Understanding Finances in Unmarried Cohabitation

In the last 30 years, the rate of cohabitation has more than doubled according to the Pew Research Center.[0] Today, 59 percent of U.S. adults aged 18-44 have cohabitated with an unmarried partner, nearly double the percentage of those who have ever been married. This number has increased significantly over the past few decades, with the number of unmarried partners living together nearly tripling from 6 million to 17 million between 1996 and 2017.

For those considering combining their finances, there are a few factors to consider. Unmarried couples should have open and honest conversations about their financial arrangement, as well as research which accounts are suitable for co-ownership.[1] Some couples may choose to keep their finances separate, while others may opt for joint accounts, such as sharing a credit card.[2]

Before getting married, it is important to have a conversation about finances.[3] It may be beneficial to ask each other questions such as: “Do you have any debt?”, “What are your financial goals and dreams?”, “What are your financial priorities?”, and “What are our retirement goals?” By discussing these topics, couples can gain a better understanding of their financial situation and make informed decisions about their finances.

Overall, it is important for couples to have open and honest conversations about their finances and be aware of the risks and benefits of combining their finances. By doing so, couples can make informed decisions about their financial situation, further strengthening their relationship and ability to make smart money moves together.

0. “Homebuying tips for unmarried couples” Yahoo! Voices, 3 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/now/homebuying-tips-unmarried-couples-053000245.html

1. “Financial Steps to Take Once You're Married in 2023” Benzinga, 10 Feb. 2023, https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/23/02/30860048/financial-steps-to-take-once-youre-married-in-2023

2. “Should We Have a Joint Bank Account as an Unmarried Couple?” Purdue Exponent, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.purdueexponent.org/news/national/article_13ce1787-d9ae-51c3-8f8d-99f8bf9c1093.html

3. “Just Married: Ask These 5 Questions Before Deciding on a Credit Card With Your Spouse” The Motley Fool, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/credit-cards/articles/just-married-ask-these-5-questions-before-deciding-on-a-credit-card-with-your-spouse/