Getting Married – How to Merge Finances

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
417 posts
Helper bee

My fiance and I do not plan to join accounts. Now we haven’t really talked about it at all but don’t think we need to. Being that both of us were financially independent before and had our own healthy but ENTIRELY different ways of spending and saving, I just can’t see it working out to combine finances. Even savings are kept mostly private (not literally we just don’t talk about it) and not really discussed often. Honestly its best for me because out of site out of mind keeps me from spending money. I end that note with him that if he were needing help financially, let me know (my money is his and vice versa)… but we both aren’t big spenders. None of this means he won’t have rights to my money or me have rights to his. He carries my credit cards and bank cards with him in his wallet 24/7 for example (maybe that is our form of combining finances). He just… doesn’t need to use them. 

I am also painfully frugal sometimes and if I saw him buying fast food on our bank account when we have a bazillion leftovers at home… it would bug me… so yeah we have PLENTY of money to spend and no need to get bothered… I just would. So rather not go there. Let him have his money and do what he wants lol. He isn’t hurting our finances I am just crazy with money. I don’t want anxiety or concerns over it ever.

But what works for us may not for you. If you both have the same spending and saving habits, it might work out to join some accounts or atleast make a joint savings account. If you need to work as a team to manage money better… that could help to team up. I have no specific advice… just do what is comfortable and wont cause arguments (which money tends to cause a lot in relationships sometimes).

*note… I think we will add each other to accounts for emergency purposes… just not combine the actual $s

Post # 3
Member
1388 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: USA

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crashbee :  We’ll be opening a new joint checking and savings account where all monies will be deposited. I believe that once you get married you become one unit, including financially. It’s just easier to plan ahead when the pattern of thinking is “we” and “ours” instead of yours and mine. I think merging finances encourages joint decision making and better planning for your financial future. 

Post # 4
Member
9204 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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crashbee :  we joined all our accounts when we got married and it takes a little adjusting (I recommend leaving a good sized buffer while you work out your bill paying schedules) but in the long run it’s WAY easier for us. We have a budget and we stick to it so there is minimal bickering about money. The key for us was setting up allowances – each week we have a set amount that the other person doesn’t need to know about or get to judge. My husband thinks $6 coffees are stupid, but I get one every weekend and he keeps his mouth shut about it because it’s my fun money. The only time we (I) really give the other person crap about fun money spending is when it’s on stuff that clutters the house, but that’s more about the clutter than the money spent. 

Post # 5
Member
2780 posts
Sugar bee

We merged accounts by turning his existing checking into a joint checking, and making my high yield savings a joint savings account. I technically still have a personal checking account but only because I’ve been too lazy to close it and I’m still getting some direct deposits there (which I just transfer to our joint accounts).

We each still have our own credit cards, but we’ve made each other authorized users on the ones we actively use (e.g. my amazon card, his travel rewards card). These get paid from our joint checking. We also each have individual retirement & investment accounts which will stay individual, but we consider it all our money. We both can monitor our full financial picture on our shared Personal Capital account. 

Having combined finances has been great, and it hasn’t led to any arguments so far. We’ve been able to save way more than we were before by living off his income and saving mine. And since I make substantially less than he does this is also by far the most financially comfortable I’ve been. So it feels like a win-win for both of us. Since I’m used to making less I’m also the one who is more budget conscious, whereas my husband is more laid back about money. But our general philosophies about money are very similar – neither of us are big spenders but we both see value in spending on experiences and good food. I could see it being more of a source of stress if you have fundamental disagreements about how to spend money or how much to spend. 

Post # 6
Member
763 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

We have separate accounts. We do have access to deposit into each other’s checking accounts though, we set that up when we started living together a couple years before we got married. As long as we’re living here we’ll keep it that way. When we move cross country in a couple years we’ll have to switch credit unions and might start a joint account then. 

Post # 7
Member
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

We opened a joint account for mortgage and bills but have separate current (checking?) accounts and investments. We bought our house before we got married and D.H would pay money into my account so the bills and mortgage came out of mine. We only opened a joint account because we got a lot of cheques on our wedding day written out to Mr. & Mrs. Last name. 

We do have a joint Amex British Airways card, he can’t remember the PIN so uses it contactless (allowed up to £30) so I can see if he’s been to Starbucks or McDonald’s at lunch instead of taking lunch with him lol.

Post # 8
Member
2990 posts
Sugar bee

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crashbee :  I was also raised in a similar household. 

Right after we got married I deposited my checking into my husband’s checking account. He also had a savings account through the same bank that we both have access to. So for all of our bills and everyday expenses, we use our checking account so we can see everything and account for it. 

