Post # 1
Okay so FI and I have been living together for about a year and a half now and we split all bills right down the middle even though he makes much more than me. I recently asked what he thought about us getting a joint bank account(because frankly having to pay for EVERYTHING with 2 cards is just getting to be annoying). He said no way he never wants one all he hears are bad things.
The people he hears bad things from are a few of his coworkers, who aren’t exactly in great relationships. They say it was a bad choice because now their wife/SO can see all the stuff they buy and they don’t want them to know about when they buy porn or just crap they are hiding from them. Which is fine if that is how they feel about their relationship, but we are open about all of our purchases with each other, there is nothing to hide.
I tried explaining to him how it is easier, and cheaper in the long run to have a joint account. Do you know how annoying it is to go grocery shopping every week and have to split the bill? Also my concern is a lot of the companies we pay bills for will let you pay from a bank account for free but only if you pay the entire sum there is no option to pay a partial sum or from more than one bank account, to do a partial payment(split the payment) they charge you a fee. We pay over $100 a year in fees from just paying the electric bill alone by not having a joint account.
He still seems against the idea, even my controlling abusive ex husband could see that having a joint account was the best option. I am the one that handles paying all the bills and making sure everything is paid on time and in full, my FI probably couldn’t even tell you the due date of any of our bills let alone how much they cost on average. If he trusts me to have his credit card number etc. then what is the big deal about getting a joint bank account, at the very least for us to pay bills with.
I am not suggesting that we give up our seperate accounts, just that we add an account on top of them that we both contribute to. I don’t think it would be fair for me to go on a shopping spree for shoes with his money, just as I don’t think he would take my card to go buy video games. But I just see it as the sensible option to pay for the things that we pay for jointly anyway. It makes me feel like he is never going to embrace the whole “ours” thing. Like all of his stuff is his and only his, not that I want his stuff but I consider anything that I brought into this relationship to now be ours, no matter how big or small, and it makes me feel like he doesn’t feel the same. 🙁
He says he needs to think about it and get more peoples opinions since he has never had a joint account before. But if he keeps asking the guys he works with who hide things/lie about things with their spouses then I don’t think he will ever understand how beneficial it could be.
Any advice? Or is anyone in a similar situation or have you been before? What was your solution?
Post # 3
I’m wary of entirely joint accounts as well, so our solution was one joint checking account for our joint bills: mortgage, groceries, house stuff, etc, that we put a percentage of our income in (I put in more because I make more). We both kept our separate checking accounts because neither of us want to have to constantly be checking with the other before purchasing something for ourselves.
ETA: Also, if he still flat out refuses, why do you need to split the payments every time? It’d be easier if one person buys the groceries one week, then the other the next. Same with bills, etc.
Post # 4
I can’t say that I have this problem, but I’m confused as to why you have to pay the fees for multiple payments? Can’t you just pay it out of one account and the other person pays that person back? That would avoid the fees completely.
Maybe approach the joint account in a different way. Say X amount of your paychecks go into the joint account to pay most of the bills. Then if there’s anything that you want or need outside of that for your own personal use, you use your separate accounts. I’d also ask if he was looking to lie or hide what he buys from you? B/c if that’s the only reason he doesn’t want a separate account, I think you have more trouble on your hands than him not wanting a joint account!
Post # 5
I think that @misspeanut: has the right idea. A joint account that is solely for paying bills seems like the easiest thing!
We have an odd system, and so I’m not sure how it would work for other people but most of the bills are in DH’s name so I just pay him my portion of the bills on payday and he takes care of paying it.
So maybe if he’s not comfortable with a joint account he can just give you the cash or transfer the money or whatever so that you can pay it from one account without having to use two cards.
Edit: to agree with misspeanuts again. Maybe you should just alternate paying things, we do that with groceries and eating out.
Post # 6
Ditto on the joint account that’s just for paying bills, while keeping your separate personal accounts. Before we had a joint bill account, my FI would give me a set amount of money every month (that equaled half of our living expenses) and I would pay for everything. That worked ok for us too, but having a joint account is easier.
Post # 7
I agree with @misspeanut. It’s exactly what we did. We did a rough estimate of shared monthly expenses, added a touch more for a little cushion, and split it between us so now we each contribute the same amount per pay check. Makes things sooooo much easier than splitting every single bill.
We still have our personal checking accounts so I can feel free to spend $500 bucks on a shopping spree and he can spend $200 on special craft beermaking supplies without either of us caring.
Our joint checking is online through ING direct. We each have a debit card to use at the grocery store, etc. It’s also super easy because it automatically takes the amounts from each of our personal checking accounts. We each also have a personal ING savings account and plan on getting a joint savings as well once we get married. They have amazing customer service and I can’t say enough good things about them. Plus, no fees!
Post # 8
@prettypincushion: Also my concern is a lot of the companies we pay bills for will let you pay from a bank account for free but only if you pay the entire sum there is no option to pay a partial sum or from more than one bank account, to do a partial payment(split the payment) they charge you a fee. We pay over $100 a year in fees from just paying the electric bill alone by not having a joint account.
you are not managing the bill payments correctly if you are paying all of those fees. there is nothing wrong with having separate accounts.
simply pay all of the bills from your account and tell him what his share is. he can write you a cheque for his portion and you deposit it into your account to cover the bills.
as for groceries, save the receipts and add his share into the equation at the end of the month as well. that way he only has to write you one cheque a month for everything. or if he pays for the groceries, take your portion ‘off’ of what he owes you for bills.
it’s really not that difficult.
