Relationship Advice: The Bank Account that Can Save your Marriage

September 28, 2009 by

Relationship advice and money go together don’t you think? I read a really neat article recently with some very sound advice that might end up saving your marriage. It is by Karin Mizgala, a Vancouver-based financial planner with an MBA and a degree in psychology.

Many of my clients ask me if they should share 100% of their money or if they should have separate accounts. Mizgala says that, “…The question of whether or not to co-mingle your money is one of the most important decisions the two of you need to make regarding your finances. The extent of the financial merger often depends on the length of time that you have been together, but not always.” If you are like many two income couples, it may be hard to go from complete autonomy to total access to bank accounts.

An alternative piece of relationship advice I give in this area is sharing all finances is that of opening a “Marriage Saver Account”. The account is for shared goals and regular expenses.  Her opinion is that contemporary couples may need their own accounts as well as a shared account.

Because money issues are the number one cause of divorce, saving your marriage by sharing finances in a well thought out way would be worth the time and energy. The important thing might not be whether to merge, but how to get on the same page about money.

Regardless of how you share money Mizgala’s relationship advice is “regular money dates”. She says that, “…The ideal is to sit down with your partner and discuss your finances together on a regular basis - schedule a "money date". If this is difficult for either or both of you, then you might want to get a third party, such as a financial counselor, planner or trusted friend to get you started on the right track.” Doing this regularly can keep you out of divorce counseling one day.

For good relationship health, money must be faced honestly, openly, frequently and regularly. You can’t avoid this topic even if you do not share all of your money. Secrets of any kind (other than fun surprises) are damaging to a marriage.

Follow Mizgala’s relationship advice and read his whole article.