Molly's Money: How To Combine Finances After Marriage


  1. Amazing article ! Talking of which , if anyone requires to merge PDF or PNG files , my wife came across article here

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I’m getting married in a couple months and my fiance and I are getting ready to discuss our finances. This is especially helpful because our living situation is just like yours was, and I’ve been wondering what to do. Your advice is wonderful! Thank you!

  3. I recent got married and my husband and I planned on doing separate accounts due to trying to avoid fights. Well as you stated, this is not the best idea and we are trying to figure out a way to meet an agreement. I recently go offered a job and will be making more than he is. We both have credit card debit and student loans. How do you determine which credit card to pay off first? This is going to be a BIG adjustment for us, I like to spend and he does not. I want to ease into this in the most successful way possible. Any advice would be great.

  4. Question: How do you handle your business account(s)? My husband and I have a joint bank account which the majority of money goes in to, but we also have “individual” accounts that we use for our side businesses (I have done Thirty-One and such over the years). This just made it easier to see what income I was generating and what was going out without accidently dipping into our joint bank account. Just curious to know your opinion! I love your $$$ posts! We did Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace a few years ago and have been working on our debt snowball. We are almost done and I can’t wait to make that final payment! It’s going to be soo freeing!

    1. Hey Sophi! GREAT question! My husband and I both have side businesses too (he has a small side business and I have a “business” in this blog). We do have separate bank accounts for our side businesses. However, a couple things about that – 1. we both have access to the business accounts if we NEEDED to (and to hold each other accountable). 2. if we take an INCOME from those accounts, that income is OURS. For example, I hardly HARDLY ever take an income from my blog account because pretty much 90% of the money I make on this blog is invested right back into it for hosting fees, domain fees, paying my developer, designer, buying / upgrading / taking care of equipment, etc. But, any major purchase I make with my business account money, I always ask my husband first. Does that help and make sense?

  5. my wife owns a house and rents it, it is worth a lot and brings in a few hundred a month rent income. I have a separate stock trading account that has is much smaller and doesn’t really bring in anything. However I am the breadwinner and bring in a low 6 figure income from my day job. She does not work. She uses some of the rent income to pay tuition for our son. So she wants me to spend more of my stock money on the family, but I don’t want to touch it because that would diminish its return power. So the problem is she wants me to make sacrifices from my stocks, but I dont want to touch them, and I already feel like I contribute a lot from my paycheck. It’s very touchy.

  6. Just found your blog. Great post and one every new couple should read and adopt. When I was married it was better for our relationship to have separate accounts. Not all couples can handle this arrangement and the your/mine/our scenario is too much for some men to handle, especially if the woman earns more.

  7. Molly, I had this post saved in my reader to “get back to” for a few days, and I am so glad that I took the time to read it thoroughly beginning to end. I really like your advice – straightforward, with no wiggle room. My bf and I have been dating for 3 years and just moved in together this summer. It isn’t how I saw my love story going – I thought we would be married before we moved in together – but this is the way that it is going, and I am learning to accept it. We are also learning to share money and make responsible budgetary decisions AS A COUPLE… and let me just tell you that it is hard, but having a equal footing in the money pot is GOOD for our relationship, and I am glad that we are getting this practice before tying the knot and having major purchases to plan for. So what I really mean my this novel of a comment is that I Love this series lady!

  8. I completely agree with all of your points!!! We manage money in a very similar way. Honestly, I feel so lucky that this is one area of our lives where we almost never argue. We know where we stand all the time!

  9. I whole-heartedly agree with all the points in the post!! We have done almost everything the same way to a tee, and it has been so good for our marriage. It’s hard sometimes not to want to buy something without telling him, but I know it’s good for us in the long run to do everything together. Great post, Molly!!

  10. Hubs and I both entered our marriage debt free with the exception of good debt. We combined our finances quickly, mostly because I moved half way across the country to marry him. My bank didn’t even exist here. I knew the hubs would be sensitive to spending (and I’m cheap!), so I can remember calling or texting him, just to let him know I was going to buy a coffee or whatever. I wanted to move slowly with it and be sensitive to his needs. Now, it’s a no brainer. And I can even buy coffee without his knowledge. ha!

    Honestly, I think the keys are communication and respect.

