitely save you from a much more uncomfortable conversation down the road.

There are several ways that you can manage your money within a marriage, opening a Joint account, having separate accounts or a combination of both. Ultimately there is no right answer, simply it is what works best for you as a couple. Here are a few pointers that will help you both determine what strategy is the best fit.

A Joint account

If you are tying the knot with your significant other, chances are that you share some expenses and have done so for some time. A joint account makes sharing expenses and budgeting more practical and convenient, as well as can help align your investment and savings goals. Quite simply a joint account is a checking or savings account that is in the name of two or more people. You Both have equal access and equal responsibility for the transactions made through the account.

While the choice to open a Joint account is much more administrative than romantic, research has shown that Couples that Pool their Finances together enjoy greater relationship satisfaction.  promoted feelings of ‘Financial togetherness and are thus more likely to stay together in the long run.[1]

Pros

  • Joint accounts promote feelings of financial togetherness.
  • Couples that Pool their finances concurrently experience greater levels of relationship satisfaction than couples that keep their finances separate.
  • Helps you both stride towards your shared financial goals.
  • Less work to keep track of Expenses.

Cons

  • Could lead to resentment over personal spending habits.
  • You do not have control over the transactions and withdrawals within the account.  
  • If there is a line of credit under the account, you are both equally liable for the debt due, even if you are not the one who took advantage of those funds.

Separate Accounts

It might be more within your comfort zone to keep things separate at first. Given that money is a particularly pervasive and recurrent source of marital conflict. There is no need to rock the boat before it leaves the bay. Although it may be simpler at first it takes a fair amount of communication regarding who is going to pay for what.   

Pros

  •  Individually responsible for your spending habits as well as paying any previous debt that was brought into the marriage (Ie, Student debt).
  •  Less likely to create discontent regarding your partner's spending habits.

Cons   

  • Keeping track of what each partner owes the other which takes a fair amount of time and effort.
  • Couples that utilized this style of money management reported less satisfaction within their relationship.
  •  It can create a ‘yours vs mine’ sentiment within the relationship

The Last Word  

Yet again there is no right way to manage your finances as a couple as every situation is unique, and it may take a little trial and error. But with a little planning, consistent communication, and trust, you and your partner can have a long happy marriage that is free of conflict about money.

- Mitchell Cathcart, Marketing Associate, Kondwelani Kalinda, Licensed Assistant & Financial Planning Associate and Grant White, Portfolio Manager  at Endeavour Wealth Management with iA Private Wealth, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Together, Endeavour Wealth Management provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.

This information has been prepared by Mitchell Cathcart, Marketing associate, Kondwelani Kalinda, Licensed Assistant& Financial Planning Associate and Grant White, Portfolio Manager for iA Private Wealth and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Private Wealth. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Investment Advisor can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.

[1] Emily Garbinsky, Joe Gladstone, and Cassie Mogilner (2019) ,"Pooling Finances and Relationship Satisfaction", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 47, eds.Rajesh Bagchi, Lauren Block, and Leonard Lee, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 569-570.

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