(Closed) Handling finances after marriage?

posted 6 years ago in Money
  • poll: How do you and your spouse handle finances?
    Seperate accounts : (11 votes)
    12 %
    Combined accounts : (29 votes)
    31 %
    Both combined and seperate accounts : (49 votes)
    52 %
    Only one of us works : (6 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 3
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    We have mostly combined finances, but we each get an “allowance” (for lack of a better word) deposited into separate but linked accounts. That allows us to have shared finances (which was really important to me) and the ability to splurge on things the other might not be supportive of (important to my husband) — and it’s been working out FANTASTICALLY. I highly recommend it!

    Post # 4
    3170 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    We have seperate accounts but not really for any reason. We’ve talked about getting a joint account but we do just fine without. I’m sure once we have kids we’ll put our money together but who knows.

    Post # 5
    355 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    My education is in finance so Fiance has already assigned me responsibility for the money, and I prefer the envelope system where each dollar has a ‘job’. Since for the first two years of marriage I’ll be the only one working (FI is getting his grad degree) we pretty much have to combine accounts. The envelope system works by taking your income and assigning dollars to each expense category, and to your savings.

    We both want some freedom to spend as we see fit, so we will each have a ‘no questions asked’ envelope. Fiance calls it his “allowance” 🙂

    I prefer to go shopping quite often and hunt for a good deal. Fiance hates shopping and only buys the occasional big ticket item. So for us, I can have some monthly fun money and he can save a few months and then go on a fishing trip or whatever.

    You can apply the same concept to your savings. For example, I have an emergency savings, a house savings and a wedding savings. It’s all in the same account but I know how much is for each. Another common item that may come up is car or home repairs. Same thing. I would guess that on average this would cost $50 a month. Some months it’s zero, so this ‘envelope’ keeps accruing money until it’s needed.

    Consider investing in a budget program. I use “You Need A Budget” and it’s fantastic. Silly name, but it applies all the concepts above, and you can sync to your iphone, track a purchase as you make it etc. So when I’m out I can peek at my phone and see if I have enough in my virtual shopping envelope for a new pair of shoes.

    Sorry if that was a long response – I’m a finance geek and I get really excited about financial planning 😛

    Post # 6
    3755 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    While living together we have been open with each other about our finances, have kept separate accounts, and have set budgets and savings goals together. We are about to open our first joint account but it’s strictly for the wedding since we’re paying for quite a bit of it. I don’t think we’ll combine all of our finances yet, we have different systems and they work for each of us right now. One thing I don’t like is that he uses a credit card for expenses and pays it off each month. While that is good for his credit rating, I feel that he could be saving more if he were working on a more strict budget based on his take home pay. However, I’ve not been putting much into savings either, so we both have work to do! 

    But with the wedding, and house savings, and starting a family, it’s likely we’ll move toward a more combined approach sooner than later, since the “I put in this, you put in that” I doubt will work that well in those situations. I do think we would keep separate accounts for our own spending money but have one combined account for bills. Who knows, I guess! Lol

    Post # 7
    2295 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I could tell you the mechanics of how we are going to manage money, but honestly, that’s not really what your post needs. You need advice on getting on the same page about the VALUES of money.

    Your values are reflected in two things: where you spend your time and your money. He obviously has a different value than you on this one topic, and wants to put money towards it. That’s okay, both that he wants to and you don’t, but you’re using a key thing (money) to express the value, and that is causing stress.

    Are you doing good pre-marital counseling? Your lifestyles and money values are a HUGE thing to work out. If I had a book suggestion, I’d give it, but I really don’t.

    What if you combined all money and then also had separate accounts. Say you have $4000 a month. Say you spend $2800 on basic living expenses, bills, date nights, etc. $1200 leftover – maybe you put $500 in savings a month and then you’re at $700. You each get $350/month to do as you please with.

    He could support the cause out of that “blow” money you each get. It still could be “your” money that’s going to the cause, but you combine your incomes as a family, then you separate it out and both get a certain amount of money you don’t have to be accountable for.

    Post # 8
    2622 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @houstonwhodat:  I agree with this.

    You are a single household and should spend money accordingly.

    Work backwards from you expenses, what you should save for retirement including expected vacation fund, xmas fund etc. 

    What money do you have left over?

    From that what do you have leftover. Split that in 1/2 and if he wants to spend his portion on donation to his cause, then so be it. But it should not interfere with your life and your life goals/living as a couple if you are not in agreement with it. It should come out of “his” spending money. 

    As a family, your family and their needs/living/relationship should come first.

