My Money or Our Money


The pros and cons of pooling finances with your significant other.

Some couples face a difficult (and sometimes awkward) question when they decide tie the knot: Should they combine their finances, keep them separate, or do a little of both?

What they decide depends on a lot of different factors—including how comfortable they are comingling their money and whether they have confidence in their partner’s spending habits. Studies have found that couples who combine their credit-card, bank, and investing accounts are happier in the long term. (1) Their pooled resources help them achieve traditional goals such as saving for retirement and buying a house—and leads to greater wealth. The Wall Street Journal reports that married couples hold four times as much wealth as unmarried couples who live together, and researchers say combining finances is one reason for that. (2)

There are also other benefits to pooling finances, according to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (3) The study shows that couples who pool all of their money experience greater relationship satisfaction and are less likely to break up. This is especially true for couples with low household income or those experiencing financial distress. Couples who openly talk about money issues are more likely to be on the same page—and more likely to achieve their financial goals, according to the study.

Survey reveals financial secrets

According to a 2022 survey by, 43% of couples have only joint baking accounts, 34% have a mix of joint and separate accounts, and 23% keep their finances completely separate. (4)

Some of them admitted to being “financially unfaithful,” according to survey results. For example, 32% of respondents admitted to one—or all—of the following:

ƒ Spending more than their partners would be comfortable with
ƒ Holding secret debt and/or a secret credit card, checking account, or savings account

Young adults and millennials were more likely to keep financial secrets from their partners, and the reason could be because their relationships are in their earlier stages than respondents who are Gen Xers and baby boomers. (5)

Tips for strengthening financial compatibility 

Money is a common cause of stress in relationships, but the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has some tips to help reduce the chances of financial tension between couples (6) :

ƒ Start a conversation early in your relationship. Keep it simple. Talk about debt, any specific financial goals, and your money habits. Your early conversations should also include discussing how your respective families handled money while you were growing up. Also, do you have any money quirks?

ƒ Share financial facts. Discuss your income and assets, and avoid being judgmental— because you’re a team. Talk about whether to combine your financial assets, or keep some independent accounts (especially if one of you has kids). If you combine finances, talk about any ground rules, such as limits on how much can be spent for personal items.

ƒ Establish a joint spending and saving plan. A simple joint budget that you work on together is a good place to start. Add up your monthly income (after taxes) and your anticipated expenses. Refine it together as needed. Also, check to see if you can save
money by combining certain accounts, such as insurance.

ƒ Set short-term and long-term priorities. Do you want to buy a new house, wipe out debt, plan your trip of a lifetime? Talk about your priorities and goals—and set joint goals.

ƒ Set dates for goals and checking in with each other. Also, have a conversation about which of you should be the primary bookkeeper, paying bills and ensuring no account is at risk of becoming overdrawn. Keep the conversations going, and review your budget regularly, making adjustments as needed.

Like all plans, some adjustments may be needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from your CPA or financial advisor if you need more guidance.


Thanks for checking out the blog. 

Joe Breslin , CFP®



(1) The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 4, 2022: Couples Who Combine Finances are Happier, so Why Don’t More Do it?

(2) The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 7, 2022: Moving in Together Doesn’t Match the Financial Benefits of Marriage, but Why?

(3) APA PsycNet: Pooling Finances and Relationship Satisfaction

(4), Jan. 27, 2022: 32% of Coupled U.S. Adults Have Cheated on Their Partners Financially

(5), Jan. 27, 2022: 32% of Coupled U.S. Adults Have Cheated on Their Partners Financially

(6) 360degrees of Financial Literacy, American Institute of CPAs: Love & Money: 5 Steps to Help Couples Strengthen Financial Compatibility


This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any
individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive
outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.

This material was prepared by LPL Financial.   Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and
broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). 
Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL Financial affiliate, please note LPL Financial makes no representation with respect to such entity.


Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:


Share This Article


You May Also Like

Asset Protection in Estate Planning

You’re beginning to accumulate substantial wealth, but you worry about protecting it from future potential creditors. Whether your concern is for your personal assets or your business, various tools exist to keep your property safe from tax collectors, accident victims, health-care providers, credit card issuers, business creditors, and creditors of others.

Read More »

Estate Planning: An Introduction

What estate planning means to you specifically depends on who you are. Your age, health, wealth, lifestyle, life stage, goals, and many other factors determine your particular estate planning needs.

Read More »

Taking Advantage of Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

Employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s are some of the most powerful retirement savings tools available. If your employer offers such a plan and you’re not participating in it, you should be. Once you’re participating in a plan, try to take full advantage of it.

Read More »

Properly Insuring Your Business

No matter how careful you are in running your business, accidents happen. And no matter how big or small your business, you’ll have to plan for these and other risks if you want your business to thrive. One way to do this is with insurance.

Read More »

Funding a Buy-Sell Agreement with Life Insurance

As a partner or co-owner (private shareholder) of a business, you’ve spent years building a valuable financial interest in your company. You may have considered setting up a buy-sell agreement to ensure your surviving family a smooth sale of your business interest and are looking into funding methods. One of the first methods you should consider is life insurance.

Read More »

Transferring Your Family Business

As a business owner, you’re going to have to decide when will be the right time to step out of the family business and how you’ll do it. There are many estate planning tools you can use to transfer your business. Selecting the right one will depend on whether you plan to retire from the business or keep it until you die.

Read More »

Don't Miss Anything

Stay up to date with our monthly newsletter.