There’s a lot to consider as you transition into the next phase of a relationship, especially when it comes to finances: A study from Money magazine shows money is the number one topic that married couples argue about. Here are some common money questions new couples may consider.

Should we join our accounts?

Some couples may choose to join all accounts, while others may consider retaining their separate savings accounts for individual expenses and gifts. Couples that want more time to decide may consider starting with an account that can be shared to cover household expenses or common savings goals.

 What's the most sensible way to split bills?

 The right solution will vary from couple to couple. Options to consider include:

  • Fifty-fifty. All household expenses are split equally.
  • Proportional to income. The person who earns more money covers a larger portion of the expenses. For instance, if one person earns an annual salary of $100,000 and the other earns $50,000, bills will be split at a ratio of 2:1.
  • Expense-by-expense. Each person is responsible for different expenses. For example, one person could pay the rent while the other pays the utility bills.

How will merging finances affect my credit score?

Credit scores are linked to an individual, not to a couple, which means that you won’t be negatively affected if your partner’s score is low, nor will yours improve if your partner’s score is high.

 Tip 

Some couples may choose to join all accounts, while others may consider retaining their separate savings accounts for individual expenses and gifts.

What happens if we later decide to separate accounts?

If you ever want to return to individual accounts, either because of a break-up or simply because sharing finances isn’t right for you, contact your bank together to close your shared account and reallocate the funds. Take inventory of any payments that were made from this account, and be mindful not to miss any bill payments during the transition.

For more on how to adapt to changing financial circumstances, explore insight on adjusting your financial plan.

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