Should You Combine Finances?

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description

You've just moved in with your boo, but the first rent bill comes and you wonder... "How should we split this?"

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Two Cents was created by Katie Graham, Andrew Matthews, Philip Olson CFP® and Julia Lorenz-Olson and is brought to you by PBS Digital Studios. We love dropping some knowledge on all things personal finance and helping you make better money decisions.

Two Cents is hosted by Philip Olson, CFP® and Julia Lorenz-Olson
Directors: Katie Graham & Andrew Matthews
Written by: Andrew Matthews
Executive Producer: Amanda Fox
Produced by: Katie Graham
Edited & Animated by: Sara Roma
Images by: Shutterstock
Music by: APM

💬 Comments on the video
Author

Looking at financial channels like this one has help me pay off all my debt besides my house. More millennials are becoming financially literate by watching YouTube.

Author — Marquis Patterson

Author

My wife and I are far from traditional, but we've discussed money early in our relationship. She brought in student loans, where I had none. I knew that going in and agreed to tackle that together. We paid off her student loans together and are debt free aside from our mortgage.

The way we share finances is we keep a certain amount of each paycheck to a personal account ($150/paycheck since we're paid on the same schedule) and the rest goes into a joint account to pay for the budget we've agreed on. I primarily do the finances and report back to my wife on the monthly reports (essentially). I don't question what she buys with her personal money and she doesn't question my personal expenses. We discuss larger joint purchases and how it will affect both of us (cars, trips, etc.). We also have a dedicated travel fund.

Author — Jason R

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1 of 4 failed marriages are caused by money problems. It’s a real issue. Thanks for tackling such a sensitive topic in a world with a variety of non-traditional set ups. Great video!

Author — Steve Ram

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I'm glad you mentioned the possibility of abusive relationships. Thanks for keeping your advice and pros/cons discussion realistic

Author — gracemistress

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As someone from Sudan ..I don't know what to do with most of the information I get from your videos, but I am enjoying it ... Keep it up

Author — al modeer

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Love this concept of "fun money"! Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship! As always, great video!

Author — Erika Kullberg

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Moral of the story:
Write it down and have an organized plan, don't just argue about it every month.

Author — Nope

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I feel like the causation between couples combining money and staying together might go the other way around too. Like couples who had healthier relationships are more likely to combine their resources?

Author — Geof Tian

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The positivity from you two while also showing what didn’t work out in the past and learning from it is what I enjoy the most about this series. Keep up the great work guys!

Author — Miguel Z

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We didn't have any problems sharing finances until we bought a house a couple of months ago. Now we're definitely going to try the envelope system you mentioned. Grill here we come

Author — Cam Rodriguez

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It’s literally my dream to see you two do a collab with Dave Ramsey because both of y’all’s advice intersects so much and all three of y’all are wonderful humans! Please make it happen!

Author — PewpewParamedic

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I’ve watched a lot of fellow soldiers have their bank accounts drained by their spouse for the few years I was in. That taught me to keep bank accounts separate, and only have one joint account for bills.

Author — Mike Li

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When my wife and I started budgeting, I felt resentment, being the spender in the relationship. The BEST thing we did with our monies, aside from saving as much as we can (the result of a big attitude shift), was including equally-funded allowance catagories. Now we can save like crazy and I can fund my hobbies without having every purchase "approved" by my better half.

Author — ahale1987

Author

My partner and I keep separate finances, and one joint account - we pay equally into that a little more than needed per month, and common expenses go out from that. Surplus can be used for holidays/saving/joint purchases. This means that we don't patrol each other's spending, & have spending independence.

Author — Daniel M.

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Your method of having individual envelopes of "guilt free spending money" while having combined finances is EXACTLY what my wife and I do. This is the exact method I setup with my wife (then fiance) when we combined finances six years ago and it works great!

Author — olandir

Author

My husband recommended me your video, and I was hooked. In fact now I know where most of his knowledge come from. You give amazing information, that is concise, relevant, so well formulated and presented. We have significantly cut down on eating out, which anyway we felt out of habit not really so much fun. Thank you so much!

Author — lala land

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I'm glad you guys looked at it from both points. My husband and I keep our finances separate and people always tell us that's a bad sign. It's what works for us and keeps us from getting into disagreements about how we choose to spend our "fun" money.

Author — Pk4ene

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The wife and I have everything in a joint account with each getting a weekly allowance for our own spending. It really does allow us to do our own things without affecting the other.

We've been budgeting this way for nearly 9 years now. We have gotten out of student loan debt ~$80k combined and nearly completely out of debt ~12 months away.

Author — Chris Green

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Actually my grandparents, who were born in the 1920s, kept separate bank accounts and served as the example upon which I modeled my own separate finance system with my husband.

Author — TheNovelNovelist

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My husband and I have been together 28 years and we have separate finances and do bill parsing. We very rarely have disagreements about money. There are some things I'm interested in and pay for, such as electronics and cable, and things he's interested in and pays for, such as landscaping and lawn care. Major purchases such as property or vehicles we split.

Author — Ford Warrick Jr