How Do You Share Finances?

posted 5 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
Member
2517 posts
Sugar bee

We didn’t combine finances until after marriage. Before marriage, dh moved in with me and we split the rent/utilities 50-50, and then (because he makes more than me) he paid for most of the extras, like meals out/takeout, travel, etc. 

Now that we’re married, we consider it all our money. But our only actual joint account is our joint checking, where our paychecks get deposited and all bills come from. The rest of our accounts (brokerage, retirement, etc) are technically individual, but they are linked to our shared Personal Capital account, so we can both monitor our overall financial picture, budget, see the balances on all the CCs, etc. We’ve also made each other authorized users on our CCs (not all, but the ones with the best perks — e.g. his travel rewards card, my Amazon card). 

Post # 17
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2019

My husband makes twice what I do. When I moved in I paid him a porportional amount as rent to help cover the mortgage and utilities and then ended up paying for a lot of the food and household necessities, he would pay when we went out, hotels, airfare when we travel, etc. Since the wedding those things haven’t changed and we haven’t combined accounts. We did come up with a budget that accounts for each of our car loans, insurance payments, cell phone bills, discretionary spending, and to set spending limits and savings goals and we trust each other to abide by it. We also refinanced the house from a 30 year mortgage to a 15 and added my name to it. We make all major financial decisions together and adjust the budget as needed. It’s only been a few months but so far it’s working very well for us  

Post # 18
Member
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

We have 5 accounts between us. We each have a current account and a savings account, and we have a joint account. Each payday we each put some into savings and some into the joint account, which we use to pay for bills, meals out, family gifts, etc. Darling Husband earns more than double what I earn, so he puts more into the joint account. He already owned the house outright when I moved in, so we don’t have mortgage/rent payments, which made things easier.

Although the savings accounts are separate, we’d use the money together – if we had a big expense like a trip or a new car, I’d happily use the savings money. I imagine we’ll merge them at some point, we just haven’t bothered changing them because we rarely use them.

Post # 19
Member
871 posts
Busy bee

minnewanka :  Our paycheques are difrect deposited into our individual accounts, this isn’t a first marriage for either one of us, so we already had these accounts and direct deposits in place before getting together. We both contribute about 70- 80% to a joint account that pays the mortgage and utilities and anything left over in the joint account goes to joint savings/ gifts/ vacation savings, home repairs etc. Anything left in our own accounts we can do what we want with (personal savings, discretionary funds). This works for us because we have different spending habits and don’t need to be accountable over little things like $$ spent on entertainment or hobbies or (lol me) Amazon purchases. 

One major thing with this though is that we currently earn similar salaries (middle of the road, we don’t have huge salaries but we’re doing okay). We have agreed that if this were to change significantly- ie one person gets a substantial raise, one person gets sick or injured or laid off) we would adjust the amount each put in so that our personal/ discretionary amounts were still similar. I absolutely cannot get on board with two people in a relationship having a huge discrepancy in lifestyle. If I got a promotion and my husband became seriously ill and on sick benefits or disability, I couldn’t in good conscience have hundreds of dollars extra for myself each month while he struggled just to come up with his half of the bills. And likewise, I wouldn’t expect him to take such a selfish me-first attitude if I was the one who lost income, health etc. 

And I do like the advice of sharpshooter’s to draw up an agreement while you like each other and are being fair instead of nasty, I think this is great advice for any relationship. 

Post # 20
Member
871 posts
Busy bee

minnewanka :  Re your friend’s examples. I think friend 1 and friend 2 are both fine, even though they do things differently. Both arrangements seem fair, just differing approaches and that’s fine.

Friend 3 however doesn’t sound like they’re operating like a team, he sounds selfish. I don’t agree with your friend that she shouldn’t have to contribute anything- in fact at face value having to put in $800 per month from a 70k income gives her more discretionary funds than most of us have. However, given her husband’s much larger salary means even if he’s paying 2/3 or 3/4 of the bills, he still has discretionary funds/ personal savings in the 6 figures. Add to this that the friend is totally in the dark re their bills and expenses, his savings etc and this scenario doesn’t seem fine at all. He seems controlling and selfish and treats the friend like she’s either a child who doesn’t need to know their financial details or a golddigger he has to hide them from. Not nice or fair. 

Post # 21
Member
309 posts
Helper bee

I moved in with my boyfriend and make about 60% of his salary. He has no debt and has a company car. I have no debt but do contribute to the college loan my parents took out for me, and have a car payment. We’ve been living together for 5 years. He bought the house about a year before I met him. I don’t contribute towards the mortgage or utilities, but do pay for all household items, pets (food/medication/vet visits), our streaming service, and food. I also pay for vacations, new appliances and furniture (if needed). He pays for large projects (roof/culvert replacement), and we split small projects. From the beginning, he made it clear he did not feel comfortable with me paying for some of the mortgage ($850/month). We sit down a few times a year and go over how much each other is spending and it has consistently worked out to use both contributing about half to the household. When we eventually buy a new house, we will both contribute towards the mortgage and utilities.  

 

We both have our own accounts and do not combine anything. While we can spend our money how we like, we usually do run a big purchase past each other. 

