Post # 1
FI and I combined our finances last summer and I am not happy with our current set-up. FI really wanted to just combine our finances together and I wasn’t thrilled with the idea but decided to go with it to see if it worked. Well, 6 months down the line, I don’t like how things are managed or well not managed.
Our current system is that we have a checking account for bills (mortgage, water, gas, electric etc) and a general checking account for everything else (food, gas, entertainment etc) We also have a savings account. My problem is that I partially wish I had some money that was just mine and also FI and I don’t talk about money enough. He does all the bills (that’s what he wanted) and I often feel out of the loop when money just starts getting moved around. I don’t like feeling out of control with my finances.
So, if you have combined your finances with FI or husband please share your finance set-up and system with me. Also, how do you talk with FI or keep up with eachother’s money activities? I really need help with this!
Post # 3
We have a joint chequing account where both of our pay cheques get deposited. We pay all of our bills out of this account and split the difference. The “split difference” gets put into our own chequing account. It works really well for us! Once we finish paying our student debt we’ll reassess and determine an amount to go into savings, and then split the difference after that gets taken out too 🙂
Post # 4
What’s the reasoning behind wanting money that’s “just yours”? Do you feel like FI gets mad if you spend money on shoes, clothes, etc? Or is it an issue with feeling like you don’t have independence?
Post # 5
my fi and i started combining finances after i quit my job, so our situation is different. he pretty much deals with the bills and the money too, but i don’t mind it as much, first of all because he’s bringing in the money, second of all because i just have no interest in it. we’ve discussed what the money goes to so it’s not like i’m not in the loop, and if we want to make any big purchases he always asks me first. it works for us, but different things work for different people.
Post # 6
You should talk to him. You have to find a system that works.
Personally, for us, we combined everything and we both pay bills out of it… some, like his student loans, for example, I just let him handle. (We both own homes still, so we both take care of our separate mortgage payments as well).
I have a friend who has her hubby pay everything – she has a hard time with it as well, because she doesn’t know what’s going on… She’s taking over again, and they are discussing things.
You have to find a system that works for both of you.
Post # 7
We’ll have a joint checking account that will swallow both of our paychecks. The money in that account will be used to pay bills each month, with as much stuff automated as possible. We’ll also have our own separate accounts, and each month, we’ll get an allowance. This money can be used for individual purchases, i.e. shoes for me, XBox games for him; and gifts. After paying bills and doling out allowances, the money leftover will go into a joint savings account. That money will be used to pay for stuff like vacations. Each month, we’ll try to allocate extra money to the loan with the highest interest rate, and as loans are repaid (mortgages, student loans, car payments), we’ll reassess our individual allowances and perhaps allocate even more money to pay off the high-interest loans.
Post # 8
Hilsy- FI doesn’t care if I buy things for myself and my spending is not extravagent anyways. I think it’s more of a control thing for me. I am not used to someone taking $100 out of the atm and forgetting to tell me. He is not doing bad things with the money, but I feel like I am in the dark. This sounds dumb, but I think our bigger problem is not talking about finances often enough and I am not sure how to do that.
Post # 9
We have a joint checking account for almost everything – bills, groceries, going out to eat, car repair, his motorcycle, books, etc.
We also each have our own checking accounts, in which we keep a sort of “allowance.” From the allowance, we buy personal stuff: I satisfy my clothing/shoe obsession, he buys his cigarettes, and we also use this for any time we go out without each other, like when I eat out for lunch or spend a day drinking at the bar with my mom (lol). Our allowances are pretty small right now, but that’s because we’re saving for our wedding.
Finally, we have a joint savings account.
Post # 10
To touch on the second part of your post, that you feel out of the loop and you don’t talk about money with your FI, I agree with lara bee: you guys need to talk about it. Even if he’s paying all the bills, you should know when they’re due and how much they’re for, and which account the money is coming out of, etc. Money can be a sensitive issue, but I think it’s really important to be open and honest about what you guys are spending and how you’re making payments for things. And it sounds like you WANT to be involved, which is a good thing. I bet your FI will be happy to bring you more into the loop.
