The rules have changed. The days of men-as-the-only-breadwinners are over and there's a lot more non-traditional relationships, cohabitation and “it’s complicated.” No matter what stage of relationship you’re in, talking about money, early and often, is critical to your long-term success as partners. A survey by TDBank founds that 74% of millennials discuss financial matters weekly, and they’re happier in their relationship as a result.
The truth is, discussing money with your significant other can be hard, especially if your finances aren’t as great or as straightforward as you’d like them to be. I still remember the day I started to share my financial details with my husband-to-be, wondering if it would impact our relationship in some way. Instead, that awkward conversation became productive — helping us have many more conversations about finances in a more transparent and honest way as our relationship evolved.
The number one question we get from couples is about how they should merge their finances. Should they go all in or keep things totally separate? Should they plan for the best case scenario or the worst? How do other people do it?
Based on our research, we’ve developed this guide to combining your financesto help you get started.
This guide is targeted at couples who are just moved-in together or are recently engaged. We’ve also heard from many married couples that found this exercise beneficial.
One of the best money personality tools I’ve seen out there is Olivia Mellan’s Money Harmony quiz. It’s short, it’s free, and she has a book you can buy if you want to dig into your personalities further. We’ve included some discussion questions in the Combining Finances Guide to talk through once you’ve gone through the quiz.
According to an Experian report, 59% of divorced adults attribute their divorce (in some part) to financial issues — so the consequences of not doing so are very real. We suggest starting with calculating and then sharing your net worth, which looks at your assets (everything you own) and your liabilities (everything you owe).
Pro-tip: You can easily pull this information together on Zeta. Once you’ve got this high-level view of your finances, you should also cover your overall income and even your credit score. These three financial indicators will give both people a good understanding of the financial footing you’re on.
To help you consider each model carefully, I’ve listed them out in the Combining Finances Guide, along with a practical steps on how to implement each model.
For example, my husband and I choose not to fully integrate our finances as we each have very different risk appetites. When I shared some of the investment goals I have for the near-future, it made it clear to us that keeping our money separate would give me the financial freedom to pursue those goals without making him feel like he’d have to come along for the ride.
My own financial journey led me to found Zeta, a free tool focused on helping couples navigate their finances together. We’ve spent countless hours talking to couples and financial advisors about what works or doesn’t.
Thanks to Jessica Skeete and Gordon Macrae.
Managing money as a couple can be challenging at times. Here are a few tips to help you win at love and money.READ MORE
Learn how to build a budget that works best for your relationship, no matter what stage you're at.READ MORE
A newsletter designed to help
you achieve relationship goals.
A newsletter designed to help you achieve relationship goals.
To safely consume this site, we recommend reading this disclaimer. Any outbound links will take you away from Zeta, to external sites in the world wide web. Just so you know, Zeta doesn’t endorse any linked websites nor do we pay/bribe anyone to appear on here. Any reference to prices on the site are just estimates; actual prices are up to specific merchants and their current desire to charge you for things. Also, nothing on this website should be construed as investment advice. We’re here to share our favorite tools, tactics and tips for managing your money together. This content is for your responsible consumption. Please don’t see this as a recommendation to buy specific investments or go on a crypto-binge. Lastly, we 100% believe that personal finance is exactly that, personal. We may sometimes publish content on this website that has been created by affiliated or unaffiliated partners such as employees, advisors or writers. Unless we explicitly say so, these post do not necessarily represent the actual views or opinions of Zeta.
1Zeta is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Piermont Bank; Member FDIC. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at the issuing bank are combined and insured under an FDIC Certificate of $250,000 per depositor. The Zeta Mastercard® Debit Card is issued by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted.
2Zeta Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is effective as of 05/01/2023, for customers who qualify for VIP status. Minimum amount to open an account is $0.00. Minimum balance to earn the APY is $0.01. Interest rates are as follows: 2.43% APY applies to the entire balance for customers who qualify for VIP status. Interest rates may change after the account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings.