Why Dave Ramsey Says All Married Couples Should Combine Their Finances

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Dave Ramsey is a strong advocate of combining finances when you’re married. Is right?


Key points

  • Dave Ramsey advises married couples to combine all of their financial accounts.
  • He says that it creates more unity in the relationship and helps build wealth.

For married couples wondering about combining finances, Dave Ramsey doesn’t mince words. He says that if he wants a quality marriage and a high probability of building wealth, he must combine his finances.

Ramsey is a popular source of financial advice, but it’s always good to evaluate the logic behind that advice and make up your own mind. 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 that sharing finances is an important part of sharing a life

Ramsey strongly recommends that couples pool their money because he believes it brings them together to share a life. How people spend their money shows what they value, their dreams, their fears, and their most cherished goals.

When you combine finances with your spouse, Ramsey says, “it forces you to set goals together instead of separate goals. Marriages always grow together or grow apart.” They are working together as a unit instead of living as two separate people, or as roommates, as Ramsey likes to say.

For couples who don’t do this, he says there will be less communication and a much higher chance 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 their money experience greater relationship satisfaction and are 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 a much better chance of building wealth. Specifically, he references a study of millionaires that he and his research team conducted.

Ramsey says that a common characteristic among millionaire couples is that “They combined accounts and worked together with their spouses, and their spouses supported and encouraged them.”

It’s worth noting that these couples weren’t successful just because they pooled their money. As Ramsey mentioned, they also worked together and supported each other, which is even more important. Account merging doesn’t work if one partner doesn’t want to learn budgeting or work toward financial goals.

Should you take Ramsey’s advice?

Ramsey’s points make sense, and research backs up his claim that combining finances is beneficial to a couple’s relationship. It is certainly an idea worth considering and discussing if you are married or getting married soon.

There are also potential drawbacks to combining finances, and not everyone agrees with that. Another popular financial guru, Suze Orman, says that couples should never fully combine finances due to the possibility of a power imbalance or loss of independence. And some couples have found that pooling all their money together leads to more arguments about money if they disagree with certain purchases and spending habits.

A reasonable way to meet in the middle is to combine some but not all aspects of your financial life. For example, you could both contribute equal parts of your income to a joint savings account, while maintaining separate “fun money” accounts.

Every couple is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What’s really important is that you and your spouse communicate openly about money and are on the same page about how you’ll budget and what your financial goals are.

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