I have to admit after we were engaged for a few good months, and the planning was already in full swing, one of the topics that was always in the back of my mind was how we were going to manage our money after we got married.

Besides cheating, money is one of the most popular reasons that couples break up. Things happen where couples don’t talk about finances and money goals before getting engaged or married, one spouse hides money or spends money without telling the other, or the talk about debt is never brought up and you don’t find out until it’s too late.

I have been able to save up money ever since my first job, have had help from my parents throughout my life, my college was paid off when I was 2 years old thanks to the state of Michigan, and I didn’t even open up a credit card till two years ago.

Then there’s my hubby to be, who has had a job ever since he could have one, has had to pay for everything: car, insurance, bills, and the biggest one, college. He’s had pretty much zero help from his parents, and opening up credit cards his freshman year, he shot himself in the foot and rose up his debt.

We talked about our money habits and issues many times, and thanks to this year’s tax return, I urged him to pay off all his debt, which he did, minus those pesky student loans…which I know is going to take some time.

The reason for all this nonsense is a few weeks ago, my fiance found out that there were some issues with his car’s brakes. Total cost: $556…and I was the one who had to pay. Did I like doing that, no, but unfortunately he had just paid the rent and didn’t have enough money to pay for the repair.

We’ve gone back and forth on how we are going to handle our finances. We have already decided that we want a joint savings account to save up together, but I’ve recently switched from keeping separate checking accounts to want a joint checking account as well.

Why the switch? Two words: my dad. My dad that hasn’t spoken much about things, really woke me up when he told me that once we say “I do” that everything merges, whether you want it to or not. That includes money. Considering I am the more conscious one about finances and saving, I will be the one who handles the money, and any purchases that either one of us does thats above a certain amount, will have to get permission from the other.

I’m not saying everyone should get joint accounts, the best choice is the one that works for you and your partner. What’s most important is honestly and open communication.