I recently got engaged. Is it OK for us to go ahead and combine finances and start working on a budget before we get married?
No, it is not OK to combine finances with anyone to whom you're not married.
And by “OK,” I mean wise. I'm happy that you've found love, but all kinds of things can happen before the rings are slipped onto your fingers.
I'm not wishing bad things on you, but what if you spend time paying off her debt, or vice versa, and then the relationship doesn't work out? Bringing finances into that kind of situation is just asking for trouble. You do not want to go there.
Now, all this doesn't mean that you can't begin working together on budgets for the future and goals for your lives.
We're talking about full disclosure to make this happen. She knows all about your income and debts, and you know about hers too.
You guys need to have some serious discussions about saving, spending and debt, and get on the same page with your finances before the big day.
But no, my advice is that you each pay your own bills until after you're married. Once that happens, there's no “yours” and “mine” anymore. It all becomes “ours.”