Post # 1
Did you/do you plan to combine finances with your SO? If so, at what stage of your relationship did you/do you plan to combine?
While DH and I have not literally moved our money into the same bank accounts (logistical reasons – we are still in different countries!) we psychologically combined finances upong becoming engaged. From that point forward we considered it all “our” money. Prior to that we’d attempt to keep the spending fairly equal between the two of us (for example, swapping off on paying for dinner) and would actually pay each other back if someone picked up a big ticket item (for example, if I purchased both of our tickets to Hawaii, he would reimburse me for his half).
I see lots of posts where people refer to themselves paying for the wedding while DH is not contributing (or whatever) so it made me wonder if a lot of people don’t combine at all, or are just waiting until after the wedding to do so.
ETA: I’m talking more about the psychological joining of finances – when did you consider your money to be “ours” – regardless of whether you actually moved your money around.
Post # 3
We’re not joining our finances because if we did my FIs income would count toward my student loans and more than double what I have to pay each month. However we consider everything to be our money.
Post # 4
We got a joint account a few years after living together, right before we moved to a new state, but we maintained separate individual checking, savings, and credit cards. We used a crazy, complicated system that involved transferring money to the joint for paying bills, percentages, “i paid this last month you pay it this month” stressful conversations. It was dumb and there were always issues and we really had no idea how much we were spending.
So for budgeting/money-saving simplicity, we decided to just use our joint account for all expenses plus a joint savings account after we got married and now we use youneedabudget.com which has improved our lives dramatically.
Post # 5
When we moved in together … 5 months into dating. 🙂
Post # 6
I like the system we have. We’ve got our own checking accounts, and then we’ve got a joint account to which we contribute equally each month. Joint expenses get paid with a check from that account, or using a credit card we have that is only for that purpose (which actually earns us principal to our mortgage rather than points or miles). This way we can each spend some money on our own things without having to ask the other person about it, or buy gifts without the risk that they’ll see the charge and ruin the surprise, but we’re still sharing any kind of expense that benefits both of us or is related to the house/bills/etc. I have found that this system works great at preventing arguments about money, much better than what I did with my ex where we didn’t keep 3 accounts. However, if you aren’t both earning similar amounts, then this system would obviously be unworkable.
ETA: We opened a joint account 2 years into our relationship, when we bought a house together. It made things so much easier.
Post # 7
Upon marriage or really even a bit later. We both own houses and will have to shift some things around such that it will be easier to do it over a period of time as things get cleaned up so nothing gets lost. We plan to file taxes separately the first year as well. That said, we view money more or less jointly now (talk over big purchases, don’t worrying about paying back if say I purchase plane tickets for vacation, etc. which we just roughly try to stay “fair”) and we aren’t even engaged yet (but any time now).
Post # 8
I misread the question, I thought OP was talking about joint accounts, but we kept our finances separated though. We each have our savings and debts, but everything we need to pay rent, services, groceries, etc., is put into our joint account every payday.
Post # 9
When we moved in together… 4 months into dating. We moved fast. Too fast actually, but we got lucky!
Post # 10
@rosegardener: I don’t agree that it would be unworkable if you didn’t earn similar amounts. I’d say that you each still contribute to the joint account, but you don’t contribute 50/50.
Also, cool about the CC that earns you credit towards the principle on your morgage. What bank is that with?
Post # 11
When we bought our house.
Post # 12
We psychologically joined money when we moved in together. And then once we got married we started sharing accounts.
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2014 - Muhlhauser Barn
FI and I are combing accounts in Janaury, about six months before our wedding. I wanted this year to work on paying down my credit cards before we officially combined all our money. We live together now & split everything on a monthly basis, which is pretty irritating, so I can’t wait to combine everything & make the bill paying process that much easier.
Post # 14
@cbgg: We were long distance until our wedding day – we combined our finances the day after the wedding. (Both sets of our parents paid for our wedding)
Post # 15
We shared all joint living expenses 50/50 upon moving in together and then after having lived together about 18 months we pooled everything into joint accounts. And I do mean everything, we have no invididual accounts any longer. This arrangement works for us, and is soooo much easier than in the beginning when we were constantly transferring money to each other for bills and such.
Post # 16
@cbgg: It’s from Wells Fargo, which is also where we’ve got our mortgage (I don’t think it works if your mortgage is at another bank)