(Closed) Combining our finances…Any helpful hints?

posted 7 years ago in Money
  • poll: Combined checking account??
    Yes, thats our main account : (19 votes)
    51 %
    No, we keep it all seperate : (1 votes)
    3 %
    We have a joint and our own seperate : (17 votes)
    46 %
    Other : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    Member
    9057 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We have a joint/checking and savings account, as well as we each have our own checking and savings.  Basically this is because we both had automatic debits set up that are a big pain to readjust that were already set up before we met (student loans, mortgage etc). 

     

    Post # 4
    Member
    1371 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    You should be able to find several of these posts if you search the boards.  You’ll get a ton of different answers!  I think it all depends on how you approach it and how you feel about money.  Different things work for different couples.

    For us, we look at all money as ‘our’ money.  We have three joint accounts; 1 chequing account for fixed expenses, 1 for variable expenses, and 1 savings account.  This has worked really well for us.  We talk about larger purchases (which are pretty limited right now as we’re living on one salary), and just make smaller ones.  I think it’s easy because we’re both pretty good with money and don’t spend it on ridiculous stuff all the time!

    Good luck with your choice!

    Post # 5
    Member
    706 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    When we combined, to make the  transition smoother, we maintained our own checking accounts and opened a joint checking and a joint savings account.  We switched our direct deposits so that they would go into the main account. We automated everything so that there were monthly transfers into our checkings and into the savings account.  We also automated bill pay, so that everything was coming out of the main account.

    We started off with a monthly “allowance” that each of us would take, but after a couple months we realized we would much rather us it to pay off our debts, so while we still maintain our separate checking accounts, we rarely have any money in them.

    Once we got this under our belts we opened up an additional checking and savings (for targeted savings and such).  We have a bit of a complex web of accounts, but it works for us, and has helped us stay on budget and pay off all of our consumer debt (about $40k) in the last year and a half.

    Though we have separate accounts, we know all sets of passwords for bank accounts, retirement accounts and credit cards.  I manage the nitty-gritty of the budget, and he usually pays the bills.

    We do plan on reinstating the “allowance” idea, but probably not for another few years, once we finish paying off the student loans and start saving for a house.

    Post # 6
    Member
    2066 posts
    Buzzing bee

    We combined everything after we got married.  In fact, our insurance company would not let him be added to my homeowners policy or add each other to our auto policies until after we were married (something about state law, blah, blah).

    We used mint.com to figure out how much we had, how much was coming in, how much was going out, and what our savings goals were.  Then we set up a budget also using mint.  I manage things on a daily basis, but DH and I sit down monthly and review everything.  I think its important for us both to know where our money is going and I think its important for us both to be on the same page regarding saving and spending. 

    As far as making it a smooth transition, I think you have to constantly communicate.  Money is a hot issue for some people and its important to make sure you work out a system that works for you both.

    Post # 7
    Member
    6572 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 2010

    We combined everything, and it was pretty easy for us. My husband wrote everything down so we know how much we have and how much we spend every month and what we’re spending our money on. We don’t really have a budget b/c we’re both pretty thrifty and don’t over spend. If we need to make a big purchase, we just talk to each other about it and see if we have enough money for it.

    Post # 8
    Member
    353 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    We keep a joint checking account for the mortgage, bills, food, anything that’s our joint living expenses. We also keep our own accounts that we get paid into, it makes it easier to pay for personal things like cell phones, clothes, going out with friends, birthday presents and so on.

    I like this set up because it means we handle most of the expenses jointly but still have our own independence.

    Post # 9
    Member
    647 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I didn’t read all of the above comments, but there’s actually a series of articles posted this week on slate.com that explore the different methods of couple’s finances.  It’s a pretty interesting read, and might help you and your fiance start a discussion about what solution you are more comfortable with.

    My fiance and I just combined our accounts at the beginning of this year.  We opened a joint checking account where all of our money is deposited, and opened up a couple savings accounts linked to it.  We do all of our banking through this account, and no longer use our individual accounts.  The only thing we have kept separate at this point are our previous savings accounts, but after we are married we will combine those too.

    Post # 10
    Member
    3526 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    @Brianalaura:

    Agreed. It’s different with every couple. Everyone feels differently about $$$.

    For us it was everything! Dive in head first! 🙂

    Post # 11
    Member
    6661 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2010

    We combined everything and it’s worked really well for us. We closed our individual checking/savings accounts and opened joint accounts. Our paychecks are direct deposited into the checking and we pay off our joint Amex bill every month. I put him on all my credit cards and he did the same for me. Not that he’ll ever use my Jcrew card, but I got him one just in case 🙂

    Post # 12
    Member
    85 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    We are 3 months out from our wedding. We have opened a combined checking and savings account but are both keeping our personal accounts. When we get married, both checks will go into the combined account with an allotment to each of our accounts as ‘play money’. It will allow us to do what we want with our money while still being combined in paying the bills out of our joint account.

    Post # 13
    Member
    1398 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Here is what we do and it works for us. First we sat down and figured out exactly what we needed to pay our bills and groceries, every month+10% for cushion. We have that amount direct depositted directly into what we call our House account which is a joint checking. That account is strictly for bills, groceries and things like repairs. We then have our a joint savings-which is what our wedding expenses are coming out of, right now. That is about 25% of our income-The rest is going into our personal accounts which is our allowances for clothing, entertainment and gas money for our own vehicles. Most of our bills are auto paid at different times of month. We have our debit card from the joint house account to buy groceries with.  Our next thing is, no secrets. I don’t buy things and keep it from him and he doesn’t keep secrets from me. We really don’t fight about money. We usually have a game plan for any major expense. We saved for 4 months to buy a couch. I think that we, as a couple, are pretty much on the same page with expenses and practicality. Neither one of us are frivoulous spenders and we work very hard not to run up debt. Right now our goal is to have everything for the wedding, paid off by the wedding day so we do not go into our marriage owing anyone any money. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will pull it off.

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