We just got married and we have our finances still separate. And, we've mainly kept them separate because I like to maintain my independence and I also really love to shop. So, Suze, now that we're married and we're trying to save for our family, we wanted to know: Should we continue to keep our finances separate? Or shall we merge them together?—Komel and Jim
Suze Orman: Obviously whenever we have guests on, we ask you to fill out all of your expenses, what assets you have, how much money and what's going on here. And a lot of what went on is, Komel, you actually were angry at Jim because you felt you were separating expenses, but that you were paying more per month than he was paying in expenses, even though you make $15,000 a year less. Correct?
Would you be interested to know that Jim is actually paying a thousand dollars more per month in expenses than you are paying? But Jim, would you be interested in knowing that your wife, who you think loves to shop, [has] $40,000 worth of money in her name and you only have $17,500 of money in your name? What is that about? So, your little shopping wife actually has almost three times more money than you do.
But here's what I want you to get: You're both doing fine with money, but we have a problem because we have $25,000 of credit card debt. So, let's clear up the debt. Here's how I want you to do it: My dear, Komel, you have $10,000 in a savings account. You have $15,000, Jim, in investments and things. Let's get rid of those. Get rid of the debt and let's start all over again. You don't have to share expenses where you're sharing accounts; you can keep things separate for now.
5 tips for sharing money and love
My advice would seriously be: Share your time together and pay your bills together, but at this point in time I would not be merging money until you get a little bit more financially intimate with one another.
Next: How do you get financially intimate?