(Closed) finances pre and post wedding

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

If it’s all going to be shared money in the end, does it really matter who puts more towards which costs?  It seems silly to "split" things like rent etc evenly- it’s all the same money in the end!

Post # 5
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I’m in the same boat, sorta.  We are splitting the costs for the wedding, just to be fair on everything.

But my Fiance just said to me the other day, "I think it’s time that we start pooling our funds together and start working from that to pay all our bills".

He makes twice as much as me, too and I’ve paid a lot for this wedding on top of my other bills.

It makes sense with you both becoming man and wife, you’ll have to share everything else ( and even file taxes, together ), why not this?  If anything, it’ll help offset your costs and you don’t want to go through your marriage as roommates with benefits. 

Post # 6
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

We’re trying to work out the whole "splitting" thing too. After we get married, he’ll be making money, and I won’t (besides a student-type job; I’m going back to school). We don’t currently live together.

What I think we’re going to do is have a joint account for things like rent, groceries, cell phone, water/electricity, internet/cable. The stuff we truly share. I do want to be able to pay "my half" of the rent. Then we will have separate accounts for personal things.

I think money is the hardest thing to deal with because there is going to be such a paradigm shift after marriage. All of sudden, what used to be "his" and "mine" is going to be "ours". Maybe we’ll try and just ease into it slowly.

I don’t think it’s fair that you seem to pay for everything AND do all the work around the house. Just try to approach the topic sensitively and calmly.

Post # 8
Member
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

stressedout,

 I would recommend seeing a counselor, and maybe specifically a financial planner.  Finances tend to be the biggest stressor in a marriage, and before you enter it, you want to address any issues beforehand, because it’s harder (still possible, but harder) afterwards.

I don’t know your full situation, but if you’re thinking about postponing and can, explore that option.

Like BA, I tend to think that once you are married, any money between the two of you is shared.  Weird example, but anytime I think about splitting things down the middle in a marriage, I am reminded of the scene in The Joy Luck Club movie, where the science of the numbers outweighed the love between them.  And vows tend to be of the mind, "What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine."  "I give all that I have and all that I will become."

There are couples that make the calculating and the "splitting" work, but I think it can be easier to look at two people working off joint income.

But this is why money is so sticky.  As you are saying, money is earned.  You are well-payed and the money you have feels like yours, and IS yours.  But your fiance is in a job where his income is his income.  He’s contributing what he can, but he, like everyone has bills to pay. As long as your income levels are different, it’s not going to be equal and it can’t be equal.  This is where counseling may help.  With a financial planner, they can work with you to look at the overall picture – where your current expenses are, where your current savings are, and where you’d like to be with the income both you and Fiance generate.  They can use tools and calculators to play with the numbers in a way that allows you freedom to earn and spend more wisely.

A couples’ counselor may be able to explore the "equality" issues with the two of you and can help give strategies for more effective communication and partnership around money issues.

As it stands now, when is the wedding?  And how long have you been living together with your joint bank account? 

Post # 9
Member
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2007

"Our Money"

We put all the money into the same pot.  We both get a little bit of ‘no questions asked’ spending money each month.

All our bills (shared and presonal are OUR bills).  We decided together our payment plan.  For example when we got marriend I had a CC to pay off, he had one, I had one student loan, and he had two.  They were all lumped into one pile and we’ve been ticking them off together.  All that’s left of our debts is ‘his’ 10k student loan.  That doesn’t mean he has to take personal money to pay it off.  We pay it down with money from our pot. (It doesn’t mean I begrudge him that loan either.)

I think couples really need to consider this whole yours, mine, and ours thing.   For us – it really is OURS.  So what if my retirement account is bigger than his and has my name on it.  It’s money we’re going to use for OUR retirement.

This is def something that needs to be discussed prior to marriage.  Each person should fully understand the others financial situation.  No secrets.  If one person is in signifcant debt (usually consumer debt) and the other has issues with it then maybe the wedding should be postponed until that person can get there finances under control.

A couple needs to have financial goals that are in line with each other.  This is the image I always get when couples split money.  One person spends their money, the other person saves.  Well when partner B says to partner 1 – let’s take a vacation and partner 1 say – um… um…. I don’t have enough money saved.  What do you do?  I just don’t understand how that works.

As far as your mention of ‘other issues’.  Sounds like postponing the wedding may be a good idea.  You definitely want to make sure all ‘issues’ are resolved before making this lifelong commitment.  Not sure your situation but it may be a good idea to sign up for some pre-marital (or just regular) counseling to make sure all angles are covered and you are ready for this!

Hope all goes well!! 

Post # 10
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

stressedout,

Most relationships are not 50/50. My Fiance and I have had the same argument. One of the marriage books I would recommend is John Gottman’s "Seven Principals of a Successful Marriage" (or something like that). He literally lists out every POSSIBLE household chore so that it can be assigned to someone. I’m slowly delegating things to Fiance, so that even though I cook and do most of the cleaning, he will vacuum and make the bed and scoop out the litterbox. If your Fiance doesn’t know what you expect of him, he will never be able to do it.

