Post # 1
Like usual I need help and the Bee is one of the best places to go for it! I need help/advice/suggestions for managing money after marriage.
My fiance was previously married and they had joint everything right away (she quit working as soon as she got married). In the two years they were married she ended up spending almost $200,000 from their chequing/savings and another 60k on their credit card. Not to mention everything she got in the divorce, basically they was the two most expensive years in his life. So, needless to say my fiance is kind of gun-shy when it comes to joint finances.
I make pretty decent money but he makes quite a bit more than I do, plus he just has a lot more money than me, so he usually pays when we go out for dinner, go on vacations, etc. He has no issue giving me his debit or credit cards and will hand me cash whenever we have what would be considered a joint expense. But, he doesn’t want joint money.
However, I think that since we’re getting married we should have at least some joint funds, even if it’s only a chequing account. It would make things like grocery shopping, home improvement, pet expenses, vacations, dinners, etc. so much easier. I was thinking that we could have one joint chequing account and then each put a percentage of our pay into that account so that it’s fair. We could even set some kind of ground rules about what comes out of that account.
This way we would still each have our own accounts so that things like golfing for him and the ridiculous amount I spend at Sephora would not be considered joint expenses and we wouldn’t be paying for each others “hobbies”.
What do you guys think? Do you have any tips or experience with merging money when you have different ideas how you want to do it?
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We used the yours/mine/ours system that you described when we were engaged. It wasn’t the most convenient thing for us, but it was a good stepping stone in our effort to combine finances. We each contributed the same dollar amount to the shared checking account because that was the easiest way for us to handle it at the time. We started the system when we moved in together, right before getting engaged, and kept it until we bought a house. During that time we got into the habit of checking-in with each other regarding discretionary purchases over $x, even if those purchases came from our personal accounts. Basically, since we were saving for wedding expenses and our future house purchase, we operated with the thought that even a purchase from a personal account would affect our shared financial goals, so we ought to communicate about those purchases and how they impacted our goals.
Then when we shifted to a fully merged “ours” system it was smooth and painless. We were already thinking as a single financial unit, so the merge made it easier to function as one. We still check-in with eachother on discretionary purchases and have a weekly check-in about progress on goals and upcoming priorities.
Post # 4
Check with your bank because our offers three accounts under one card. That way you can have one that you use together (house, car, phone etc) and then the other two are “seperate” though we would still have access to each others money. That way you can use your sole account for your own purchases and vice versa…that may been a good way to start? That way you still show trust with sharing but it still has some seperation.
Post # 5
@Tallulah_: Thanks for the responses ladies!
Post # 6
We’ve changed our money strategy several times over the years. When we moved in together, we opened a joint checking and savings and contributed a % to it based on how much we made. That worked well for combined expenses like bills, etc. We still kept close to half of our money in personal accounts for debt we had before the marriage (student loans, cc) and spending. Then after we got married, we funneled more money into the joint accounts.
Now that we’ve bought a house and been married a few months, we’ve been talking about combining everything together to be “our” money. We’ve found that pooling out money together we have more leverage, can pay debt down quicker, etc. I’m having a hard time with that, mostly because I still want a small piece of financial independence…to buy stuff as I please. 🙂
We’ll see how that one works out!
Post # 7
Yours, mine and ours is precisely how we do it. We still alternate whose month it is to pay rent and utilities, though, and we swap weeks for the groceries. We pay in a bit each month to the joint savings account. We make a similar amount of money, though, so this makes sense for us. I think your percentage idea is a good one.
Post # 8
@orchidaloha: I’d do a joint checking where you each link it to your personal checking. Then move X money into the account (use the percentages method if you want) which will pay the joint houshold bills and expenses.
I am sorry that he is gun shy because of what some other woman did to him.
Post # 9
@orchidaloha: I think you’ve outlined a very sensible plan. It protects him from being abused again (and I’m sure he’ll let his gaurd down over time), yet allows for a more practical way to share expenses.
There is no right or wrong way to combine finances – the key is that you are both on the same page.
Post # 10
Our plan is to have joint everything except for us each having our own private credit cards (which will be paid out of joint checking). That way, he can’t judge that I bought another pair of shoes and I can’t nitpick his daily 7-eleven habit. And we can keep gifts for each other secret. All we’ll see is the amount being paid each month. I suppose there’s the risk that one of us could run up a balance and keep it a secret, but I’m not worried about that. We’re both so debt averse and frugal. Since I shop more, I’m sure the amount I’m spending will get questioned at some point, but I’m actually hoping that’ll motivate me to spend a little less. But I make more too, so again, not too worried about it.