Why Dave Ramsey Says Every Married Couple Should Combine Finances
- Dave Ramsey advises married couples to combine all their financial accounts.
- He says it creates more unity in the relationship and helps with building wealth.
Dave Ramsey is a strong proponent of combining finances when you're married. Is he right?
For married couples asking about combining finances, Dave Ramsey doesn't mince words. He says that if you want a quality marriage and a high probability of building wealth, you should combine your finances.
Ramsey is a popular source of financial advice, but it's always good to evaluate the logic behind that advice and come to your own decisions. If you and your spouse are trying to figure out how to manage your money, here are Ramsey's reasons for combining finances when married.
Ramsey believes sharing finances is an important part of sharing a life
Ramsey strongly recommends that couples merge their money because he believes it brings them together in sharing a life. How people spend their money shows what they value, their dreams, their fears, and their most valued goals.
When you combine finances with your spouse, Ramsey says, "It forces you to set goals together instead of having independent goals. Marriages are always growing together or they're growing apart." You're working together as one unit instead of living as two separate people -- or as roommates, as Ramsey often says.
For couples that don't do this, he says there will be less communication and a much higher probability of marital problems and divorce.
Is Ramsey right about this? Recent research supports his opinion. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who pool all of their money experienced greater relationship satisfaction and were less likely to break up.
His research has found that successful couples are more likely to combine finances
The other benefit of combining finances, according to Ramsey, is that it gives couples much higher odds of building wealth. Specifically, he references a study of millionaires that he and his research team conducted.
Ramsey says one common characteristic among millionaire couples is that "They combined accounts and worked together with their spouses, and their spouses were supportive and cheerleading."
It's worth highlighting that these couples weren't successful solely because they pooled their money. As Ramsey mentioned, they also worked together and supported each other, which is even more important. Combining accounts doesn't work if one partner doesn't want to learn how to budget or work toward financial goals.
Should you follow Ramsey's advice?
Ramsey's points make sense, and the research backs up his claim that combining finances is beneficial for a couple's relationship. It's certainly an idea worth considering and talking over if you're married or getting married soon.
There are potential drawbacks to combining finances, too, and not everyone agrees with it. Another popular financial guru, Suze Orman, says couples should never fully combine finances because of the possibility of a power imbalance or a loss of independence. And some couples have found that pooling all their money leads to more money arguments if they don't agree on certain purchases and spending habits.
A reasonable way to meet in the middle is to combine some, but not all aspects of your financial lives. For example, you could both contribute equal portions of your income to a joint savings account, while also maintaining separate "fun money" accounts.
Every couple is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. What's really important is that you and your spouse communicate openly about money and get on the same page regarding how you'll budget and what your financial goals are.
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