Post # 1
FI and I have been together for almost 6 years, and engaged for about 5 months. We’ve lived together for almost 3 years. During those 3 years, it has become really annoying to keep track of mutual expenses. For example, he always writes the rent check and I always pay the electric bill, so it’s a constant “don’t forget to transfer x amount over to me so I can pay y bill!” And it’s just a waste of time and energy and leaves a lot of room for forgetfulness, which both of us have been guilty of.
Anyway, this summer, when FI starts his summer job (he’s in law school right now), we’ve decided to combine all of our finances. I hope this will simplify things, give us a more accurate picture of our financial situation and give one person (likely me) the ability to have control over and responsibility for paying all of the bills in one place. After we got engaged, we set up a mutual savings account through our bank (we both use the same bank) that we both have access to, but our checking accounts have remained separate.
I am not looking for advice on best practices for combining finances – we’ve discussed what is right for us and we know what we want to do. What I am looking for is advice on the actual HOW in combining finances. Like, right now, we both have separate checking accounts through the same bank. Should we open a new, joint account and close our existing accounts, or just choose one of the accounts to use as our joint account (and obviously add the second person’s name)? Is there any reason to choose his account over mine or vice versa, if we should go that way?
I also am interested in what anyone has to say about their national, US-based banks. We both use Bank of America right now, and while it’s fine, we’re not enamored with their customer service or ease of use. If we decided to close both of our existing accounts and open up a new account, we’d also look into the possibility of switching banks, if there was a better one out there.
Post # 2
We decided to combine finances as soon as we started living together. For us the decision was to open a new joint account at PNC (which I love) because they were offering some special that if you opened a new acct you got $100 or something. If it hadn’t been for that we would have just added him to my existing account. Things to consider are if you have automatic bill payments set up through one of the accounts it might be easier to leave it open and add the other person then change all the bill pays. Just make sure you make a list either way of all the things paid out of the one(s) you will close to ensure they get resetup with the new. Good luck!
Post # 3
Me and my FI are in the same position as you. We’re thinking we will open a new shared account, and gradually make it our main bank account over time.
Post # 4
We merged accounts once we got our own place together. Since I don’t work, I take care of handling all the finances (bills, savings, etc) so he just has to worry about work. I think as long as you both communicate well, any financial arrangement can work.
Post # 5
annb9: We combined finances a couple of months after moving in together. It makes everything so much easier and we’re able to transfer more into savings this way too. He had his accounts with Wells Fargo and mine were with Regions. I had used Wells Fargo in the past (way back when they were Wachovia) and once Wells Fargo bought them out I wasn’t impressed so he closed his accounts and we added him to my checking and opened a saving account together. Regions is awesome, never had a problem with them!
Post # 6
annb9: Where I am, you can’t just add someone to an account, so you may need to open one jointly anyway.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
We each had individual checking and savings accounts at one or two banks, and individual credit cards. We closed all our individual accounts and switched our direct deposits over to one joint checking and savings account (through Wells Fargo – we like them a lot). We still have our individual credit cards but are in the process of figuring out which joint credit card we want; then we’ll close both our individual cards and just use the one credit card. We also put money individually into our Roth IRAs and our 401k style retirement accounts at work.
Post # 8
annb9: My FI and I use Hungtington. Not sure if you have them where you live, but I love them. We both have separate checking accounts, a joint checking, and a joint savings. We’ll probably just start to use our joint checking as our main account and order another debit card.
Post # 9
annb9: Maybe we’re odd but this is what happened: We had been together 2 and a half years, got engaged, and my parents gave us some money to start a joint account together. We picked a bank we both liked which happened to be his bank, I got a draft check from mine, closed my account, and put my money in our new joint account. We pay everything from there. Finito!
Post # 10
annb9: When we got married, we both closed our accounts at other banks and opened one joint saving and one joint checking account at Chase. We are really happy with them. And having just one of each account makes things so easy!!
Post # 11
We just added his name to my account, transferred his money over and then closed his old one. My parents opened my account when I was a kid so I didn’t really want to start a fresh one. We use US Bank.
Post # 13
We created a joint bank account when we bought our house. I also added him as a supplementary card holder on my awesome rewards visa and we use that for all of our joint expenses. We each still have our own personal accounts and cards, and get paid into those, but we have an auto transfer set up to each contribute X amount into the joint account per month. We’re pretty relaxed when it comes to sharing accounts and money. I mean, duh, we’re married now and we own a house. It’s all OUR money no matter which account it’s in.
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2014 - Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL & Cheney Mansion, Oak Park, IL
Ugh. Interested to hear what others say. We divided up the bills, so our money was theoretically both of ours but we each only had access to our own accounts. We did add each other to credit cards right away. We opened a joint savings account (combining two accounts we had at the same bank because it was easier than adding one to the other) and recently added him to my checking account. He still pays most of the bills from his checking account (I only pay the mortgage) but has paid just a couple from mine to see if he likes it so we can decide if we’ll use that as our joint account.
We’re a little older so we had a ridiculous number of cards and accounts and are still figuring out what to do. Eventually the plan is to have joint checking, savings and credit cards. He’ll keep a personal card and a business card (and maybe a personal account) and I’ll keep a personal card (maybe account?). We’re mostly lazy and hung up on details, so I’m really interested in the replies here.
Post # 15
annb9: I moved into H’s house so many of his household bills were already linked to his personal checking – cable, internet, phone, mortgage, gas, etc. Once my own personal checking was no longer needed (I had a house sale, so waited for all the utils to be closed, etc), we just added me on to his existing account. So now it’s a joint account. I emptied my checking, closed it and moved the money to his checking (now our checking). I also had my paycheck set up so it is desposited automatically.
We each have a debit card that comes from our joint checking. We also have our own credit cards but they are automatically paid through our joint checking.
All the bills are automatcic. Except for the utilities. I need to do a Bill Pay every month for that (it’s not consistent and their auto system through the city costs $3 for every month to maintain!).
It was very easy to combine.