Post # 1
I have no idea how to approach this subject with FI.
Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve tried like… twice, and both times it left us with a bad taste in our mouths. And I know this is something that we need to discuss and resolve BEFORE the wedding!!
Here’s the situation. We have lived together for 3 years and for the most part split everything 50/50. He pays a bit more of the rent than I do because he makes a lot more than me.
I’ve tried to talk to him about opening up a joint account after we’re married and he seems wary about it. He thinks that his money should stay his money and my money is my money. To me, this seems silly because we are constantly paying each other back for cable or groceries or whatever. It’s becoming very difficult to keep track of who spends what and who owes who money.
It also makes me feel like we are room mates instead of husband and wife. I believe that we should each deposit a certain % of our incomes into a joint account and use that to pay for joint expenses – rent, utilities, groceries, etc. Whatever money that doesn’t go into the joint account can stay as “his money” or “my money”.
He, on the other hand, is totally fine with the system we have now (AKA, me chasing him down for rent once a month). I try to explain that if we automatically have our money put into a joint account I won’t have to chase him down and then worry about whether I’m going to bounce the rent check because I’m poor and he hasn’t paid me in time! (Yes, this happens!)
Sorry if this is sort of long and rambling, but I’m just really looking for advice on how to approach this topic, because the two times I tried we ended up arguing about it. How are you combining finances? Am I going about this the wrong way? Also, how much of your money is joint and how much is separate? FI wants the bare minimum to be joint whereas I think we should have joint savings (to use in the future for emergencies, for a down payment, etc).
Post # 3
FI and I will have been living together for two years by the time we marry. A year and a half of that was in our own home. We chose to have a joint banking account and pool all of our expenses. It works for us but I am a firm believer that every couple needs to find their own way. A coworker of mine does exactly what you are talking about by contributing a portion of their incomes to joint expenses and it works really well for them. I think finances are important and you are justified in wanting to work this out before you walk down the aisle in order to avoid problems later. Are you two doing any pre-marital counseling? I know we will be covering finances in ours. Perhaps having a third party there to mediate would help you two work out a solution? Good luck!
Post # 4
Maybe look into pre-marital counseling? Getting married in the catholic church we are required to take a class and a compatibility test that goes over all these “touchy” subjects. i think its very beneficial because a mediator is involved.
Post # 5
We have separate checking/savings account and one joint “home” checking account. Each pay period (monthly for him, bi-weekly for me), we each have a predetermined amount of $ directly deposited into the “home fund”. We make about the same salary per year, so we deposit the same amount. This amount is enough to cover mortgage, HOA fees, home insurance, gas, cable, heat, etc. and also have a bit left over each month for savings to use in case of home-related expenses.
The remaining pay is our money to use to pay our own bills and spend as we like, and we each also save a portion to our savings accounts. My savings is the designated “big savings” fund, so wedding $ gifts and other random checks we might get go into my account.
Post # 6
I think it’s okay for couples to have a wide range of arrangements regarding how separate or joint they keep their accounts.
But if he’s making you chase him down for rent payments, causing you to bounce the rent check at times then that’s not a good arrangement. You definitely need to change the system you’re using. Is it a trust issue that goes deeper? Too lazy to open new accounts? He hasn’t seen the problems with the current arrangement?
Getting a counselor or neutral third party to help you find an arrangement is helpful, or maybe one of those discussion checklists or guides about what financial decisions you need to make and discussions you need to have prior to getting married.
Post # 7
We are got a joint account last night and will continue to keep our own. Over all be both believe once we’er married the money will be ‘our’ money not his and hers.
Good luck with this, more open discussions are a great idea 🙂
Post # 8
What you are saying is exactly what we do. We each have our own accounts and then we have an “our” account. A % that is fair to what we each make is automatically deposited into the our account and that is used for rent, bills, sometimes when we go out to dinner, groceries, those types of things. When I need a new pair of shoes or he needs a new video game – they are coming out of our own accounts. We have been doing this for almost 3 years now since we moved in together and it really works out for us.
Post # 9
There are so many ways to combine/seperate finances after marriage. But I do think it’s odd that he is SO against combining income to any extend (a home fund would seem to be a good compromise).
For us, because we have joint bills (gas, electricity, cable, cell phones, etc) and he has the morgage it’s easier for us to have all of our income go into one account and do everything out of that. We will keep our credit cards seperate, car loans, and house loans seperate in name. But the payment of those will come out of our joint fund. I just think that sharing money/financial responsibility is a huge part of marriage both the good and the bad.