    Post # 9
    1765 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    We decided pretty easily that we are doing 100% combined. We both brought about equal money/assets to the marriage. And we are both very responsible with money and trust each other’s decisions on how to spend. For example, I’d never question his decision to buy things for his car and he doesn’t question if I buy some new clothes. We’re both savers and we don’t typically go on any shopping sprees! Even before we were engaged, he always asked my opinion on big purchases. 

    We also have a budget. We put a specific amount away every month, have a set amount that goes towards bills & groceries, and then we have a specific amount for “fun spending” for the whole year. Anything we don’t spend from our fun spending money at the end of the year goes into our savings. And for us, once it goes into our special savings account, that money does not get touched until it’s being used for the purpose it’s being saved for.

    I think if you’re combining everything, the most important thing is that you trust your spouse to spend money on their own and don’t question each other’s purchases constantly.

    Post # 10
    585 posts
    Busy bee

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either way. I personally like having separate accounts because we both earn money, both spend it (together and separately) and it would be a nightmare to keep track of each transaction. My SO, bless him, is completely disorganized and would never be able to write anything down, keep all receipts, use an envelope system, etc–it would blow his mind. And I don’t feel like being a bookkeeper for an unorganized mind, which is what would happen! And the whole “if you don’t have joint accounts you’re hiding something and/or you’re not a team in your marriage” is baloney. Sometimes it’s a matter of practicality.

    We have an agreement that we 1) never do anything so financially foolish that we jeopardize our home and abillity to live comfortable; 2) always have a decent cash emergency fund and 3) are contributing towards retirement together. Oh, and life insurance policies on each other, too. It goes without saying that we discuss the big stuff together. Other than that, to each his/her own. We do have different styles and whatever, but i figure if we are making it work on the big things, everything else will be ok.

    We’re both responsible, bargain shoppers, and there aren’t secrets about our finances. We do share our financial situations with each other and talk about stuff… but I don’t want to try to keep up with all his debit purchases every time he buys a bag of Dorito’s.

    I am very organized and am the one who takes care of the details of paying bills (i write the actual checks) and he will usually just PayPal me his half of the bills. This is what works for us.


    Post # 11
    3117 posts
    Sugar bee

    @WhiteIris:  I appreciate you posting this because this is what I struggle with.  I am so used to being ‘independent’ and doing what the heck I want with my money.  Plus, I have two kids from a previous marriage and we never had combined accounts.  It gave a feeling of being ‘separate’ somewhat and was not good. It kind of encouraged a bit of an ‘every man for himself’ mentality. On the other hand, I cant imagine asking for permission to do what I want to do with the money I earn  (I know exactly how that sounds and I know it’s not in a good way…lol). But its hard to pull away from the ‘Hey, I earned that’ in my head and let go of that separatism.  So I am about to read through this thread and hopefully learn and gain some wisdom  in this regard as I plan to walk down the aisle soon and with someone who believes in combining everything.  I think it’s more challenging because I have a stable career but my beloved makes a different ‘salary’ each month plus he is in grad school. Oh the pain…

    Post # 12
    3340 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

    You should combine money in savings accounts ’cause you’ll get better interest.  But I don’t think it matters when it comes to checking accounts.

    Post # 13
    6123 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Like what kind of cause are we talking about?  Is it illegal?


    My guy and I just had the talk – not an easy talk! Did you fight or just work together on it? If they were combined what issues did/do you have? If they were seperate what issues did/do you have?

    No there was not any arguing, however we were not dealing with a huge dichotomy like this.  H and I had a financial plan while dating, while engaged/living together, and while married – although we started the married plan well before the wedding.

    We have very similar views on where our money should go and what to spend in on, hence no fights.

    He really doesn’t think tv or internet are something you need to spend money on.

    That’s a discrepancy and I’m sure there are bigger differences.  So either one of you is going to have to just learn to “live with it” or get the most basic of basic tv and internet and comprimise.  Fighting will get you no where, either someone just gives up an argument or you both come to an agreement on what you both can live with!  I’m pretty sure he’s not going to argue his way to make you think like he does, so he can just stop making fights about it. 

    In my previous marriage, I was (still am) an animal rescue volunteer.  My ex hated it (I think he was jealous).  He did not want any money going to rescue even though I made most of the money and we had separate accounts!  Whether or not it comes from a joint account, or just his account, it’s coming out of THE household and will be an issue.  Is it something to learn to accept?  It’s going to probably bug you forever.

    Post # 14
    230 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    Everyone needs to be careful of separate accounts because if your spouse passes away and an account is in their name only, then you will have to go through a long drawn out process to get access to that money. 

    I think all accounts should be joint.  If you can’t trust your spouse with money, then you shouldn’t be married. 

    The topic ‘Handling finances after marriage?’ is closed to new replies.

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