    – Heather

  11. Hi Molly! I love your blog. I’m a single gal, so I know that I’m definitely not an expert in the matter of combining finances, but I’d love to hear more about why you think it’s important to combine everything, including debt? I currently have about $85,000 in student loan debt, and if I’m still working on paying that off once I’m married, I don’t want to pass that on to my husband, since it was my fault for getting into such massive debt in the first place!

    1. thank you SO much, monique! in my opinion, when you’re married, you marry all of that person, debt included. and so you become a TEAM. and as a team, you work together to pay off the debt. it’s tough, which is why you have to get it out there in the beginning, but i believe it is SO important to be victorious and debt free as a team and also go down as a team. it was tough for me to swallow at first too, but if you communicate to your future husband to be supportive, he’ll be there every step of the way!

  12. You have a lot of important insight into this hot topic! It’s definitely an important discussion to have with your partner. No matter what you decide on in your relationship, it’s important to both be on the same page above all else. Money WILL be a conflict if you don’t agree beforehand. And that will kill any relationship…married or not.

  13. I’m so glad DJ and I are on the same page. We’re moving to his hometown in Mississippi sometime this year or next and he wants us to treat our financial situation the same way you guys did. It’s the way we both think it should be done. This was really helpful. And well written! 🙂

  14. Great post! Me and hubby aren’t combining our finances since we both have full time jobs. But we do have a joint account for rent and stuff like that 🙂

      1. I think it’s even more important to combine finances when you both have full-time jobs! There’s more available income, thus more income to share as one unit. 🙂

        This post was RIGHT ON THE MONEY (c wut i did thar), Molly… and interestingly enough, was an object of contestation between Dustin and myself when we were first dating. His logic trumped mine…as it should have, because it was biblically-based logic. 😉

  15. Oh Molly, how do you know EXACTLY what I need to hear, when I need to hear it? So we’re in this weird limbo stage of engagement where we’re on the brink of deciding how to combine our finances and this was a perfect read! I’m curious, did you combine finances prior to your wedding? Also, how in the world did you pay for a wedding?! Haha we’re budgeting for the wedding now (we’re funding it all on our own) and there’s a high chance all of our savings for the next year will be used on the wedding. Being the money savvy diva you are, how crazy does that sound?

    1. haha i must have blogger ESP. 🙂 it’s DEFINITELY a tough, limbo stage. here’s what we did, we opened a joint checking account BEFORE we got married, but it was our wedding account. all the expenses for the wedding went in and out of that account – and it was ONLY wedding expenses, nothing else. we closed that account after the wedding.

      we waited until about a WEEK after we got married to do the actual switch (once we got back from the honeymoon) and it was after i legally changed my name. so we got back from the honeymoon on Saturday, I went to the social security office on Monday, got my name changed (and they give you a little sheet saying it’s changed) and then we went to the bank that following Saturday to do the official switch. That way it was a whole lot easier logistically to do everything with my name already changed so i wouldn’t have to go back and do it later.

      also, yes, we paid for our wedding. we took a LITTLE bit out of savings, but we basically pulled on the financial reigns and saved a lot every month toward the wedding. my in-laws helped a little, but we paid for the majority of it on our own. we figured out how much we could afford to save each month and then calculated our wedding budget from there and stuck to it. it was hard, but we did it! i’ll probably write on this soon, too! 🙂

      thank you so much, evani!

      1. We paid for our wedding ourselves too (with a little help from parents) and let me tell you – the budget was our saving grace! Figure out what you can reasonably afford and stick to it. Pretty much every decision that had to be made – we just asked the question: does this fit into our budget? Even though my husband thought calligraphy was an unreasonable expense, it fit into the budget so we didn’t have to argue about it. I would totally recommend laying everything out there in the beginning, it will make planning that much less stressful! And you won’t start out your new married life in debt 🙂

  16. We’ve been married for a year and a half and we’re still trying to get into a financial plan that works . We have very different spending habits so it’s been a process trying to find a balance. Down the road we may get a joint account, but for now we have two separate accounts.

    The Tiny Heart
    JCrew Giveaway!

