Post # 1
When we were in premarital counseling, our couselor told us that he strongly recommends combing all finances- have one checking account, and one savings account between the two of us. Maybe it’s because of how I was raised, but this makes me nervous. My mom and dad always kept one joint account for bills, and then had separate accounts for checking and savings.
I really shouldn’t be nervous about it- DH is great with money, but I feel like I’ll be losing the right to spend if we combine our finances like that. He assures me that isn’t the case, but it still makes me nervous.
So I’m curious: how do all the other bees do it? What do you recommend? Any comments?
Post # 3
We started off having a joint acct that our paychecks went into then paying all of our bills from that and each drawing an “allowance” into our individual accts to do with whatever we pleased. That sounded great in theory, but for some reason it didn’t work for us, culminating in a panicked call I made to my bank from Guest Relations at Cinderella’s Castle in Disney on our anniversary. We now have JUST our joint acct and each a separate credit card for purchasing gifts for each other which are then paid off with the joint account. It’s just easier for us.
Post # 4
We have joint checking and savings as well as a joint high yield savings. We did keep our credit cards separate.
From what I’ve read, it makes the most sense financially to combine- you pool your resources and get higher interest rates, etc. It helps you both be transparent in spending and saving habits and encourages you to work towards shared financial goals (ie saving for a house, etc)
I think it also helps avoid the mine/yours debates.
It’s working well for us.
I know there is always that tiny bit of fear that you’re putting yourself at risk of being financially destitute if your SO cleans out the accounts, but that’s not a concern I have.
If you’re really worried about being totally combined but still want the overall benefits, what about just setting up a small emergency/rainy day fund for yourself, but combining all the rest?
Post # 5
To be honest, the thought of keeping separate finances (I’m not married yet, but J and I have talked about this, and have the same thoughts) makes it feel like we’re just glorified roommates. I hate the thought of having to ever ask something like, “Hey, did you put money in the joint account? I need to pay the bills tomorrow.” – it just feels strange.
For us, combining our finances is a part of the trust between us in our relationship. We may keep minimal separate accounts for stuff like buying gifts, etc., but the money would be transfered from the main account to the separate ones, not the other way around.
Post # 6
I voted that we combined everything, although I just realized that at least one of our savings account is still technically just mine. We don’t think of it that way, but have never added him to the credit union at my parents church.
Post # 7
We’re combining everything. As recent college grads, we’re coming in with almost nothing. We’ll have our own credit cards to buy gifts with, and then pay off, most likely.
Post # 8
We are definitely doing a mix. FI and I manage our finances very differently and we both are very independent so it makes more sense to us to have a joint account for bills and then a personal account for our own stuff.
Post # 9
We combined it all, budgeted everything (including savings, trips, home improvement) and we get an allowance of $200 each every two weeks for clothing, haircut, personal, gifts, etc. We have agreed on portions of our joint budget that we end up spending in categories such as household, groceries, and mutual entertainment. It works out well. Even with how well I’m organized and into it ( I do most) it stil takes flexibiiity, open mind and communication to tailor it to your fluctuating needs. Start somewhere though and go for it. Keep adjusting as necessary. But don’t burn out on just focusing on money. Discuss it maybe weekly, then 2x a month until you get your system going.
Post # 10
His, Mine, Ours.
A little in the first two (plus keeping our pre-marriage money in their perspective spots) and the last one for everything ‘us’.
We don’t have the mine/yours problems, we just acknowledge that the money we had pre-marriage (um, Dh has like 15X the money i have and I want him to know I don’t want it anywhere near me! altho he can buy me a present someday, lol) is separate.
I’m sure it’ll smoosh together more when we have kids.
Post # 11
We combine all our accounts and we have seperated credit cards for personal spending. I like the fact that everything is out in the open and we both know what is goiing on in our finances.
Post # 12
We have a joint account for our bills and separate accounts for everything else. I know some people feel like keeping stuff separate may feel a little weird, I know someone above said like a “glorified roommate,” but it really works for us. Honestly, I don’t want to feel guilty about using “our money” to buy myself or a friend or my parent’s something or use our money to buy him something. Also, sometimes I really want to take my FI out on a date a pay for it, which wouldn’t be possible if we have the same account. Little things like that make me favor keeping them separate.
Plus, I don’t want to need to use his/our money to pay for my credit card or any other expenses that fall in my lap. I don’t think it’s his responsibility and I prefer to handle it on my own.
And so we don’t need to worry about checking to make sure another person puts their half into our joint account each money, we have a system where we each put a set amount into the account for each pay check – our pay periods alternate – so, we always know something is in there for bills, rent and groceries.
Post # 13
I wonder if I will feel differently about splitting the income when we both have incomes because before I was the sole breadwinner for the most part (he worked part time and didn’t make very much) and now he is the sole breadwinner.
Post # 14
After we got married, we opened one account for bills, and kept separate credit cards, checking and savings accounts. Eventually, we plan to open one savings account for both of us and nix our separate ones, but still keep separate checking accounts.
We’re both very aware of the other’s financial history and status. We don’t hide things by any means, but we like the idea of still having some financial independence. As long as we both contribute to bills as decided, and we each contribute to our savings as also decided (for trips and a safety net) neither of us questions what the other spends on anything else. For example, I don’t feel I need to tell the hubs exactly how much that pair of shoes costs because to me, it seems like a good price for high quality pumps, but to him, it’ll might seem outgrageous. So what’s the harm in not telling him? And for him, I think any video game is an unnecessary expense, so he just doesn’t tell me what he spends 🙂 In all honesty, we pretty much can figure out anyway, but we don’t feel like we have to justify every single cost when we’re both entitled to treat ourselves every now and then. It’s easy to make judgements on what people spend their fun money on, which could result in arguments for some people, so we just keep that separate.
I also understand joint everything, too, but this is what works for us.
Post # 15
Everyone has their own system, but I did not feel comfortable combining our finances completely. I think we’re both pretty similar in spending habits, but I think it just made more sense to us to use joint money for joint expenses (rent, bills, groceries) and then keep our individual accounts for our own personal expenses. That way, when I spend $3.50 every day on Starbucks and he goes out to lunch, we pay for it ourselves.