Post # 22
Member
8063 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

browneyedgirl24 :  we link everything to one personal capital account too! It helps to see accounts that can only have one owner (like retirement, 529) and just to get one cohesive picture. Although I did have to run into it the other day and change the description for the vendor I ordered DH’s father’s day present from so he wouldn’t be able to guess what it is hahahaha. 

Post # 23
Member
88 posts
Worker bee

 

My partner and I have a pretty what’s mine is yours mentality it happens that I pay all of rent and utilities out of my account because I have the details saved and the bills in my name and he pays for a lot of food and entertainment which is higher than our rent and bills anyway I think we each have access to each other’s accounts however we also have a joint account and a joint safe our income is not paid into the joint we really only use it for savings and holidays etc, in addition to this I also have a separate savings account that I don’t really touch with all of my (and now his) “emergency” money. 

I think in your situation it would be unfair to apportion costs based off income given you own the home, I think most appropriate would be to charge him 50% of the rental estimate of your home (he’s sharing a room not just renting a room in a share home so this figure isn’t particularly relevent) eg if your home would be $1200 per month he should pay $600 + 50% of the bills and utilities he would pay if he rented the place (seemingly utilites and internet here), for example I don’t believe property tax and condo payments (assuming you’re talking about what I would call strata) are normally paid by renters at least, they are normally covered by homeowners only also water rates however you haven’t mentioned water rates they may not be applicable to you. Once you marry apportioned costs make sense but prior to that you should treat him financially as a renter.

 EDITED TO ADD; partner and I moved in together after 3.5 months under specific circumstances and it may not have been advisable by others but it ensured we were compatible and has made us absolutely sure we want to get married etc

Post # 24
Member
2238 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

minnewanka :  My FH and I do split proportionately, in a 65/35 ratio. But…

He makes about 2x what I do and has < 15k in debt – most of it, his car. I, on the other hand, have 6 figure student loan debt and make less than $40k a year. 

One thing I didn’t really consider when we built our house, that might be useful to discuss here. We secured our mortgage solely on his credit. Adding me to the loan would have hurt our interest rate, and the entire 30% down payment came from him as well.

Which raises an issue we have yet to resolve to our satisfaction. 

As a life-long renter, I have never paid property taxes directly. In my current situation, we calculate my portion of the mortgage payment INCLUSIVE of the taxes – which at this point are over $600 a month. Since I am not an owner of record, I can’t deduct property taxes. My argument is I shouldn’t be obliged to pay a portion of them, since he enjoys 100% of those payments as a tax write off.

I think this is on some level a philosophical distinction, because any landlord passes on the cost of property taxes or HOA’s in the rental cost. It was just a dimension I hadn’t considered as a renter, that suddenly seemed salient in my current situation. 

I think the most important thing is to talk to each other about your thoughts and expectations. It’s very easy in the excitement of moving in together – and forward in the relationship – to assume you are on the same page with these issues. Starting with hypotheticals makes it a less emotionally charged discussion. As uncomfortable as it is, it can be REALLY helpful to have a line-item conversation about what each of you sees as a fair distribution of financial responsibility; who will cover what and to what degree. 

I would present him with the list you made for us and ask him directly; what would you see as a fair breakdown of living expenses? If we were to get married and buy a house together, how much of the proceeds of the sale of the condo would you feel should go to any down payment? Would it be considered a “shared” asset after cohabitation – warranting a 50/50 split of housing costs, or remain solely yours and adjust his contribution accordingly. 

In doing so, don’t forget other costs apart from just groceries and utilities – special assessments from the condo board and homeowners insurance are part of those figures as well. 

As unromantic as the conversation is, it will be part of determining your compatibility. Even just knowing each other’s attitudes can be helpful in arriving at an agreement that feels fair to you both. 

 

Post # 25
Member
819 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

My SO and I have seperate accounts currently. Together for 12 years, living together for 2. We alternate paying rent each month, and have divided up the utilities and othe joint expenses approximately 50/50. We’ve been doing 50/50 since we moved in together, even though I was underemployed/unemployed for the first 6 months. I wanted to pay half no matter what, and it was less pressure on him to not feel like he was supporting us. 

My salary is currently about 1.7 times his, but he has about 2.5 times the savings from living at home until we moved in together. I have car payments but no student loans. My SO currently has no car, and he has student loans, but his parents make the payments. We both have no other debts and excellent credit.

When we are married and have a house/condo, we will likely get a joint account to deposit money for the mortgage and utilities. But beyond shared expenses I imagine we’ll continue to operate as we do now. We don’t want kids, so after buying a house our main concern for future saving will be retirement. 

Post # 26
Member
8063 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

teamroro :  do you live in a state that allows you to deduct rent? My state does (up to a cap) and when we lived together in the home I owned prior to marriage we discussed that his rent would be a bit lower than market rate since it was more beneficial to me if he didn’t tax the rental deduction on his state return (since I’d then have to claim it as income). Something to consider. 

Post # 27
Member
2238 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

LilliV :  Nope. I freaking wish. With the cost of housing in the metro area, my tax burden would be about zero. 

laughing

Post # 28
Member
8063 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

teamroro :  bummer! Ours is 50% of your rent up to a cap of $3,000 so it’s nowhere near what you would actually pay in rent in Boston, but it’s better than nothing. We actually paid less taxes as a couple prior to marriage because I owned – I’d take all the deductions and he’d take the standard! We got hit with the marriage penalty when that went away. Still worth it though lol. 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors