Seven Steps Couples Should Take Before Blending Their Finances

Getting on the same page now can ensure you remain successful throughout your relationship.

A couple look over their bills at the kitchen table.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you’re a few months or a few years into a relationship, talking with your partner about money can sometimes feel awkward. You may have different goals for your money or different behaviors regarding spending and saving, and these differences can sometimes be the catalyst for arguments you aren’t sure how to solve.

For couples who choose to blend their finances, getting on the same page about money is even more vital to long-term success. For your finances to work as one, you and your partner must work as one — and, according to the financial experts of Kiplinger Advisor Collective, follow these seven key steps.

Below, they elaborate on each suggestion, explaining why having meaningful discussions and ensuring you each have a stake in the game will not only make you stronger financially but as a couple as well.

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Build a foundation of trust
“An important step is establishing — and then maintaining — trust. Mistrust of your partner with financial matters can function like poison in a relationship, and it's hard to recover from. Financial infidelity is fairly common, unfortunately. A recent Bread Financial poll found that 48% of respondents admitted to committing financial infidelity, with some even keeping hidden purchases from their partner.” — Trae Bodge, Trae Bodge Media, LLC

Discuss and agree on your future goals
“The most important step is to sit down and talk about your future goals together — aka the ‘why.’ When you have determined that you want kids and/or a house and/or to retire by a certain age, and those are goals that you both agree on, it makes any disputes that come up in the future very easy to handle. Simply answering the question, ‘Does this align with our goals?’ will solve most issues.” — Tyler Wright, Defining Wealth LLC

Understand your relationships with money
“Have an intimate and honest conversation about how each of you feels about money. This includes discussing each of your relationships with money and how you, as a couple, will meld these relationships to accommodate both of your beliefs, needs, wishes and wants.” — Deborah W. Ellis, Ellis Wealth Planning

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Create a joint budget
“One critical step for couples blending their finances is to create a joint budget. This involves openly discussing income, expenses, savings goals and financial responsibilities. A joint budget helps you understand each other's financial habits and priorities, leading to a unified approach toward spending, saving and investing. It fosters the transparency and trust essential for the relationship!” — Amrita Choudhary, Wasabi Technologies

Keep some 'fun money' for each of you
“Don't blend everything. To keep a healthy marriage, keep some money for yourself. If your partner craves the latest iPhone and you collect rare comic books, you don't need to fight. Instead, budget for both. Agree on how much ‘fun money’ you two will set aside, whether it's a percentage of salary or a dollar figure. That won't stop each of you from being judgy, but it will stop you from arguing.” — Howard Dvorkin,

Establish and maintain open communication
“One important step couples should take as they start blending their finances together is establishing open and honest communication about their financial habits, goals and expectations. This helps build trust and align the couple's financial goals. Open communication about shared finances is a critical aspect to achieving financial success.” — Greg Welborn, First Financial Consulting

Ensure you both have equal access to information
“Build trust and ensure access to joint information. So much of our financial lives are in online accounts, whether they be banking, investments, real estate, retirement or credit. Look for systems where both parties can have full access to these accounts to maintain equal visibility to the changing nature of the financial aspects of these accounts.” — John Bodrozic, HomeZada

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The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

Kiplinger Advisor Collective

Kiplinger Advisor Collective is the premier criteria-based professional organization for personal finance advisors, managers, and executives.