Not Married But Combining Money?

Ashley asks if long-term unmarried couples should combine their finances or continue forward as individuals. Dave thinks combining finances as an unmarried couple could lead to disaster.

QUESTION: Ashley in Texas, a My Total Money Makeover member, asks if long-term unmarried couples should combine their finances or continue forward as individuals. Dave thinks combining finances as an unmarried couple could lead to disaster and advises getting married.

ANSWER: Ashley, the way I answer questions, darling, is what would I do if I were in your shoes. I know the statistical evidence of unmarried long-term couples not staying “married”—not staying shacked up. Combining your finances when you’re not married could potentially be a disaster. Trying to act like you’re married in every way and keep your finances and your lives separate doesn’t work. So my advice to you, darling, is get married.

The statistical evidence for the future of your finances and your relationship is not good. The idea that you’re going to have a long-term unmarried couple prosper financially and relationally is mythology. It so seldom happens.

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