Our relationship will NEVER be 50/50. Fiance is going to be a doctor and will be working very hard, but I do trust that he will put in the effort that he can and that I am the most important thing to him.

I agree with going to see a counselor or priest/minister or someone who will be impartial and give you some good advice.

Post # 11
Member
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

It’s not a given that you’ll share all of your money 100% when you get married, so it’s not valid to say it will all be shared money in the end.  Why not agree what expenses you’ll share, how much you’ll both contribute, and then use the joint account *only* for that.  The rest of the money, you keep in your own account.

My Fiance currently and will continue to keep our money separate.  We make many financial decisions together, but we know we are both not interested in answering to each other on personal expenditures.  That also means that we *do* have to explicitly agree on how we’ll split up joint expenses.  Having to make that decision forces us to communicate better about money.  We’ve agreed on how much to contribute to wedding expenses each and we’re sticking to it.  It’s only fair that way.

Be very careful about your money without the protection of marriage laws.  Marriage isn’t just about love, it’s about the combining and protection of assets, and until you have that protection, you have to look out for yourself.

Post # 12
Member
95 posts
Worker bee

We have a joint account that everything goes into.

Our household bills/mortgage/etc comes out of this account. These expenses are fairly consistent so they just come out automatically. Anything over and above the usual expenses we decide together on.

10% of the total goes to savings

10% goes to each of our bank accounts and we can use it to buy anything we want no questions asked.

It’s pretty basic formula and seems to work for us. He makes more money now, but I will make more money in the long-term so we figured this was the "most fair"

Post # 13
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2008

What seems to be working for us is ours, yours and mine.  We recently purchased a home together and opened a joint savings account to save for our down payment.  After closing on the home we expanded to a joint checking account for our household expenses.  We also both maintain our individual savings and checking accounts we had before becoming engaged.

Our incomes are not equal but we don’t spend a lot of time keeping track of who pays what.  I too think of the Joy Luck Club when I think about being so concerned about splitting. 

It was more important for us to come to an understanding about how we wanted our finances to be as a couple.  We are trying to identify how to accomplish our savings goals and create a budget where we can maintain our desired lifestyle.  What works for some may not work for you, but you have to communicate. 

 

Post # 14
Member
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I agree with jilian!  All of our money goes into one place and comes out of one place!  An earlier post had mentioned something about a roommate with benefits, and that’s how I see it if you split.  However, you both need to decide what works for you!  I was never good with money, but my Fiance was worse!  Now, I’m in charge of our money and bills.  He agreed to this because he knew he couldn’t trust himself to do it!  Definitely figure out what works for the two of you!  Seeing a financial planner would definitely help!

Good luck!
Heidi

Post # 15
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

What seems to be wrong with your system is that your Fiance pays his personal bills out of the joint account.  I like a system where personal money is separate, and equal.  In other words, first you figure out what it takes to pay the bills, and that gets covered.  Then you figure out what is savings, and that gets covered.  Then you have leisure spending – joint and personal, and that is what’s left over.  Ideally your personal leisure spending should be about equal, regardless of your relative incomes.  Whether you accomplish this by pooling all the money and ten dividing, like legallyengaged, or via some other method is personal preference. 

In our case, we are not planning on pooling our accounts.  We are planning on dividing responsibility for bills, such that when they are all paid we each have about the same amount of money left.  In our case that actually means that I will pay most bills associated with living (mortgage, utilities, household expenses) and he will pay college tuition…  And leisure spending, which will be a little tight for a few years, will be a joint decision for things like vacation.  We will each have an equal amount of money just to spend with no accountability.

The really important things are that you both realize that financial decisions have to be joint decisions, even if money is not pooled; that you each get some amount of money to spend in any way you want; and that you end up feeling the distribution of money is fair and equitable.  Also, as you currently realize, your existing debt affects the balance, and the payoff of that debt probably needs to be treated as a joint expense – factored into the budget as a whole.  He can’t just decide that he wants to pay off his debt faster so you should pick up the financial slack – that needs to be a joint decision.

The issue of why you end up doing everything around the house is best treated as a separate issue.  Housework also should be shared equitably, with each of you helping the other and being responsible together for all the work that needs to be done.  Just being the woman certainly doesn’t mean you should get stuck with all the work.  Nor does being the one who actually cares that that the house is clean, or being the one who makes less money. 

Seriously though – these two issues can make for a lot of unhappiness in your relationship if you don’t get them solved.  Whether they are "sensitive" issues or not for you Fiance, you need to talk them through and work out a solution.  Putting it off won’t make it any better. 

Post # 16
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Also I would add – the distinction of pre and post wedding is not very meaningful when it comes to debt.  Fiance and I joke about my ring, as he paid cash for about 2/3 of it and put the rest on a card.  So really, I end up helping to pay for any balance not paid off before we are married…  Ditto expenses like the Rehearsal Dinner, his bachelor golf weekend, etc.  Anything he is not paying cash for (and for me as well, although he seems to be more of the big ticket spender here).  And even the stuff he does pay cash for, as that cash affects his ability to pay off existing debt.  Really, from the time you get engaged, you need to view your spending as affecting each other and affecting your future together.

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