Post # 1
Hi Bees! Need some more advice. (I loved all of the dishwasher advice yesterday, it was very helpful! I’m currently on the hunt for a new one, so thanks!).
This is a different topic: Fiance and I live together and we’re getting married in September. I own my home and we share living expenses. However, we have both been divorced in the past and have one son each whose expenses we also pay (they’re both in college) individually. I have a checking and savings account, and Fiance has his own checking and savings accounts. Since we have been living together and the bills (like mortgage, utilities, internet, Dish, etc.) are in my name, he writes me a check whenever a bill comes in that is one he pays. I am somewhat uncomfortable asking him to write me a check every time one comes in. (I have no idea why I feel this way, maybe because I was an independent woman for a long time) I deposit his checks to my checking account from which I pay the bills. (I pay everything from the billpay service with my credit union online).
I had the idea for us to set up a joint checking account that we both make deposits to and I can pay the bills from there instead. But, that will make three checking accounts between us, plus handling the money for the boys. It seems too complicated. We decided when we got engaged that after we’re married we’ll close our individual accounts and have everything joint. But for now it seems awkward to me. Does anyone have any advice as to what is the best way to handle having so many accounts? And how can we set them up so as to be able to transfer money back and forth to/from each other’s accounts when necessary? What do most people do with sharing living expenses but not being married yet?
Post # 3
Keep your personal bank accounts for your personal use, and open a bank account just for the two of you for house expenses.
It’s not complicated, you get used to it….
Post # 4
Fiance and I combined our finances. I have my separate checking account that I get direct deposit in. He has his for direct deposit as well. Then we have a joint ING for the wedding and another for the house. We shift money electronically as needed into the ING accounts but we just pay bills from our individual checking accounts. It’s all OUR money, regardless of what account it sits in or gets taken out of.
Post # 5
I don’t know if this would work for you, but we already have a joint savings account which we keep for all major things (right now it’s our wedding fund) and then individual checking accounts. That way the lump sum of our money is in savings and is ‘ours’ but casual spending money we can have and not worry if the other will be upset if we go out for a cup of coffee or somthing. Is that an option? And can you switch his bills over to his name? That would make life easier.
Post # 6
We actually have four checking accounts between us. Two joint accounts, and we each have an individual account. It’s actually simplified our finances quite a bit, rather than complicating them. Each account has its own purpose and we use direct deposit to the various accounts so it’s pretty much automatic.
Post # 7
Well, when my Darling Husband (then FI) and I moved in together, we joined our money immediately (maybe not for everyone, but we were broke students with nothing to our names and had a lot of talks beforehand about how to save/spend).
Re: how to manage so many accts, my husband works at our bank and he’s set them all up to be ‘linked’. I’m not sure if you’d both need your names on all the accounts, but I don’t think so – you’d just link them all and then you’d be able to transfer freely or automatically between your personal account as well as the mutual. We do this for our savings acct as well as a moving fund we’ve started – they’re just linked and every paycheck I go to my/our typical acct and transfer over $X, and it drops immediately.
Post # 8
Thanks! It’s probably just going to be a trip to the credit union and open the joint account together. I agree that we’ll get used to it eventually. I’ve just never had so many bank accounts, haha! (We also have a money market each, additionally, so it’s going to be up to about nine bank accounts between the two of us; it seems excessive). We have discussed that we feel it is “our” money already, and our philosophies on finances are very similar, luckily. After we get married it will be him handling it all, thankfully. My ex was not great with money and all of the burden fell on me, so this will be a nice change.
Post # 8
We have 3 checking accounts (2 individual and 1 joint) and 2 savings accounts (both joint) between us. Once we figured out a system, it wasn’t complicated at all. Like PP said, each account has its purpose, which simplified things.
Post # 9
@happyface: We are going to be doing the same thing 🙂
Post # 10
He added me to his account last summer after we moved in and I have slowly stopped using mine and am in the process of closing it out. It is a lot easier and more convienent.
Post # 11
We’re planning to open a joint checking account while keeping our personal check/savings accts open as well. We’ll figure out a lump sum to start it with and then we plan to each add a certain percentage of each paycheck to the joint account (since I’m in grad school our incomes are really unbalanced, so proportions work best for us). Any joint bills (groceries, rent, cable, etc) will be paid from the joint account, but if I decide I want to get a fancy new dress or something I’ll use my personal account. When I graduate next year, our incomes will be about equal so it’ll be less of a concern but I think getting a system in place early where most of the money is “joint” is good.
Post # 12
We each have our own personal account and then one joint. We figured the number that we needed to pay off our mutual bills and put x amount from each check into that account. The remainder of our check goes into our personal accounts.
Post # 13
@ieatunicorns: That sounds like a great idea. Do you link all of your accounts together online? Or do the both of you only have access to the joint, and you to yours invididually and him to his individually? That’s the part I’m confused about, how to link all of these accounts, or if it is even necessary to do so. ?
Post # 14
I just watched a Suzy Orman podcast on this recently.
1. Determine your take home combined monthly income
2. Determine what your joint/shared monthy expenses are
Find a percentage: eg. $10,000 take home combined, $6,000 = 60%
Now to figure how much each of you should contribute to the joint household account, multiple your take home incomes by 60%
Say you bring home $7,000, put in $4200 of your money
He brings home $3,000, he puts in $1800 of his money.
Instead of writing a check you could have a joint savings that you share simply for transfering money. Then he can deposite one lump sum per month and you move it over to your account which is probably where all the bills are tied to. You can even buffer it and add more to the joint/shared expenese to account for vacations, house projects, etc.
Post # 15
@sienna76: That’s awesome, thanks! I really appreciate it. I’m going to copy and print that out right now. 🙂