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Whose is it: mine, yours or ours?


Yours, mine or ours?

How do we combine love and money? A question that we all face during our lives and one I am sure we struggle to mesh together. A good place to start is to have a clear strategy.

1. Have your own savings account

I agree with Suze Ormond’s idea that, every woman needs her own savings in addition to a shared account. If you’re married and don’t earn income, you can still build your own savings.

After paying the bills and putting away for retirement, you should be entitled to an equal share of any household income left over at the end of each month. Yes, it’s household income, not your partner’s. That’s an important distinction many couples fail to honour. Just because one of you earns the household income doesn’t mean that person should lord over how the money is handled. Use your portion to fund a high-yield savings account. Check out Rate City to see which savings account suits you.

2. Have your own credit rating

Every woman also needs her own credit rating, which you receive from having a credit card, home utility account or even a small loan her name only. If you every find yourself divorced or widowed, an individual credit history will enable you to get a loan and open utility accounts, and may even help you land a job (some employers check applicants’ credit during the hiring process).

3. Own your debts

Debts you had prior to marriage are yours alone —unless you actively merge them. When you marry, don’t automatically rush to combine everything. You can help each other out by chipping away at your loans without becoming officially responsible for each other’s.

4. Be pragmatic about the assets you bring into a marriage

Think long and hard, for example, about adding your husband to the title of your family’s beach house you inherited. Should you ever separate, it would be tragic to lose your family treasure. This is doubly important in remarriages, as you may have property you want to leave to your children from an earlier relationship. Work with a qualified estate lawyer you can always speak to Kerstin Glomb to make sure you have the right documents to protect you.

5. After you marry, every asset either of you acquires is jointly held.

That’s why you both need to be in sync on your long-term financial goals, from paying off the mortgage to putting away for retirement. Ideally, you should talk about all this before you marry. If you don’t, you can end up deeply frustrated and financially spent.

Discussing money with the man you hope to spend the rest of your life with doesn’t mean you don’t love him. It means you love him and yourself.