Planning for Two: Coordinating Finances With Your Spouse

Comerica Bank

Two silver wedding bands on a white background

There is a lot to think about when managing finances with a new partner. As you consider your options, do not neglect everyday financial management.

Financial planning can be a major hurdle for new couples. Choosing to partner in life is a big step: It requires a great deal of trust and openness. Clear conversations about key issues such as a target minimum balance for accounts or how to manage saving and spending are critical.

It can be easy to focus heavily on big-picture issues. How much debt is each partner carrying into the relationship? How do you want to share responsibility for individual debt now that you're a couple? What are your savings goals? Those are the kinds ofmajor issues you'll often find in advice articles for partners getting started in life together. Managing key day-to-day financial issues can fly under the radar.

Everyday financial considerations for new couples

Managing your finances as a couple may force you to reconsider best practices around managing your bank accounts. Whether you choose to open new shared accounts, to maintain individual accounts or to blend the two options, it can help to revisit core banking issues that can influence your decisions. Here are a few primary considerations to keep in mind:

Balancing account types

At any given time, you may want to maintain a balance of checking, savings and money market accounts.

Checking accounts are great for money that is going to move in and out of the account frequently. You can configure them for direct deposits and payments, making them a natural fit for regular expenses such as rent or predictable bills.

Savings accounts let you set aside cash so it can earn interest. You can access money in a savings account, but there are often specific account policies that make it beneficial to only use funds from savings when you really need it. The account is not designed for frequent withdrawals.

Money market accounts blend checking and savings. They deliver interest comparable to and sometimes exceeding savings and you can also write a limited number of checks per month.

Mixing and matching these account types based on what you and your partner need can give you the right blend of flexibility and stability with your everyday banking resources.

Addressing hard-and-fast rules

If you are taking the step to share income, you may want to also create a few rules on how you will both use your money. For example, many couples will work to discuss any spending before making a purchase, but also set a baseline for what they consider a small enough amount to allow spending without having a conversation.

Identifying goals for a minimum account balance can also be helpful. You may want to do this to avoid overdrafting your checking account or to ensure you always maintain enough funds in your savings and/or money market account to ensure you are getting sufficient value from interest.

It is also worth talking about any bank policies — such as maintaining a certain minimum account balance for accounts, how the firm handles automatic payments and what happens when you overdraft — so both of you know what to expect.

Setting a foundation for financial partnership

This is not an exhaustive list of the kind of banking issues new couples should keep in mind. But as you consider these primary matters, you can start laying the groundwork for financial transparency with your partner. Getting on the same page and setting clear expectations can position you to avoid relationship stress due to financial uncertainty later down the line.

If you are looking for some help to navigate these issues, reach out to Comerica Bank today. We would be happy to talk with you and your partner about strategies we have helped couples enact to manage their day-to-day banking needs in today's fast-paced digital world. We also offer online banking tools to help you and your partner manage your finances together. 

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

Related Content