Consolidating finances after marriage

If you're considering opening an account together, strike up a conversation. Then move on to sharing your credit ratings, assets, student loans and other parts of your financial portfolios.

It often doesn't work when newlyweds add money to their personal bank accounts first, then put the remaining cash in the joint account, Edelman says.

Creating, managing, and sticking to a household budget requires a good deal of time and mental energy, even if you live by yourself and don’t have expensive tastes.

You need to account for your monthly rent or mortgage, keep up on those insurance payments, stay current on your credit card balances, and remember to keep your pantry well-stocked with groceries.

But ideally, your joint account should be more of a communal money pot in which you both initially deposit your entire salary—then get to dividing it up for groceries, phone bills, mortgage payments and savings.

"There's no more 'your income' and 'their income' once you're married. If you and your soon-to-be spouse are working toward postwedding financial goals, like a down payment on a house or retirement, opening an account together might actually help you reach them.

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