(Closed) how to combine finances when you’re married?

posted 10 years ago in Money
  • poll: To share or not to share bank accounts when married?

    Have one joint checking for your paychecks to both be deposited into, and to pay bills with

    Have a joint checking for bill pay, but keep individual checking accounts for personal spending

    Keep doing it the way we have been

    Some other idea, please explain!

  • Post # 17
    Member
    493 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    View original reply
    @retroindigo: That method works out really well for us, but it can get a little bit complicated juggling four accounts.  We sit down every 3-4 months to sort out if this account owes another account money and to reconcile.  But all our accounts are through one bank, and its easy to set up auto-transfers and move money around if we need to.  We took one day out of our honeymoon to hash it all out – what’s household vs. personal, how do we pay for gas, all those random things.  It was definitely worth it! 

    Post # 18
    Member
    7581 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2010

    View original reply
    @RoundtreeBee: Have you tried Mint.com? So easy and it tracks everything for you.

    Post # 19
    Member
    44 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We haven’t changed it since getting married, but right now we have one joint checking account that we both deposit a small amount into, and individual savings and checking accounts. Its more that we haven’t felt like doing all the work to move things around, which we figure we will do when we move to our next place. 

    Eventually, I’d like to have most of our money in one joint account (or, 1 checking, 1 savings), and individual accounts for personal expenses. For one, to me it doesn’t feel like I’m buying him a present, or vice versa, if it is just coming out of OUR money, and there is no surprise in that, and two, I don’t want to have to feel guilty about buying a new pair of shoes if we can afford it, nor do I want to resent how much he spends on golf. I think it’s good for us to have that moeny to spend however we want. 

    But, at the end of the day, we do still feel like all money is our money. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    211 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    We are married now and haven’t actually done this yet but we plan to get a joint account soon but still keep our personal accounts. We’re going to set it up with our paychecks so a certain amount goes into the joint account to cover bills and the remainder will go into our personal accounts.

    Post # 21
    Member
    1269 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    We will have several accounts:

    1. Joint Checking <All direct deposits will made into this account

      1. All bills, dates, gifts, fuel, groceries, etc… will be paid from this account.  We will both have a debit card for it.

    2. Joint-ish Checking for Allowances <An equal amount will be auto deposited into each account bi-weekly.  We do this rather than cash in case we don’t spend all our allowance each week.  Also, we can save for presents for each other and feel like we actually bought it.

      1. DH Account <Only DH will have the debit card but I will be listed as an account holder
      2. My Account <Only I will have the debit card but DH will be listed as an account holder

    3. ?Maybe a Joint Savings <We would do this if the interest rate made it worth it or if we want to specifically track savings for a vacation, etc…

    DH and I sat down one night and wrote down all our fixed bills.  Then we looked at the variable bills like food and gas to estimate our variable bills.  That gave us what was left over.  We want to save X amount by X date so that told us what was left for spending money and gave us our allowance.

    It seemed complicated but once you setup all these autowithdrawals and whatnot it’s pretty easy.

    Post # 22
    Member
    518 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    When we first got engaged and moved in together we had separate checking accounts. We figured out who would pay what bills (I’d pay the mortgage and he’d pay the HOA dues, and cable/electric/gas etc) and then traded off paying for shared expenses like dinners out, groceries, etc. It ended up being a less than ideal situation because Fiance makes less than half what I do and he’s in a service business so he has variable income based on billable hours. So there were months when he couldn’t meet all of his obligations and then I had to pay them and he felt bad about it. We’ve had a joint checking account for about six months and it has been so much better. As for savings, we’ve kept the savings we came into the relationship in separate accounts. It’s not romantic but if we were to divorce it will make spliting our assets much easier since property owned before the marriage is kept separate (at least in California, not sure about other states).

    Post # 23
    Member
    18628 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    My husband and I have joint everything.  We basically have an allowable amount that we can spend on stuff each month and we just have to work with that and talk to eachother about larger purchases.

    Post # 24
    Member
    50 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We are not yet married, and have all bank accounts joint. Both paychecks go into a single account and we pay everything from that account. We discuss bills, payments, credit cards and savings once every couple of weeks (or when big bills come in)

    Since we have fairly similar spending/saving styles this works pretty well, and keeps both people informed so we wont have the “My husband/wife ran up bills of $30,000 and I had no idea until they came to take our stuff” situations.

     

    However, there are many different ways to handle it, and the key is to find something that works for you. In our case, we are still getting used to the feeling of being under a microscope for each purchase, even though neither of us complains or makes the other feel bad about spending money here and there.

     

    — Nick

    Post # 25
    Member
    125 posts
    Blushing bee

    Right now Fiance and I have seperate checking accounts, even though we live together.  he just gives me his money and i put it into my account and pay the bills.  he keeps some each check for himself to spend how he wants.  Not the most ideal situation right now, but once we get married, we’re going to get a joint account together.  

    The confusion for us lies in that my kids get SSI from when my first husband passed away, and that pays all our monthly bills.  So I’ll have to transfer that over when we get married, but we do plan to have a joint account.  I do however have credit cards in my name only, and my car/house is only in my name.

    Post # 26
    Member
    1995 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I’ve written about this before:

    After we got married we combined finances but do not have ‘individual free spending money allowances’.  We think that if our finances are combined why bother to have free secret money that you don’t tell the other about.  What’s his is mine – he gets to know about every Target run and whatnot that I buy.  There is no reason for us to hide that.  Also we don’t have to ask permission to do those things – we are responsible adults who can make decisions.  We both know what we can and can’t afford. 

    The thing that I personally don’t know (or understand) about these individualistic accounts is – example – what if you both go out and get coffee or see a movie.  Who pays?  Is that your treat for him or vise vs.  Or is that a joint bill?  What if you need to buy shampoo or pitch in for a gift for a colleage – is that a personal bill or a necessity thus joint?  Who makes these decisions?  Do you ever ‘pay him back’ for things he bought with his allowance but want to pay with your allowance?  That to me just calls for trouble and a logistic nightmare.  I don’t want to ever owe money to my spouce!  Plus what if after a year he’s saved his money and you’ve spend all yours.  Where does that leave you?  Would he put all his money back into your savings or keep it?  That seems unfair.  What if he invested his $ towards retirement and you didn’t?  You can’t live separate lifestyles when you retire at 65.  Plus you’ve got to think about how long this arrangement is for – 1 year, until you have kids, forever?  Basically, to me we save and spend together. We live our lives together and we’ll get anywhere or nowhere together. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    7365 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    For us it will be joint account/savings. Individual checking/savings (which isn’t a secret).

    Auto deposit our checks for example 75% to our joint, and diffeerance allocated to our personal accounts.

    Obviously joint bills (household expenses, groceries),  go out to eat, vacation etc, clearly that comes out of our joint accounts (which we each have…hold your breath..individual ATM cards for said joint accounts. So it doesn’t matter who pays.

    So there is no paying back or owing the other for anything. At least in our household. Personal bills paid from our personal accounts.  Its not that complicated as some would like you to believe.

    Post # 28
    Member
    786 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    We have a joint checking account and a joint savings account, much easier that way!

    Post # 29
    Member
    2194 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    This is something we’ve been discussing a lot. We both have a lot of debt (school loans and so forth) so we’re not sure how to combine. Does anyone else have suggestions? Sorry to threadjack!

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