Money Talks, So Should You

Q&A: What should LGBT couples know about merging finances?

Steve Doster
by Steve Doster, The Garrett Network  (@dosterfinancial)

There are many ways to merge finances. LGBT couples can keep separate checking accounts and each deposit a monthly amount to a joint checking account to pay household bills.

They can also keep finances totally separate and split responsibility between the bills. For example, one partner pays the mortgage or rent and the other covers the food costs. Or a couple could have one joint checking account that they both use. The only right way to do it is whatever works for both partners.

READ: 5 questions to answer before moving in together

The biggest thing LGBT couples, and any couple for that matter, overlook is discussing how they will handle their family’s finances. Discuss things like how much can we both afford for housing? It’s perfectly fine if this cost isn’t 50/50 if one partner makes much more than the other.

Also talk about who’s responsible for paying the bills and how much each of you want to save for retirement, travel and other life goals.

And the most important topic that is never discussed is what happens if the relationship ends. This is a must-have conversation. Decide who gets to stay in the house, how that will occur, keep a record of who brought what to the relationship, and how big items will be split like who gets the TV and couch.

READ: Do LGBT investors tend to invest in LGBT-friendly companies?

Money is the biggest cause of break-ups, so keep communicating with regular talks about money and finances. This way LGBT couples can fix any issues before they get out of control.


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Steve is president and founder of Doster Financial Planning, a commission-free firm based on San Diego, CA. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with an MBA fom Arizona State University and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona. Steve is proud to say he doesn’t sell financial products or earn commissions on the advice he provides to clients. His primary goal is to educate people to understand and select the best ways to achieve their unique financial future.