I would talk to him and discuss his worries with combined incomes 🙂
Post # 10
@Mrs.Tillmann: Personally I would have no problem pooling everything, but I know that’s not what he wants… and so I’m ok with pooling a %, but he would rather not pool anything!
@gabrielleelise1981: YES! This is exactly what I would like to do. He makes more than me, which is why I think we should deposit a % rather than a certain $ amount, but he does not want to do this.
@Entangled: Haha, no bounced checks yet, but sometimes there are weeks where I only have a few $$ in my account because he is being lazy about paying me on time. I think he’s lazy because money is not a problem for him like it is for me, so he doesn’t realize that I can’t front the rent every month without pinching pennies. I mean, I have a savings account with some $$ in it, so I’m not ass-broke, but if I can avoid touching that account I do!
Hmmmm, maybe some sort of pre-martial counseling needs to happen.. We have never talked about that before and I’m not sure how he will react…
Post # 11
We don’t have a joint account yet, but we’ve no real distinction between his and my money. If either of us have money, then we consider that it’s our money, so to speak. Will have to set up a joint account soon, will be easier! I’ve been putting it off because it’s a bit of a pain moving all the direct debits and standing orders, but that’s just laziness really!
Post # 12
@hjg0126: YES! That is what I want… How do I get HIM to want it to?!?! Hahaha, this is my problem….
Post # 13
Would it work better then for you to take on a mixture of smaller bills, and leave him with the rent? Would that work? I mean if the rent costs X, then he pay that each month, and you pay bills totalling X as they come in at various dates in the month? It concerns me that he clearly isn’t seeing, or thinks it ok, that this is stressing you out.
Post # 14
I think it is much easier to combine finances and to me that is part of being married, but if your husband wants to keep them seperate I think one joint ‘home expenses’ account is the best way to go. But you both have to be putting in the same percentage of your monthly salary to keep it fair and then you have to have a plan for bigger purchases. Otherwise you can figure out your monthly percentage monetary input and seperate the bills to equal about that amount each. A better option might be to just keep minimal ‘fun money’ in your own accounts and keep savings accouts in your own name and then contribute a high percentage of your income into a joint account.
Post # 15
We have a joint account for most things and we each have a separate account for our ‘own’ money/investments. We deposit a set %into our joint savings every month, and a set % into our joint checkings bi-weekly. Everything else is our ‘own.’
That being said, right now I am a SAHM/starving artist, so I don’t really contribute as much as I feel I should % wise (and thusly our situation is different from yours).
I think you should definitely address the fact that you have bounced cheques before because of the arrangement. I’m not sure if he realizes this or not but bounced cheques can reflect on your credit rating, and when you’re married your spouse’s credit rating reflects on yours, so if say you go to get approved for a mortgage and they look at your partner’s credit rating & income and go “great!” then they look at yours and suppose it’s not as awesome it could cause problems with getting financing, or it could make the % of your down payment go up (happened to a friend, b/c she had no credit/’poor’ credit, they had to fork over 33% rather than 10%).
now, this may not be exactly the way it goes for you, but it’s definitely a concern, because if the system doesn’t work for one of you it should be tweaked — it should work for both of you all the time.
Post # 16
My man and I have one joint bank account. We have both of our paychecks deposited into the account and we pay for EVERYTHING from it. We don’t split anything per-se. We just buy what we need and if there is a big purchase we consult each other first. Basically we have bills come out automatically every month…remainder goes into our savings. If I want to buy a new purse, shoes, camera etc. I consult with FI first and we usually take turns buying these things from our joint savings.
We started doing things this way after we moved in together and he was away for work sometimes for a long period (I couldn’t track him down for rent etc. otherwise). At first we were both a little hesitant, but then we realized the perks. Especially since we’ve been engaged we’ve adopted the policy that it’s “our” money not “mine,” ‘his,” or “hers.” Things just seemed more simple for us this way considering once we’re married most things will be in out joint name anyway.
Try looking at what the advantages of a joint bank account in your specific situation might be. As you said it would help to have your bills paid on time. Maybe suggest that you think it’s best so that you don’t mark your credit if a payment is missed or not paid on time. Also suggest to him that it might help ease you into married life considering I’m assuming you’ll be filing for taxes together once your married. Joining finances now will help you both learn about fairness, respect, and trust as well. Just some angles to think about.
I think you are completely justified to want to share finances, so I’m sure if you can stay calm (and maybe try to approach it from an angle that he likes?) then you’ll be able to work this out.