Every partnership is unique, but one issue tends to be more stressful in a relationship than another: money. More specifically, how we do it, how we spend it, and how we talk about it.
Do we get joint bank accounts? Do we invest separately? How do we split the bills? Do we have to tell our partner about every penny we spend?
Finance can be a touchy subject – whether you’re married or not – but it’s an incredibly important one. What you do today can affect your future together (think about buying a house, going on vacation, retiring) and you need to be on the same page.
But “same page” doesn’t always mean sharing the same accounts. Here are the times when you should and when you shouldn’t combine your finances.
1. Combine: car insurance payments
Did you know that you can save money by combining your auto insurance with that of your partner? Yes – when you get two cars under one insurance policy, you can get discounted rates. Sometimes up to 20% per additional car.
So this is a financial move that you should take together, and that you should review every six months – it could save you quite a bit of money. But let’s be honest. It probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you wake up. But it doesn’t have to be.
A website called Insurance.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your zip code and age and your options will be displayed.
With Insure.com, people saved an average of $ 489 a year.
Yup. That could be $ 500 in your pocket just to take a few minutes look at your options.
2. Combine: Emergency Fund
If you share a life together, you will likely share emergencies as well. Sick children, corporate layoffs, and natural disasters do not select their victims.
So it’s a smart move to put together an emergency fund to make sure everyone is protected and can access it.
If you’re looking for a place to safely stash that money – and still make money – don’t waste your time on a typical savings account. The national average interest rate of 0.04% is nothing these days.
But a debit card called aspiration you can earn up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account.
Not too shabby!
Enter your email address here to get a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After you’ve verified your email, securely link your bank account so they can help you get extra money. Their money is FDIC insured and they use military grade encryption which is nerd talk for “this is perfectly safe”.
3. Combine: Homeowners Insurance
Did you know that even if the mortgage on your home is not in your name – only your partner’s – you can still take out home insurance? In the event something should happen, you want to make sure you can access the benefits – so combine these too!
If you’re a homeowner, you probably have home insurance, but you hardly think about it. That’s good – it means you don’t need it. But it also means you don’t know if you will be overcharged for this.
It’s easy to find out, however. To see if you are overpaying for your policy, take a look at yourself a website called SmartFinancial. It’s a digital marketplace where you can get quotes and compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best price.
Homeowners can save hundreds of dollars by switching home insurance this way. It only takes two minutes to get quotes from multiple insurers so you can see all of your options side by side. Start here.
4. Combine: Some of your credit cards or loans
You have big plans. Maybe you have a new car in mind. Or you want to buy a house in the next few years. Or you might even want to start your own business. But here’s the thing: no matter what your goals are, you may not know how much your credit standing is getting in the way.
But if you and your partner work together to pay off debts and keep low balances on credit cards, you can both benefit from any increase in your creditworthiness.
A free website called Sesame credit makes it easy for you to get your creditworthiness on track to meet your goals. We even spoke to Atlanta-based James Cooper who used Credit Sesame to increase his credit score by nearly 300 points in six months. *** He says they showed him exactly what to do – he even managed to open his first credit card.
What could adding 300 points to your score mean for your goals? It could easily save you thousands of dollars over the life of a car loan or mortgage.
Within two minutes, Credit Sesame gives you access to your credit history, all debtor accounts, and a handful of personalized tips for improving your score. You can even spot any bugs that are holding you back (every fifth report has one).
Make sure that your plans are not sidelined by bad credit. Sign up for free (it only takes about 90 seconds) and see how much you could improve your score.
5. Combine: investments
When you invest in the stock market, just holding your investments can make you 7% year over year.
And if you invest together with your partner, you also get an average of 7% – but 7% of a larger sum. For this reason, combining your account with your spouse’s or opening a new one together could be a smart move.
It’s easy to do with an app called Stash. With Stash, you can be part of something that is normally only reserved for the richest of the rich – with Stash, you can buy parts from other companies for as little as $ 1.
