Post # 1
The idea of this just sounds wierd. I it just me? Here’s our situation: FI and I have lived together for 4 years and all the time have kept separate bank accounts. In our first apartment, I moved in with him so I just payed my portion to him and he wrote his land lord the check. This was just fine.
Over the course of this time, FI was able to buy a house and I moved into the house with him. We kept the arrangement the same since we were so used to it; I write him a check monthly and it goes towards utilities and his mortgage. I was fine with this because though we were committed, we were not married.
Now we are engaged and are havingtalks about how to merge our finances (if at all). The house is his, but I think it would be strange for me to pay “rent” to my hubby. That is not to say that I want him to front the sum of our living expenses, but what is another way to do this? The only thing I can think is that we set up a joint account that we each pay a percentage into and that this account be used for all living expenses (bills, groceries, etc). Then, we keep our private accounts for personal payments (credit cards, cell phones, fun)…Any other ideas? Do you or your husband pay the other “rent”?
Post # 3
I think the joint account is a good idea. Otherwise you could just pay half the mortgage payment.
Post # 4
hmm. it does sound weird. i think your plan sounds good though. at first we were both paying rent, just splitting it. then he hated his job so he quit & i was just paying it. then he got a job & we split again. & now i’m just focusing on finishing school finally so i’m not working & he pays it. i guess it really just comes down to talking to him & seeing what ya’ll both feel comfortable with!
Post # 5
Is there a reason why you won’t be merging finances? I would just open a joint account for your household expenses and keep everything else seperate, if you don’t want to combine.
Post # 6
You live in CA, which is a 50/50 divorce state. If you pay him “rent”, but your name isn’t on the mortgage or title of the house, since he bought it before marriage you’d have zero rights to any stake in it.
Just food for thought.
I wouldn’t be ok with that if it were me.
Post # 7
Yeah, I would feel weird if we had one account that *everything* came out of as well. I would say do a joint account where all the bills are paid from, and then keep your own separate accounts.
Post # 8
I think a joint account is your best option. We got a joint account a few months after we got engaged, so its been about a year and a half. I’m in charge of paying all the bills but are money is combined, so as long as we discuss any big purchases it has worked really great for us.
Post # 9
I have never understood the idea of having bills be separate. We will have a joint account which will pay for almost everything: groceries, rent, necessary clothes, transportation, etc. We will each have a smaller individual account that will receive the exact same amount each month automatically from our joint account for our incidental expenditures: Starbucks coffee, a new video game, a present for the other person, etc. That way we have a bit of autonomy in spending our joint household money how we wish
I don’t really understand why people base the percentage that they pay off of their income. You made employment decisions based on each other (one takes a lower paying job to be with the other person who acceptd a new job in a new city) and financial decisions off each other (one person goes to grad school now, the other waits to keep working, one person buys a house, so the other person does not). These are major life/financial joint decisions and one person shouldn’t be punished for being on the compromising end of those decisions.
It’s a household. We are husband and wife, not roommates.
Post # 10
A joint account takes care of that weird feeling you have. We have a joint account and we each have the same amount direct deposited into that account from our paychecks. This pays all the household bills, groceries, family entertainment, etc. Then we each still have our separate accounts from which we pay our own bills (car, ins, credit cards, etc.). Once we’re married and we refinance the mortgage and I get added to the house, we’ll probably fully merge everything.
Just one option that seems to work fairly well…good luck!
Post # 11
@crayfish: Good to know…so if you were in our shoes, what would you try to set up? What about a situation where he pays his mortgage, and I pay everything else (groceries, utilities, trips)?
Post # 12
@UpstateCait: Totally agree! FI and I put together an account for living expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, etc.). We also still have our seperate accounts for personal use (I like happy hours and shopping dates with friends; he likes golfing), but majority is shared. Makes it so easy for the majority of things, and makes you not feel bad when you splurge on your guilty pleasures! 🙂
Post # 13
We had to take a marriage prep course before our church would marry us. All the finance stuff came up. Once we are married, we have decided to have a joint account. In a perfect world this is how it would work:
We both put our paycheques in the account. A determined amout (we think 10%) will go into a joint savings account. Then we will each take a percentage of our cheques (haven’t determined that amount yet) for our own purposes (saving, spending, whatever we want). All household expenses and bills like car, credit cards etc. will come out of the balance. As we build reserves in that account, every $5k over that will go to something like paying down the mortgage, RRSP’s or additional form of savings. This is based on us coming into the marriage with similar amounts of +/-‘s. We are pretty compatiable on spending. We are happy to combine all assets that we currently have.
Post # 14
@indiblue: What do you two base the percentage on? Do you each take out equal parts for your personal accounts?
Post # 15
Currently my FI pays me “rent” as it is my house (I brought it a few years before we were together). I made sure that he WASN’T contributing anything towards the mortgage payments themselves but more paying his share of groceries and bills (as I pay them out of my pay and his rent). Currently yes I am bearing the brunt of it all and I am poor haha… Not to say he doesn’t pull his weight he generally pays for all the “fun” stuff and non essentials as I just can’t do that too. The reason *I* did it this was was because I didn’t want him to have recourse and be able to say he could take half the house if we broke up… I was covering my ass…
once the wedding is over we are going to the bank and we are combining EVERYTHING so this means he then will be paying the bills,mortgage etc 50/50 with me. We figure this is the best way rather than me saying “no we can’t do/buy x” cos I can’t afford my share, once we are combined it isn’t my money or his it is ours (plus he may actually be more aware of exactly how much I AM paying out -I don’t think he really understands). Legally (regardless of me trying to keep money/mortgage separate) he would be entitled to half anyway as we are de facto BUT in the early months it made me feel better – and once he proposed it was a non-issue for me.
Post # 16
My DH and I completely joined our finances – So, we never had to cross this bridge… Although he is currently the sole breadwinner! SO – he is paying all of our rent.
However – We don’t see it that way. We see it as OUR money (along with OUR bills). We knew it would just cause strife to be divided in this area. So, when I’m working – the majority of my paycheck goes to pay off our debt (yes, they are his student loans, but they are now our debt). It’s nice when I’m working – But I’m currently not because of student teaching (which I had to actually stop doing because of an injury… Which means, yet again, I won’t work for 8 weeks in the fall)…
Anyways – So, yes it does seem weird to pay rent to your husband… If you’re not going to fully combine finances (which is my preference/recommendation), then at least doing the joint account for bills/expenses is a good idea.