(Closed) How do you and your husband handle finances now that you are married?

posted 7 years ago in Married Life
  • poll: What works for you?
    Shared bank account, shared credit card, pay bills out of that and take money as needed : (31 votes)
    46 %
    Shared bank account, own credit cards, pay bills out of shared account : (17 votes)
    25 %
    Own bank accounts, own credit cards... each pay 50-50 of the bills. : (11 votes)
    16 %
    Other- explain. : (9 votes)
    13 %
  • Post # 3
    1120 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2010

    We have kind of a hybrid system. All the money goes in a shared account, and we share credit cards. We also have a shared savings account.

    Each week, we each have an allowance that we transfer from our shared account into a personal account. That allowance can be used to spend or save.

    At the end of the month, we look at the credit card statement and refund into our shared account the money spent on what should have come from our allowance – that way all the expenditures come from the credit card and we collect points.

    We agreed on what kind of things should come from the shared account and what comes from our allowances.

    Basically, every purchase that benefits us both or for which we spend similar amounts come from shared account, and the rest come from our allowances. Also, if we don’t agree on a big purchase (i.e. he wanted a new TV and I didn’t think the timing was right) it comes from our allowances. For this TV example, he paid from his own money, I benefit from the TV too, but would have waited a few months before buying. I will eventually reimburse him my share, when I am ready for it.

    I think no formula is magical though; the key is to communicate a lot, set strategies that work for both and reevaluate periodically. We sit down regularly to go over finances.

    Post # 4
    293 posts
    Helper bee

    @farrahfay: If you search around a bit you’ll see that this topic came up fairly recently, but not sure where the thread is at.

    My husband and I are like you in that our incomes are fairly equal, so we don’t have to share out of necessity. We do maintain separate accounts and credit cards and are happy that way, so we didn’t change after we got married. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, and it doesn’t make you any less of a husband/wife team!

    If sharing the account isn’t working out for you, then go back to separate account! I firmly believe that it’s a matter of what works best for the individual couple. Talk with him and see how he feels about it. Maybe you can come to a compromise where some finances are shared, but you keep a bit separate for your personal purchases.

    Also, regarding canceling your credit card: Even if you continue sharing an account, it is not a good idea to cancel your credit card. Even if you don’t use it.. keep it around, keep your personal credit history active and good! You never know when you’ll need it, and it hurts nothing to have it around.

    Edit: I’m jumping to conclusions here, but I’m a little concerned over your husband specifically wanting you to cancel your card and be added to his after your marriage, and now is picking at your purchases. Do you feel that he wanted this so that he could monitor your purchases (being controlling?) Or is it just that he’s a very traditional guy?

    Post # 5
    23 posts
    • Wedding: September 2010

    @farrahfay, sorry to hear you guys are having these issue with money but I think it’s normal!  How long have you been married?  My husband and I share a bank account and have credit cards etc out of convenience of only having to pay one bill through one account.  When we got married I cancelled my card (discussed with credit card company that since I was being put on his it would not affect my credit history and was assured it would not).  We had some of the growing pains that you are discussing with buying clothes etc.  I have always been able to make my own decisions about money and he really didn’t understand why I would buy clothing or shoes etc (not excessively either).  I sat him down and we looked at the expenses what was being spent on what etc.  I explained that I need to look professional at my job and this is an expense that I should not be made to feel bad about.  He didn’t know that he made me feel guilty until I spoke up!  I trust my husband to be my partner in life so we definitely are in the financial situation together.  I would suggest talking to him!!  I wish you the best.

    Post # 6
    18643 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    It sounds like the allowance isn’t really working for you two.  If you set an allowance that each of you can spend, then you should be able to spend it on whatever is needed.  I still tell my husband that I buy things but I don’t feel the need to justify everything I spend.

    We have joint accounts and 2 seperate credit cards, but he isn’t using his much anymore.

    Post # 7
    506 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I handle all the finances, he’s starting up his own business right now, so the cash flow changes daily.  We do have an agreement that neither of us will buy something more than $200 without talking to each other about it first.  We both have separate bank accounts, but all the $$ goes in mine, he just uses his really for his life insurance policy that he got before we were married.

    Post # 8
    1371 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Since before our engagement we combined finances.  We see all of the money we bring in as ‘our money’.  We still have separate credit cards which is great, because then we can buy presents for each other secretly!  This has worked well for us.  I felt like it helped mature us in our spending habits and created less financial arguments.  I know this is the opposite for many couples, but I just felt the transition to ‘shared’ finances was great for us.

    Post # 9
    3871 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Ok, what does he mean by cancel your credit cards?  As in close them?  Closing your credit cards can be bad for your credit score.  You could transfer your balances to his credit cards but just don’t close them.  Are there any other reason why he wants this done?  I know consolidating credit cards can save you money because instead of paying 5 credit cards their low minimum payment that could add up about lets say $125 a month (pretend each credit card having a min payment of $25 each)…. if you move all of those balances to just one card, you may cut your minimum payment to $50-60 for only one card. There’s definitely more things to consider like how much credit you use compared to what the limit is.

    If he is doing this to save money, it might be a good idea. Just don’t close your accounts.

    If he is doing this to monitor your spending, then it may or may not be a good idea.  He may be trying to reduce your debt load by using less credit cards.