That’s right – you can invest in chunks of popular companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and more for as little as $ 1. The best part? If these companies benefit, so can you. Some companies will even send you a quarterly check for your share of the profits called dividends
It takes two minutes to Log In, and it is perfectly safe. At Stash, all of your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) – the industry language for “your money is safe” .2
If you use the link above, Stash will give you a $ 5 sign up bonus once you deposit $ 5 into your account. *
6. Combine: tax returns
This combined finance strategy may not work for everyone – it depends on how complicated your tax returns are or what your financial goals are.
But for most married couples, the tax credit you get on your annual tax return is enough to make it worth it. In 2020, a couple filing together could claim a deduction of $ 24,800, while a single filing only allowed a deduction of $ 12,400.
7. Separately: life insurance
Okay, so you can’t combine life insurance even if you wanted to. However, you should both have life insurance as beneficiaries.
Why? Because you have to think about how your family would do without your income after your absence – such as how they will pay the bills or send the children to school. Now is a good time to start planning for the future with term life insurance.
You are probably thinking: I have neither time nor money for that. However, you can get free quotes from a company called. receive Political genius in just a few minutes to find the right coverage for your needs.
Some policies start at less than $ 20 a month. * Knowing that your family is being cared for is priceless.
Policygenius offers life insurance policies that do without the usual medical exam so you don’t even have to get up from the couch. For a free quote from Policygenius, click here.
8. Separate: personal and emergency savings
It’s important to share an emergency fund – but also to have one to yourself. Whether it’s fun buying surprise gifts or having financial protection in case you split up, make sure you save for yourself.
If you’re looking for ways to increase those savings, here are your options:
- A aspiration Bank account that earns you up to 5% cashback on purchases made with a debit card and earns you up to 16 times the average interest.
- Cashback and gift card rewards for online shopping, such as Capital One shopping or Rakuten – both offer bonuses for signing up through these links.
9. Separate: 401 (k) retirement savings
Setting aside money from your paycheck to put in your 401 (k) is literally one of the smartest things you can do about your future. And if your employer matches every post, that can mean that Hundreds of thousands extra dollars in your account when you retire.
It’s free money – and it’s only available to you. If your spouse’s employer also offers them a match – double free money!
But when you can’t take advantage of that employer perk because you need your entire paycheck every month, a company calls Lendtable gives you the money.
We know it sounds too good to be true. However, if your employer has a 401 (k) match program, this is money they have already earmarked for you. When you use Lendtable you can unlock this free cash.
Let’s say you make $ 50,000 a year and your employer pays up to 4% on your 401 (k) contribution. If you add $ 0 to your retirement account this year, your boss will give you $ 0. When Lendtable lends you the 4% of your salary that your employer is willing to pay, your boss will give you $ 2,000, minus Lendtable’s fee. (This comes from the extra money you made so you don’t have to make a sacrifice.)
It takes three minutes to answer a few questions about your eligibility and sign up for an account.
Once you have received your full Match amount from your employer, LendTable will take back the money they loaned you, as well as a small portion of your profits. If your retirement account provider imposes a penalty for withdrawing money, Lendtable will take care of that too.
There is basically no risk to you. So if you didn’t take advantage of your employer match with Lendtable’s offer, Future Millionaire would bow your head in shame. Start here.
Kari Faber is a writer for The Penny Hoarder.
*** Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see an increase of at least 10 points and 20% an increase of at least 50 points after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even experience a decrease in their credit score. Any improvement in score is the result of many factors including paying bills on time, keeping funds low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, proper financial planning, and developing better credit habits.
1Not all stocks pay dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid every year.
2It should be noted that the SIPC cover does not insure any potential loss of market value.
For securities priced above $ 1,000, fractional share purchases start at $ 0.05.
* Offer subject to promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit USD 5.00 into your Invest account.
The Penny Hoarder is a paid affiliate / affiliate of Stash.
Investment advisory services from Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor. This material is distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risks.
* For a $ 500,000 policy, subject to eligibility.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com