Ask Kim: Navigating Net Worth

Dear Kim,

I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to finances, but I’m getting married in a few months and my fiancé and I want to do the “right” thing when it comes to our finances.

I know that could mean a lot of different things for different people, but for me, it means allowing myself to never be fully dependent on my husband in the sense that he controls all of the finances. Not because I don’t trust him, but because I don’t want to be naïve to where our money goes or blindsided should anything ever happen to him.

What steps should we go through leading up to the wedding? Do you suggest a joint account?


Navigating Net Worth as Newlyweds

Dear Navigating,

Financial issues are one of the leading causes of marital problems. Visiting with a counselor prior to your marriage is a great start. Having honest, frank discussions about your money values will help uncover any potential conflicts. How you manage your family finances should be a decision made after working through your individual approaches and coming to a compromise that works for you.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all. I know successful couples that keep their finances completely separate and others that have everything held jointly.

The most important thing is making your family financial decisions together. It should never be done by only one of you. Both partners should know about all the financial accounts, and the decisions about how money is spent should be made together. You might each have ‘free’ money that you can spend without approval from the other partner, but neither partner should be in the dark about major purchases. Your goals about retirement savings, vacation spending, and other lifelong goals should be done together.

I wish you the best with your upcoming marriage and life together.



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