(Closed) How do you handle everyday finances as a couple?

posted 5 years ago in Money
  • poll: How do you handle your finances as a couple?
    Separate accounts for everything. We each contribute 50/50 for expenses. : (18 votes)
    11 %
    Separate accounts for everything. We use a different percentage system for expenses. : (19 votes)
    11 %
    Joint checking/savings for all expenses. Separate credit cards. : (18 votes)
    11 %
    Joint checking/savings and credit cards for all expenses. : (30 votes)
    18 %
    Joint account for major expenses, separate checking accounts and credit cards for other stuff. : (28 votes)
    17 %
    Our way of handling money has stayed the same after marrying. : (29 votes)
    17 %
    Our way of handling money has changed after marrying. : (24 votes)
    14 %
  • Post # 3
    2363 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013 - B&B

    Well we arent married just yet, but we have a joint account and we each have our own personal accounts, all with the same bank. With just buyig a house and the wedding we are putting all of our money towards “our” stuff, but once things settle we plan on having all the bills and income go into and out of the joint (its mostly that way now except for like, student loans and the car insurance because I got added to FI’s policy) and then in addition to our joint savings, we will each get fo set aside a portion of money based on our incomes to go into our personal accounts for whatever. We have both always been very open about money, and we never feel the need to hide purchases from each other. We always talk it out If we are gonna purchase anything like, over $50. And we are both savers more so than spenders, but we do both enjoy an occaisional splurge, so because we are so similar in our habits and goals I think that really helps.

    Post # 4
    9955 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Encore Bee here…

    I would NEVER prescribe to the 50/50 Method again…

    When I got married the first time (circa 1980), I was a woman graduating from Uni. and being paid a fair wage (well at the time compared to before that) for the same work, was a relatively new thing.  So as a modern woman, I thought that 50/50 on expenses was the way to go… wanting to be independent and all.

    Also wanting to be very much different from say my parents generation where the man had all the money… and money was ALL HIS or there was a joint account.

    Twenty years later, and a horrid divorce, and I have to say that my Mother’s Generation with joint accounts was probably a far better idea than a percentage model.

    A percentage model… be it 50/50, 66/33 or whatever else… definitely over the long run hurts the person who makes less money (and often times that is a woman vs a man, in the course of one’s lifetime… also in so much as we are the ones who are taking time off to have babies, primary care givers… both for them and other family members like elderly parents as well etc)

    The lower earner has less disposible money to spend to begin with, and ends up turning over a greater share of it to “appear fair”.  When in fact the other person has a greater percentage that they in many cases consider THEIR OWN and are not necessarily accountable to the relationship / other person for.

    This is not a good way to organize a marriage, IMO

    (Example when I got my Divorce, I assumed… wrongly… that the Courts would divide everything my Ex-Hubby and I had in half… afterall that is the letter of the law.  BUT what I didn’t count on was the fact that he immediately chose to HIDE HIS MONEY… despite the fact that the Court told him he had to disclose and was OBLIGATED to share for example those acquired investments with me.  So the fact that he had a lot more wealth than I did, put me in a situation where I was broke… and he was rich.  Very rich.  By the time the lengthy horrid divorce was over, I did see some of the money… but a real pittance vs what was OUR ACCUMULATED WEALTH as a couple for over 20 years.  I ended up over $ 100 K in debt… he ended up with a lot of very very HUGE offshore investments)

    *NOTE – The first thing you’ll read anywhere… and what a Lawyer will tell you when you are in the midst of a seperation or divorce… is GET ALL THE MONEY YOU CAN OUT OF THE BANK ACCOUNTS.  This isn’t entirely legal… but it is what people do.  Divorce is a horrid thing it brings out the absolute worst behaviour in people.  Period.  So don’t expect that any element of just or fair comes into play.

    Learned my lesson…

    I would NEVER be that foolish again, and I advise other women not to make the same mistake I made because I wanted to appear modern & fair.

    Fair is a marriage that understands 2 people get together, and bring 100% their ALL into the marriage… what they have, who they are, and what they’ll become.  Including the money they earn between them.  There is no Yours and Mine, it is all our Ours.  Anything else is not a healthy way to look at what a Marriage should look like (and expect it to be successful)

    I now believe in the “Till Debt Do Us Part” Model that is touted by Gail Vaz-Oxlade… all the skills, talents & monies in a marriage go into a pot… and is divided up equally.

    A + B = C – D – E = F / 2 = (G & H)

    A = Your Income

    B = His Income

    C = Total

    D = Fixed Living Expenses (Mortgage, Utilities, Insurance, Food etc)

    E = Joint Savings (an amount you both agree upon for something like a  vacation, home repairs, boat, whatever fits your fancy)

    F = Sub Total

    G & H = 2 Equal amounts

    And then G & H are further divided… but done so individually

    I & J = Equal Amounts you each agree to put into your Long Term Savings  (ie Retirement)

    K & L = Is Equal Amounts you both have for Spending as you like

    Under this A to L model.  You’ll discover that ALL the money is equally divided right from the get go.  And not based on who earns what.  All the bills are paid (D), all the dreams are represented (E), personal needs for Retirement (I & J) are met, and you have money you can spend as you choose (K & L).  And there is no resentment to build, because things are 50/50 thru the entire process… with  no one person having access to more money than the other

    If someone chooses to spend all their Retirement Savings foolishly… so be it (sucks but then chances are this is going to be a situation where the  relationship is in serious cardiac arrest most likely anyhow… not caring about the future with the other person / long term)

    Altho some people choose to make their Retirements more of priority, and have them come out of the equation earlier (at E) and regular day-to-day savings later on in the process.

