Before combining finances, talk about your past

Before combining finances, talk about your past
Do you combine your finances or keep separate accounts?

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It may be the time of year for wedding bells, but that jingle of combining your money into one account might not sound nearly as pleasant.

Couples face a lot of issues when they get together and money can be the root of a lot of problems.

Before you talk about combining your finances, talk about your past and what you have in debt.

The clear advantages to combining finances is that money is easier to track and there's an automatic trust when it's all together and you see where it's going.

But not everyone puts all their money together - it's very common to have separate accounts.

Married financial advisers Tracy Shackelford and Harold Philipsen with Northwestern Mutual in Richmond have seen it all over the years.

They advise married and newly married couples all the time and say besides communication, they say discipline when it comes to spending is key.

"We also encourage couples to regularly review their plan. Maybe have monthly check ins or quarterly check ins. So, they realize they might be getting off in one area or another that can quickly help them come back on track," said Shackelford.

"Building an emergency fund is absolutely a very important first step," said Philipsen.


Another key step - visualize that future you want. Talk to your parents and grandparents. Think about what you want life to look like 30 or 40 years down the road so you both can plan for it.

The key is no secrets - always have open lines of communication and trust.

Copyright 2018 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.