    1. oh yeah it’s DEFINITELY a process for some couples – heck, every couple. it’s definitely not easy. but that’s why it’s good to at least have the discussions! you’re definitely on the right track!! 🙂

  17. I love this post, I’ve felt really out of control lately with my finances and it leads to unnecessary stress. We put everything we buy on credit cards and pay it all off at the end of the month (been married 2 years and never have missed paying it all off). So that’s not an issue, and we also get points for using the card. We’ve received hefty gas gift cards, etc. But on the negative side, I feel like I can just swipe like a maniac without having a clue how much we’ve charged that month. The buyer’s remorse sets in when I get the credit card bill. Would you suggest nixing the cards with the bonus points or maybe sticking to a tighter budget. It seems like a self control issue, but its so hard to keep up with what you’ve charged.

    You’re awesome, you’re diligence and hard work to pay off your debt inspires me. My student loans drive me crazy, but we are over doubling our payment so we will have them paid off 18 years sooner!

    1. Hey Rebecca, thank you SO much for your comment and your openness!! It’s hard because it’s different for every couple. We use our credit cards EXACTLY LIKE a debit card – so when we get paid throughout the month it all goes in our checking and then at the end of the month, we pay the credit card off in full. Now, we stick to a LINE ITEM budget and we literally track and record EVERY receipt. I even record my receipts for $0.85 at the gas station when I buy a pack of gum. So, we know exactly how much we bring in and EXACTLY how much we spend – down to the last penny. And so there are no surprises at the end of the month. Now, for some people, cutting the cards is the best option and just going to STRICT cash. That might be the best for you, but maybe try a line item, track every expense, budget one month and see how that works. Let me know what you think!!

  18. I love this – it’s definitely hard when you first get married to go from mine/yours to ours, but it makes your relationship that much stronger once you do! Sometimes you have to have difficult conversations, but that’s a part of being married!

  19. These are great tips!!!! THANK YOU!!! I have been waiting and praying for this post and it could not have come at a better time. You’re amazing <3!

  20. Great tips – I’m always interested in seeing how other people coordinate their finances. BF and I have discussed this in the past and I think we’re going the joint account/separate accounts route when we get hitched. I know it’s not for everyone, but we have completely separate accounts now and I don’t feel like there’s any secrecy on who is spending what. We’ve got our separate expenditures and have separate incomes coming in plus we’re both saving for the future.

    1. thanks for reading, girl and thank you for your comment! and i totally understand, but i would definitely at least advise that it be something you both discuss and consider. the joint / separate account route often has great intentions, but can introduce conflict down the road. you know you’re relationship best and you should always make the decision that’s best for you! 🙂

  21. So glad you did this post! I am actually going to send it to my husband to read. Fabulous. I really like how you give yourself and your husband “me money” I think that’s a great idea and how no matter how much you make, it’s equal.

  22. My boyfriend and I have already talked about this when we move in together. It’s so crazy to think that there will come a time when you combine your money! I will keep these tips in mind!

  23. I’m going to admit something’s to you. First, I love you. I love this post. I love your blog. Second, I don’t know why I don’t read it anymore or any other blogs that I really like and find useful/inspiring/beneficial, etc. I’m truly sorry about that. I’m making it a goal right now to read more of the blogs that fill my cup. Yours especially, is one of them. I love this topic. It’s such a hard one but so important too. And you helped me realize that what I’ve been fearing all along when it comes to money and relationships (particularly in my current, soon-to-be not so current relationship) was wrong. I was brought up seeing all the “couples” i.e. my parents, grandparents, other family member couples, friends’ parents have joint accounts, make decisions together, and so on. That’s how I thought it should be. I learned just a few months ago that that’s not how everybody thinks. And that’s ok. But it doesn’t mean that I’m going to change the way I think. Might be a bit too personal, ha! I’m really into this whole bearing my heart and soul thing lately. But thank you for writing this. I feel like it was something I needed to read to affirm what I already knew. I promise to read your blog more and comment from here on out. xoxoxo

    1. aw thank you SO much for your heart felt comment and for sharing your heart. this is DEFINITELY an issue that can often be difficult for people to swallow, but it’s SO important. and good for you for not changing the way you think. that’s ONLY going to help you down the road!

  24. Molly this is so timely, so thank you! I was just talking to my boyfriend about having the talk about finances (we don’t know how much each other makes/spends) and both agreed it’s a good idea to have before the next step. Your tips were really good reminders of the whole “we” and “our” thing (yeah I think that’s called marriage)?? It’s tough after spending 32 years on my own and the though of sharing my money sorta kills me – but your tips on the big picture really helped 🙂

    Pearls & Paws

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