We also both had one credit card when we were dating so we decided to keep those. My husband hardly ever uses his. I use mine when we make large purchases to get airline points. We’re both good with money and trust each other to pay off the cards. Typically, we don’t even rack up $500 a month so we pay them off every month. 

Personally, I think combining everything makes for a healthier mindset for money and it’s honestly easier. If I need to know what bills we paid, I just pull up our checking account. I can also calculate our expenses by opening up a statement from the month previous. 

My husband also makes almost 3 times what I do. If we did more tit-for-tat almost all of the bills will be on him anyway. We want to look at things as more of “our” money not mine or his money. We also are really reasonable on spending. We hardly shop or buy things for ourselves so it’s not an issue. If we both liked to spend constantly and try to restrict each other’s spending, joint checking wouldn’t work.

Post # 8
Member
129 posts
Blushing bee

We have separate accounts and will likely stay that way when we get married (currently engaged). We do have a joint credit card on which we put almost all shared purchases, and we pay that bill 50-50. We both have a similar attitude on spending and saving, but we do have different accounting methods (I like pencil and paper ledgers and balancing every month, partner likes Quicken). So it just makes sense for us to stay separate in our money, as long as there’s not a large income disparity.

My parents had a joint account, but each also had a separate individual account. This was interesting to me because my mom didn’t work outside the home. But that was their system – my dad gave her a “paycheck” every month, and she budgeted out of that. Certain unique expenses, like vacations, were paid directly out of the joint account. Worked well for them.

I think what’s “normal” is irrelevant. You need to find a system that works for the two of you.

Post # 9
Member
415 posts
Helper bee

Pretty much all of our accounts are joint and I do most of the money management. We’re both generally frugal and agree on most financial decisions. Although we do have separate checking accounts where I deposit money each week for personal expenditures. So we don’t question each other on every little thing we buy for ourselves here and there.

We’re working toward the same financial goals in our marriage and this approach just works best for us.

Post # 10
Member
1182 posts
Bumble bee

We have a joint account for bills and shared expenses. I also put money into the mortgages (and the linked account) under his name. But I get paid into my own account and have some money saved in my own savings account. I foresee this to continue after we get married (soon) but I’ll be putting more money into the shared / mortgage, to increase shared savings. But I’d like to maintain my own money and continue to spend it as I please (not talking about big purchases or anything) without having to consult with someone else or having to explain it to someone else.

Post # 11
Member
1809 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Not married yet, but we set up a joint checking and savings account when we moved in together. It was the best of both worlds…we pay for household goods/groceries/date nights/trips out of those accounts (we don’t keep much money in them, to be honest), and have our personal accounts for day-to-day life. The amounts we put in are proportional to what we earn, which I think is appropriate prior to marriage.

We haven’t conclusively decided what to do when we get married, but we do have some savings/debt goals, and are looking at depositing both of our checks into the joint checking and throwing money at those goals and living off of a set budget…that way, there’s no math involved (“you put in X and I put in Y”), it’s all just one pot of money. If we do that, I don’t know that it’d be forever…I imagine we’d probably revert back to some version of joint and personal, though probably not to the extent that we do now. Different things work for different people, but I grew up in a household where all money was family money, so that’s my mindset. 

Post # 12
Member
4203 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Canada

Fiance and I currently have completely separate finances and every month or two, we add up what we each spent on joint purchases & bills, then “settle up”. It’s not the best system but it worked for the short term. We will be opening a joint checking & savings account and credit card while both keeping our own separate accounts. Both of us will have a certain amount deposited into the chequing & savings account each pay period. Chequing will be used for bills & groceries, the saving will be used to save up & pay for any wedding expenses. The credit card will be used for any communal purchases we would normally put on a C/C. Once we have children, I will likely not work full-time anymore so we will share finances once we reach that point. I do think it’s important for us to each maintain our own saving accounts for individual bigger purchases, Fiance doesn’t really see the point but my ex used to go over my finances and nit-pick, so I like having freedom to spend without worrying (even though I know Fiance would never guilt me about a purchase & I run bigger stuff by him already lol).

Post # 13
Member
3971 posts
Honey bee

I wonder if it’s because I am older and v anal about my finances, but I have absolutely no desire to combine them once we get married.  And it would benefit me as he makes 4x what I make, but I just can’t give up that control.

Plus, things are working fine for us being separate and we aren’t have kids together.  

Post # 14
Member
15277 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

All our money and assets are joined.  We have no concept of any separate money.  This works for us cause we made about tha same and are both super frugal and spend well below or means so there was never issues with who could spend what. 

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