Personal finance, like just about everything else, is mainly common sense. Advice like “don’t spend more than you make; start investing while you’re young; don’t loan money to friends with the expectation of getting it back,” have been around for generations, and most likely will survive the next few generations as well. Even money mistakes that are corrected early enough will have little impact on your wealth going forward. What you do want to avoid are money mistakes that can be hard to recover from.
In a recent survey by JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy, only 26 percent of those between the ages of 13-21 said that they had been taught how to manage money. Yet, when they turn 18, kids are signing contracts for student loans, opening credit card accounts, and in many instances, living away from home with little financial guidance available.
How separate (or intertwined) should your financial lives be? Some spouses share everything with each other – including the smallest details of their personal finances. Other spouses decide to keep some individual financial decisions and details to themselves, and their relationship is just fine.
Just as a marriage requires understanding, respect, and compromise, so does the financial life of a married couple. Now that October is here, one of the most popular months for today's couples to exchange vows, it's time for some newlyweds to make a decision on whether or not to combine finances and banking accounts. If you are marrying soon or have just married, you may be surprised (and encouraged) by the way your individual finances may or may not need to change.