Post # 9
We have seperate accounts, not because we feel like we need to hide things. It is just easier for us. I do admit that I like the finanical freedom that goes along with it though. We split the bills and pay them on our own. No biggie.
Post # 10
I think it is a great idea to have a joint account just for all of the joint expenses. Actualy, I don’t see what is wrong with that. Every month/week/whenever you guys decide you can put your half of the bills into the account. He can keep the rest of his money and spend it secretly as he wishes. I really don’t see why he is so upset about this.
I’m sorry, but that is a HUGE red flag if he flat out says he does not want a joint account because he has purchases he wants to hide. If he has nothing to hide then why doesn’t he want a joint account?
Post # 11
I’m in a somewhat similar sitation. For his whole life, FI’s parents (who are stil happily married) have had separate accounts, so he thinks that’s the normal thing to do. (My argument is that a) his parents are a rarity, b) he has no idea how they manage their separate accounds, or what kinds of problems it has led to because this is not information they would share with him). I would love to combine accounts but what has worked for now is to take small steps toward viewing our money as one pool, despite it still being in completely different accounts. For one, I made a huge effort to say things like “can we afford that”, “how much will we need to spend on that” “should we save up for that”. Sounds like something minor, but it was a huge step for us to just talk that way instead of “my money”/”your money” and gives us the sense of shared goals. Secondly, we are completely open about how much money each of us has. We will go through our bank accounts and spending with each other, not in a scheduled, dictated way, but we have no problem sharing that information. Thirdly, we stopped trying to split things exactly down the midde or keep track of who owes what. We figure it’s all shared money anyway and will even out in the end. So I pay some bills, he pays others (obviously these are chosen so they are *roughly* equal). Sometimes when we go out to eat, he pays. Sometimes I pay. If I need more money, I casually mention that I’m running low and he transfers me some, and vice versa.
This isn’t a perfect long-term solution, but it’s helped put us slowly on the same page with finances and be more open about it. I’ve also grown to like it more than I thought I would– I know what bills I’m responsible for, I know what we are both trying to save for, I know how much money I have in my account at all times, and if I want to buy something relatively minor, I can go buy it. I’m not arguing in favor of joint accounts, but I’m saying that there are some steps you can take to start making the process toward shared money and shared money goals.
Post # 12
My fiance and I have linked accounts–we can see each other’s stuff if we look for it and can move money back and forth easily. I toss money into his account for the bills I pay.
I’m a bit worried about your description of grocery shopping and bill paying. Down the middle, every time? What if you have a bad month? Do you owe him now? You guys are getting married. You’re partners. He should start thinking more in terms of “us and ours” instead of “yours and mine”. My fiance pays most of the bills because it makes sense–I’d be killing myself working to pay exactly half of the bills while I’m in school while he worked one job and got to relax afterwards. That’s no fun for anyone, so I work less, go to school and he pays more of the bills. I contribute what I can and it’s good. We’re a team and we do what works for us.
Post # 13
@mypinkshoes: This is good advice, and what we generally do. We also both have Bank of America so we just electronically transfer money to each other as needed. SO much easier.
However, after we get married, and maybe even before if it suits, we may get a joint account, just because it is a little bit easier than paying someone back. However, for the time being, we’ve managed to work it out so paying for things is a pretty smooth process.
Post # 14
DH and I are just now beginning to merge finances, partly because it was something I didn’t want to do until after we were married and partly because it took me a while to warm up to the idea. (I wanted the solution you want–separate checking accounts for each of us + a larger joint account; DH just wanted two accounts, joint checking and joint savings, which freaked me out at the time but now seems perfectly reasonable, so that’s what we’re going with.) But we were never very particular about splitting everything perfectly down the middle. After we moved in together, we alternated who paid rent each month, and divided other expenses approximately 50/50 (he got groceries, gas, car insurance, and most meals out; i got bills (phone, internet, electricity) and most household purchases (furniture; clothing; target; amazon). I agree with you that a joint checking account is ultimately the sensible solution. But maybe this sort of arrangement could be a good first step? You’ll get to avoid the pointless fees and end all the bean counting, and it’s a step toward treating money as ‘ours’, not mine/his, but it’s not as big of a deal as a joint account.
Post # 15
Personally, I find it concerning that he doesn’t want a joint account of some sort. This is usually an indicator that he still sees it as my money vs your money. This is a terrible mentality for marriage. Once you guys are married it stops being my money and your money and becomes our money. What happens if one of you loses a job? Would you still be expected to pay for 50% of the household expenses? Would you stop getting any sort of disposable income?
Now I understand each wanting to have a disposable income to spend on things without having to discuss it with each other. I think the best solution is to each put X% of your pay check (X% NOT X amount) into a joint account for bills (utilities, mortgage or rent, groceries, gas, etc.) and other household expenses (new furniture, new appliances, new kitchen stuff, house and car maintenance, gifts for friends etc). I would also put X% into a joint savings account. Finally, I would put X% into individual spending accounts. This would be for each of you to spend freely on yourselves and would not require you to discuss the item prior to purchase.
I think you and your FI need to sit down with a financial planner. This might help ease your FI’s concerns of a joint account and help you to properly plan for your future.
ETA: It is understandable that he doesn’t want to join bank accounts yet since you aren’t married. But once you are married, you should have one.
Post # 16
We have both a joint and our personal account. It’s a shame that his co-workers feel that they have to hide everything from their SOs. FI and I are very open about our money and it helps build our relationship.
The only reason I still have a personal account is because I’m too lazy to get my direct deposit switched to the joint. Plus I have electric coming out there every month too. But it does get annoying at times.