    The nice thing about this this model is it can be continually updated revised… so if  someone loses their job, or someone goes on Mat Leave… (income) or baby / child care expenses come along (out going)

    It certainly would have good long term prospects if it was implemented early on when a couple marries…

    But it could have it’s issues in a Co-habitation situation… (in that I am not a big believer in a gal giving up a good portion of her income / independence in most situations unless there is a Ring & Date or a Marriage involved… having  just seen too many things not work out… and the girl left in a not so great  situation / empty handed).  Which is speifically WHY an Unmarried Couple Living Together needs a legal document / Co-habitation Agreement (and a Will).

    And I would therefore say, that for anyone living together, that getting a guy you lived with used to one model (such as the 50/50 which By The Way I believe CAN WORK when you aren’t married ) to switch over to a more fair one whe  you do marry, could be a challenge.  Making it happen tho is something I  truly believe that a gal should plan for BEFORE moving in… as guys don’t take  change well… especially change to money… once they get their hands on it and  have become accustomed to a particular way of doing things (more so if this is the first time they’ve ever lived with anyone and shared expenses)

    So when Mr TTR and I were Dating (without a Ring) our finances were less defined… if we split something it was by percentages.  If I wanted to do something for us, then it was out of my money.  If he wanted to pay it was out of his etc.

    But since we’ve been married, we now consider EVERYTHING we share to be owned by both of us equally… our cars, our house, and our money.

    As I said, I’ve learned my lesson… I would never now dream of marrying someone who didn’t see Marriage as a full partnership… be that whatever is on the table (money, skills or talents).

    That said, because Mr TTR & I are older, we know we won’t live forever, so we’ve developed a plan for our eventual passing… that we’ve both agreed on.  Where the spouce left would be able to have money (investments actually) to live & survive on… and the rest of the money would go to our kids / heirs (versus for many not life long marrieds like us, things are often the other way around).

    Again, another example of how we truly believe that marriage is about putting the other partner first before all else.

    The kids (on both sides) will be here long after we’ve gone.  They will do just fine with whatever amount either of us leave to them in the end (when we are both gone)

    We on the other hand as a couple, would hate to think of one of us passing unexpectedly, and fairly young (in our 60s) and leaving the other one without an income… and living 20 or 30 years destitute.

    Hope this helps,


    Post # 5
    3969 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @This Time Round:  This is absolutely amazing advice, and I’m going to store it away. I have a plan already, but wow. What experience, what knowledge, without sounding like a “know it all,” but TTR really does know it all!!  Great advice for the modern woman 

    Post # 6
    7205 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    We put everything together and it’s all “our” money. We still have separate credit card accounts but they are both paid from our joint checking account.

    Post # 7
    14402 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Before getting married, we got a house together and sort of split up the bills so that he paid all the bills and misc, and I paid the morgage so it ended up fairly even.  We never really kept track. After getting married, we kept it that way for a while, but then decided to just use my account so he closed out his and changed his direct deposit and we just pay everything out of that now.  We still have our separate credit cards that all get paid out of the joint.   We kept our expenses very low and are good savers so we never really argue about money. 

    Post # 8
    6893 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    Since we’ve been married we do the joint checking thing. However, we have separate savings (that auto deducts from our checking) and credit cards. Well actually, I have the credit cards, he does not – I manage my money much better and use them to build up travel points as well as an emergency credit card for our house or other unexpected expenses.

    Prior to marriage we did not have a joint account. We lived together for almost 3 years prior to marriage (and had a house) but we had done the 50/50 thing. In retrospect, I don’t “regret” it exactly, but being joint is MUCH less stressful. I do think being married is part of what makes it less stressful though – there is less of a “mine and yours” complex and we feel much more unified.

    Post # 9
    271 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2018

    We aren’t married yet, but we have our own bank accounts (with our own credit cards) that our pay goes into, and a joint account. We both earn about the same (him slightly more than me), so we both put the same amount into oir joint account, and our shared expenses are paid from this account (rent/groceries/utilities).

    We both have our own money to spend on whatever we want.

    Post # 11
    6893 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    @remijp:  Exactly. It isn’t flawless, but it definitely helps. I love Mint.com also – they send me updates about where we are spending or if we go over a pre-determined limit on our account – for instance, we did a lot of home upgrading last month. I got an email saying, “You have exceeded your average monthly spending in Home & Garden!” haha.

    Post # 13
    6893 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    @remijp:  Ahh, sounds interesting. I don’t think we could even get to that point right now (I’m in Grad School for another little bit) but maybe when we are both making a lot. 🙂

    Post # 15
    1345 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church

    Joint checking and savings. 85% of my income goes into the joint and 15% goes into my personal account — his pay minus $200 for each paycheck goes into joint and the $200 goes into his personal account. We each have our own credit cards and pay them off based on what the credit was used for (i.e., gas comes from joint but his wedding band was paid from my personal account at the end of the month).

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