    Me and the husband finally realized we need to stop using our credit cards.  We were pretty reckless with our credit cards.  So we finally are taking the steps to reduce our debt load. 

    I make about 65% more than the husband does.  So we put everything into one account.  We still have our own credit cards and some joint.. but we pay them using our joint account.  My debt is now his debt and vice versa.  We had to do this way because we are planning on buying a home soon and we will need both incomes because I have a lot of student loans.  I do have money set aside for each of us to spend however we wish. It’s like 50-100 a month.  If he or I needs to buy something big, we make sure we tell each other. 

    Anyway, so we are planning on buying a house by the end of the year, so I had to be pretty strict with what I spend and what he spends because we are trying to save as much as we can. It comes down to, do we really need to buy it?


    Post # 10
    1137 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    We keep everything separate except for a joint savings/investment account. I pay all of our household bills and most of our joint expenses go on my credit card. I keep a budget where I list all of our expenses for the month (I’ve always kept a budget, so this wasn’t a big deal for me). At the end of the month, I literally send him a “statement” of our expenses and he pays me his half. We transfer a fixed amount into joint savings each month. Everything left is ours to spend as we like.

    He makes more than I do, so he contributes to our “luxuries” more than me (vacations, electronics, furniture, decorating…etc). At first I was uncomfrotable with this because I felt like I wasn’t pulling my weight, but he explained that he didn’t want to miss out on these things because I would have to save up for my 50%. He can afford them, so it makes him feel good to be able to provide these things for us.

    It works for us, because we both work hard for our money and didn’t want to have to question the other person before we bought something for ourselves.

    Post # 11
    1036 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I am not officially married yet, but my Fiance and I have been living together for 9.5 years.  We have sepereate accounts, seperate CC’s, and seperate savings.  I feel it works better for us this way, as I think that some items he spends money on are crazy, and vice versa.  With our setup, there is no explanation needed. As fas as bills, I keep the budget and pay all the bills out of my account, only our mortgage payment is setup to come out of my FI’s bank account.  I keep all the calculations in a excel spreadsheet at at the end of the month determine what is owed back to the other based on the expenses (I normally end up writing my Fiance a small check to even us out between mortgage and other monthly expenses).  Our one kind of unique agreement is that I pay for 100% of the groceries and other beauty cleaning products needed for the family.  My FH pays 100% of our entertainment costs.  We don’t keep a calculated running total on this, but it evens out in the wash.

    This has always worked for us, and I don’t see us changing it once we are married. 

    Post # 12
    794 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    My husband and I moved in together shortly after getting engaged.  So we kind of had to find a system that worked before getting married.

    He pays the mortgage and all of his personal bills (car, student loan, etc.)

    I pay all the house bills and my personal bills (car insurance, student loans)

    We alternate who goes grocery shopping every week to split the costs.

    Of course we help each other out here and there.  My husband makes twice as much as me so he typically pays for date nights and little things like that.

    This works very well for us.  Since it was already working we did not feel a need to change it all once we got married.  If it ain’t broke dont fix it


    Post # 13
    6572 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 2010

    We have shared everything, but we also only have one income so it works. Otherwise I’d always have to ask for money to go to the grocery store. We have the same spending habbits anyway, except I’m the one who feels guilty buying clothes and he always tells me to get what I need.

    Post # 14
    1941 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We have had joint finances for a few years now. Paychecks are direct deposited into joint checking, we have a joint savings, and then we each have a personal checking that the other doesn’t have access to. We only have these for an allowance fund, and use it for the little things like drive thru and mcdonals, etc. The joint account is for bigger purchses (like grocery runs) and bills.

    We also each have our own credit cards, but he has one of my cards in his name, and I have one of his cards in my name. We def believe that it’s our money, not his or mine.

    The only thing that doesn’t follow this rule 100% is bonuses from work, those we normally put straight into the allowance fund of whomever the bonus was for. Fiance makes more than twice what I do, so when he gets his big bonuses he puts a lot into savings for the wedding, but I always tell him to get himself something fun 🙂

    Also, PPs have mentioned this, but I strongly urge you NOT to actually close your credit card, it’s just asking to ruin your credit score! Transfer balances, pay it off, only use it once a month for gas, whatever. Just do not close it out. I personally think you need to have your own spending that he doesn’t not have access to or control over, because of gift giving situations, etc. Just IMO!

    Post # 15
    724 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    Not married, but engaged. Our system is pretty simple.

    Our paychecks are deposited into one account. All of our shared bills (rent, utilities, groceries, eating out together, random apartment stuff) come from that account.

    Once a week, $100 is deposited into our personal checking accounts. That money we can use for anything (shoes, books, whatever).

    We also have money being transfered from the “main” account into our personal accounts to be used toward paying down our respective credit card debt, and we also have a couple of savings accounts set up for our honeymoon.

    There are a few other savings accounts we need to get started, but the point is, all the money is pooled together and then once a week we get “fun” money that we can spend without having to ask permission. We just think it keeps us accountable without having to ask for EVERYTHING. LOL.

    Post # 16
    4419 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    We basically handle our finances the same as we did before we were married, except that we’ve added each other to our bank accounts. 

    The topic ‘How do you and your husband handle finances now that you are married?’ is closed to new replies.

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