Post # 11
We started with separate accounts, and got a joint account when we bought a house together. Since then we now deposit our paychecks to the joint account, and get automatic withdrawls to our personal checking, personal savings, and joint savings. We’ve also automated as many bills as we possibly could.
So, for example, all household bills are paid out of the joint account. Then my checking is for discretionary money, which for us includes eating out, gas, entertainment, any shopping, etc. Then the personal savings is for presents or toys (his fishing stuff, my whatever – right now wedding dress cause I went over budget).
You may feel more comfortable with a personal checking account for everyday expenses, and with automating the bill paying. I love FI, but I don’t want him to know how much I spend at Starbucks each week, as long as I keep it off the credit card.
Post # 12
We joined accounts when we bought our house. We both sit down and write out bills together. and whatever we have left over, we put 1/2 into savings, and then the rest we spend. We let each other know if we have spent anything out of the account so at all times both of us are aware of our account balance.
Post # 13
Ahh ok, so it sounds not so much like you want you “own money” but more that you want control in how you guys handle the money that you share. Which completely understandable–it’s a little unsettling to have no idea where your money is going, how much he’s taking out, etc. I really think t hat communuicating your feelings to him is important; he might feel like he’s relieving you of the burden of worrying about money, when in reality you want to be more involved.
Our situation is similar to yours (or it will be, once we get around to combining accounts!): we’re going to have one joing checking and one joint savings. All bills will be paid out of the joint checking, and we can use that money for anything else we need (clothes, games, dinners out, etc.). My FI handles most of the money (he’s in finance and is good at it!), but I know what’s going on with our money and how much we have, and we take turns paying our credit cards.
Post # 14
I have my own accounts but I sometimes still feel out of the loop regarding what’s going on in our joint account because FH manages that. He doesn’t do anything we haven’t agreed on but I still feel not informed sometimes. So when I feel out of the loop and have time I go online and look at our joint accounts and see how much money is where and what it’s been spent on. If something doesn’t look right or I don’t get it I ask him about it and we talk about it. But my FH loves to talk about money so that’s not a problem.
I think if you have one person managing finances talking about it is key, key, key. Does he ever move money around without telling you? Does he not like to talk about money? Have the two of you sat down and looked at all your accounts? I’d recommend it.
I would also definitely set up personal accounts for the two of you. I think that helps a lot. It lets you have something that’s just yours. It lets you decide on your own how much to save or spend each month and what you save is all yours to do with as you wish. It’s nice.
You could also split the responsibility for bills, you take care of these and he takes care of those. If you had parts of your finances that you managed you would be in the loop and wouldn’t feel out of control. That only seems fair to me.
Post # 15
Hilsy- I think the other issue here is that FI and I came into the relationship with totally different financial pictures. I have no student loans anymore, no car loan and no credit card debt. He has student loans, car loan, and about 15K in credit card debt. It’s been a little overwhelming for me to deal with his financial situation as mine as well. I think we need to have a good long talk about everything because I often get lost in the shuffle of what he is doing financially. A good example is that he is trying to pay off the credit card debt, but I can never keep up with how much he is paying to that each month.
I do think that he almost doesn’t want to bother me with the credit card debt, but I feel like it’s hanging over our heads everyday!
Post # 16
FI and I adopted the attitude that there is no more his and hers when it comes to money; everything is ours. (We live in a community property state so legally it’s that way anyways). Both of our paychecks go directly into our joint checking account. We use that account for everything: bills, daily expenses, luxuries. We don’t control what the other person buys for themselves because it’s their money as well. We do however talk about large purchases before we make them. Also, a portion of my paycheck gets deposited into a joint savings account and we set aside a portion of his paycheck for 401K and investing. He handles the day to day transactions of the 401K and investments but both our names are on everything and I know what is going on all around.
We are very open and honest about money and look at it as our money together, every last cent of it. Although my spending habits are more extravagant than his are, we’ve both learned to meet in the middle and I would never want to through away money that he earned in a way he didn’t approve of.