Post # 1
My fiance and I are pretty open about our finances and the amount of debt we have, but we have also been pretty independent on taking care of our own bills, credit card payments, etc. I own the condo we live in so I’m prettty much responsible for sending out the HOA and utility checks and payments while he pays “rent” to me each month (flat dollar amount).
When should I approach my fiance about merging our finances? 1-2 months before the wedding? After the wedding? And how should I do it? Has anyone out there had an experience where your fiance was a bit “taken back” by the idea of sharing and merging accounts and finances?
Post # 3
Talk about it BEFORE you get married, that way everything is out in the open. Money is the #1 reason people get divorced so you want to make sure the both of you are on the same page.
My FI & I disagree on some aspects when it comes to joint/ seperate accounts, but since we have been talking about it for the last couple of months, we found a solution that works 100% for both of us. Personally, our lives will be easier once we’re married b/c we live together right now and take turns paying or buying items, and it just gets confusing.
I would come right out and say, “we need to dicuss how we are going to plan our finances after we are married” this shouldn’t be a shock to him (unless you wern’t engaged yet) and just explain that you want to make sure that the two of you are on the same page. Its all about planning 🙂
Post # 4
Have you brought up the situation at all already that you think he might be a bit “taken back” by your wanting to merge finances?
For me, we discussed money issues during premarital counseling about 3 months before the wedding, but we were both on the same page as far as merging our finances 100% and staying accountable and honest with eachother. We both are completely aware of our financial situation, but because I’ma little better organized and better with numbers I handle the paying of the bills and budget maintenance usually.
I personally think that marriage involves the merging of two lives, including finances–to avoid conflict and selfishness. There obviously are other viewpoint, and sometimes something in between completely merging and completely separate finances works. (i.e. a joint account for bill pay, and two personal accounts for discretionary income) it really is a personal decision…but I would start discussing it a few months before the wedding, to avoid conflict or missed expectations afterwards.
Do what works for the two of you, but I woudn’t be hesitant bringing it up with your fiance. Even if you don’t end up merging finances, you’ll both need to be very comfortable discussing finances with eachother when you share a household, bills, expenses, etc. (it’s good that you are!)
I would recommend reading books written for newlyweds about monday…there are a lot out there! Check out some of these selections on Amazon.
Let us know how it goes!
Post # 5
Thanks for the advice bees!:) I will definitely hit up the nearest Barnes & Noble for books this weekend.
When we started planning for the wedding, we opened a joint SAVINGS account for all wedding related expenses, but the need to open up a joint CHECKING account never really came up. I didn’t think about it until I read some posts on the boards regarding it (which is a good thing!). It’s better we discussed it sooner than later with all the stress and time of planning a wedding.
Post # 6
We started talking about it when we got engaged. I have some debt from my long years of training, so it was better for him and for me to figure out how to address it early on. We had to budget for the wedding and we wanted to come into the marriage as close to debt free as possible.
I think the earlier you talk about finances, the better. It’s also good to check in about them frequently. It doesn’t mean you need to merge them right now (though we did about halfway through our engagement– it just made sense with all the communal expenses we were paying)… but at least you need to be on the same page about the plan.
You need to get comfortable talking about money with him, because it will be a part of your life together no matter what.
Post # 7
We didn’t really have a choice about when we were going to talk about it… I hated my job and be both decided I needed to quit, which meant merging of finances needed to happen right then! I’m glad that it’s all out and done with though, we share our money and credit cards and it’s something that we wont have to worry about after the wedding. Definetly a conversation to have ASAP so there’s no surprises.
Post # 8
We have talked about it many times over the last few months. But we are actually waiting to merge until after the wedding since I plan on changing my name (easier to do paperwork once rather than twice).
Post # 9
It came up with my fiance and I when we needed to start making wedding purchases, so we opened up a joint checking account since we each wanted equal access to our wedding funds. We are waiting until the wedding to merge the rest of our finances. Good call tessabella76, I didn’t think of that!
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
I would definitely it discuss it sooner rather than later. You don’t have to merge everything before, but make sure you guys have a clear idea of what’s going on with the accounts.
Post # 11
Definitely talk to him before the wedding, actually, the earlier the better. Not to scare you, but money is I think the #1 most common cause of all fights and divorces. Absolutely open that line of communication early and often.
Explain to him what your hopes/expectations are when it comes to your marital finances and be open to his feedback. He may not feel exactly the same way, but try to understand why before getting offended or upset.
We fully plan to merge all finances the day after our wedding, debt and savings. Not all couples do this. We just see marriage as being a unit physically and financially and want to be ‘merged’ completely with the same financial decision making power.
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2010 - Kindred Oaks, Georgetown
We got engaged almost a month ago and already started talking about it. We’ve been brainstorming the best ways to manage and tackle our debt. We decided it’d be best to merge our finances and debt once we get married and tackle everything as a team. I think it will work out very well for us!
Post # 13
Talk to him BEFORE the wedding! My FI and I share a checking account but it isn’t working out so we’re going to have to change it before I go crazy. He is a spender, thinking we have all this $$ (knowing we have enough in there to cover whatever he does spend) and has no limits. I can’t handle it anymore – we’re changing it ASAP for him to get his own account. I think we might do like other posters on there and have one main account and then each of us have our own accounts for everyday spending.
Post # 14
Honestly, I think the sooner, the better. Approach it now, and you’ll have plenty of time to work out the kinks before you get burdened with wedding planning. Then having merged finances will become like second nature.
Post # 15
Ditto everyone above. Talk now! Our pastor discussed his idea of finances with us and right away we didn’t like it. It was much too rigid for us, as we are both very good about money. He had it broken down into one big account with each of us having “allowances” for everything, right down to clothing, car, etc. It would be really hard for us to track it that closely and didn’t like the idea of having allowances necessarily. We prefer “categories” like 100% necessary (mortgage, bills), food, fun, unexpected expenses, etc. For us, the “yours, mine, ours” philosophy works best, in which we keep our assets pre-marriage and contribute to a joint savings account and a joint checking account and maintain a certain amount in our personal accounts for gift-giving, girls night out, boys night out, he can buy video games, i can buy purses, etc, but those expenses come out of the personal accounts, not the joint. There are lots of ways to do it. Once we put enough into our savings account, we’ll start putting money in CD’s and letting them vest over time so it doesn’t turn into “oh look how much we have, we can buy X, Y, and Z” but instead are marking it for the future. We’ll also set aside a certain amount for investments. You can do percentages of income and lots of different ways to keep it “fair” if you don’t want to lump it all together.
The two of you can read some books or articles on finances and see what you feel comfortable with now. You can always adjust down the road if you decide to stay home and not work or whatever.