Post # 17
Even though we aren’t married yet, we’ve had a joint account for over a year but we’ve both kept seperate accounts. It’s worked out really well and since then we’ve never had to ask who owes who for what.
What we did is for a month, we noted down everytime we made a purchase that benefited us both (rent, groceries, eating out, utilities) and after that month we used it to come up with a budget. It made sense for us to add things like meals out and entertainment (movies, Netflix and concerts) because we enjoy most of that stuff together. We also added a budget line every month for gifts that come from both of us and what ever we don’t spend by November turns into money we use for Christmas presents.
Now that we’re engaged, we each contribute $200 extra each month that goes towards the wedding. Once we get married, we’re going to increase/add a line for saving as we hope to build a house in the next year. We’ve both been saving for it individually but now we’re going put are money together. We’re also planning to visit a financial planner as we both contribute to 401K and have some other places we’re saving for retirement. Below are our budget lines. I hope this helps!
Rent, Groceries, Utilities (including internet), cell phones (we’ve just started a joint plan), entertainment, eating out, wedding fund, misc (we found this helpful for when something breaks or we suddenly need new towels), gifts, toiletries (toothpaste, handsoap, Q-tips — stuff like that).
In general what ever we don’t spend we use for something else but we usually spend everything!
Post # 18
<span style=”font-size: 7.5pt; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif'”>We’re slowly working through the combining-finances process during our long engagement. We live together and have two dogs so we have a joint credit card for joint expenses and dog expenses. We split the total and the mortgage every month, but everything else is separate. This system works pretty well day-day, but it isn’t great for joint long-term financial plans.
<span style=”font-size: 7.5pt; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif'”>We’re leaning toward combining everything in a joint savings/checking account but keeping our separate credit cards. That way, we can spend at our discretion like we do now with our credit cards (neither of us are wild spenders). But, our extra money will be shared which will hopefully make us see it more like money for shared goals, and less like money that is expected to be spent.
<span style=”font-size: 7.5pt; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif'”>Even now, when our money isn’t technically shared, we mention if we’re going to be spending over $200 or so, and that won’t change. I like having those discussions because then we can both see how these purchases work (or don’t) with our finances. With separate spending accounts, we both thought that having a specific amount of "spending money" would actually make us spend more than we do now without planning to. 🙂 But, I could see how that could work differently for different people, and I’m lucky that we have similar spending habits/goals.
Post # 19
I know I’m probably an unusual case, but I agree with the view point, that once you’re married, it’s "ours" not "yours" and "mine". My fiance and I have operated on the joint account system since before we were engaged. And we didn’t even live together. Strange to most people? yes, but it worked for us. We knew then we would be engaged and married in the future, and I was struggling since he made more money than me we combined all our accounts so I would be able to afford my rent and bills. We’re had the one joint checking for almost 2 years now and we’re only been living together for 6 months, married for 2 weeks. And yes, we both have credit card debt.. but most of it is from combined decisions.. but there was a time when more of it was mine and we still paid it from our joint account.
It’s just our personal view point that our money is a collective thing. I now make almost double what he is making, but I would NEVER feel like we should be splitting the bills in such a way that I get to keep a bunch of my money as "play" money. We just put it all in one account, pay the bills, and use what’s left at each’s descretion. We’ve never had any issues with this system. I can see how this would work horribly for a couple that didn’t full heartedly believe that their spouse had equal claim to the money they earned, but since we believe that, we have no issues. I guess I don’t understand why once you are married you would continue to split bills like you are living with a roommate…