Should Couples Combine Finances Or Keep Each Other's Money Separate?

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Love

It’s all about the money, baby.

How close is too close in a relationship? Many people have conflicting opinions about how far you should go when you move your committed relationship to the next stage. Naturally, your feelings and emotions are given.

Once you commit yourself to a romantic relationship, your physical and emotional needs become meshed as one overall collection of mutual desires. But what about the tangible things in your life?

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Millennials and Gen-Zers have ushered in many social changes to the way relationships are handled. According to the New York Times, millennials are collectively taking things slow when it comes to relationships. They report that this generation is “dating less, having less sex and marrying much later than any generation before them.” And younger generations are following suit.

Why is that, you ask? The deeply rooted foundation of this change is economic. A study reported by the Urban Institute revealed that the marriage rate is predicted to drop to 70 percent in the millennial generation if it follows current trends. For perspective, the marriage rate for boomers is 91 percent and for Gen-Xers is 82 percent.

The reason for the drastic drop in interest in marriage isn’t a cynical outlook of love and life, as many people assume millennials share. It is actually due to a necessary requirement of matrimony, a solidly grounded economic foundation.

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Bentley University released a report that references a Pew Research study. The study claims that “Marriage rates are more closely linked to socio-economic status than ever before.” Also, the study claims that about four in ten (41 percent) never-before-married adults credit “not being financially stable is a major reason they are not currently married.”

So that brings us to the grand question of now. Those of adult status at now either considered late millennials or Gen-Zers. Due to lack of affordable access to higher education, or cyclically poor socio-economic status, many individuals in relationships will not be able to afford to get married until they are well into their late-20s, perhaps even early- to mid-30s.

Student debt is one of the hottest topics in and around Washington today. Privatized higher educational systems have eliminated the democratization of knowledge. Essentially, students have to sink themselves into thousands of dollars of debt to be considered “qualified” for entry-level positions. Student Loan Hero reports that “Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt.”

Any financial advisor will tell you that joining finances while any potential party is in debt is a red flag.

Jill Caponera, a financial savings expert, agrees, as reported by Bankrate. “Having separate bank accounts in place while the partner with debt works on fixing their financial situation could be the best option to ensure you’re both going into a shared-financial situation on a level playing field,” Caponera stated.

These studies tend to favor keeping finances separate, especially considering the predicted futures of economic instability for young adults. But a Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trend study suggests otherwise.

The study reports, “living as a couple is more economically efficient than living as two single people.” Pew suggests that researchers believe pooling financial resources is seen as a healthy step in a relationship. “Some researchers argue that couples who expect their relationship to last are more likely to pool resources,” writes the research center.

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So what should you do? Every relationship is situational. You should assess your financial stability with your partner and a financial adviser before making any concrete decisions.

Decide what you value in a relationship:

1. Is sharing money seen as a convenience or a burden to you?

2. Do you feel that you and your partner will equally contribute and withdraw from the finances?

3. Do you have or are you expecting children? How would they best be provided for?

All of these questions are great starting points for deciding what is best for you and your relationship!

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Madison Kerth is a writer who covers zodiac and astrology content, pop culture, religion and relationship topics.

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