More than 70% of married couples choose to completely combine their finances, according to Kasey Eickmeyer, a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University.
That means they’ll also face a lifetime of financial logistics to work through together.
It’s important for couples to understand that ”marriage is a legal merger between two people,” says Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick, a financial advisor of O’Keeffe Financial Partners. That means any irresponsible financial decisions your partner makes become your problem, and vice versa.
Buying a home, saving for retirement and taking on debt are all big money moves that you and your partner will likely end up making at one time or another. In order to manage these moments well, it’s important that you trust one another, can act as a team and are on the same page about your finances, O’Keefe Merrick says.
If you (or your partner) feel unsure about how to best handle your joint finances together, here are three money podcasts and three personal finance books designed to help couples become more money savvy.
In the “Couple Money Podcast,” Elle Martinez from Couple Money, an online personal finance resource for couples, educates partners on how they can build their net worth while also working on their relationship.
Martinez created the podcast for couples who want to establish a new financial system that works for both of them. In it, she interviews experts, including financial professionals and reputable journalists, about money advice. Martinez also talks to real couples who have accomplished extraordinary money feats, such as paying off six figures worth of debt, retiring early and starting a business.
Married couple Talaat and Tai McNeely are money experts, financial educators and the founders behind His and Her Money, an online financial resource for couples, which they launched in 2014.
The couple started the “His and Her Money Show” podcast as a way to help married couples strike a balance between managing their marriage and finances. Throughout the show, the couple cites their own experience of having to learn how to work together financially (even though they consider themselves opposites when it comes to handling money) after getting married at a young age.
There are currently around 300 episodes that touch on everything from paying off debt to strategic investing to taking on side hustles.
Adam Kol, a couples financial counselor and former tax lawyer, hosts the “Equal Partners Podcast,” which launched in January 2020. Kol aims to “help couples who love each other make sure that money doesn’t get in the way,” he says in the podcast’s introduction.
In each episode, Kol interviews a different guest with a specific set of financial skills, including everything from money coaches to negotiation experts to entrepreneurs.
1. “The Heart of Money: A Couple’s Guide to Creating True Financial Intimacy” by Deborah L. Price
In this book, Price, who was a practicing financial advisor for over two decades, aims to help couples who can’t seem to stop arguing over finances. Price is also the CEO and founder of the Money Coaching Institute, which provides money coaching services and training to individuals, couples and families.
“The Heart of Money” lays out how to pinpoint unhealthy money patterns and behaviors. It also describes strategies and tools that couples can use to walk through these financial issues together and ”create financial intimacy.” Essentially, that means finding ways to more easily talk about money and work through any money troubles in a calm and respectful manner, rather than a reactive one.
Throughout the book, Price shares inspirational stories from real couples who overcame money issues while also offering up practical techniques and exercises that you and your spouse can do together.
2. “Couples Money: What Every Couple Should Know About Money and Relationships” by Chris and Marlow Felton
“Couples Money” was written by Chris and Marlow Felton, a married couple who have spent nearly two decades working in the financial services industry.
In their book, Chris and Marlow aim to show other couples how they can work together to allow both their finances and relationship to flourish. In addition to letting readers know they aren’t alone if they’re bumping heads over money, this book outlines step-by-step strategies couples can employ when their finances and money management skills need an overhaul.
The authors describe some of the financial trials they’ve personally faced as a couple and explain how they overcame them. The Feltons also share tips they’ve seen work for real couples from their years in the financial industry.
“Smart Couples Finish Rich” is geared toward married couples at any stage in their relationship. Whether you and your spouse are first-time newlyweds or have been married for years, this book is a solid resource if you are trying to improve how you handle money.
In it, Bach, a wealth manager and self-made millionaire, goes over simple tools for couples who are trying to master credit card management and investing, as well as how to plan for retirement and make long-term care arrangements. It also walks couples through how to establish short- and long-term financial goals.