(Closed) How to merge finances as a couple?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 17
Member
1680 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@lolot:  That makes sense. Darling Husband and I are just starting out, so after we pay for our student loans we don’t have much left for personal spending. Definitely less than $400. Now that I think about it.. I’m not sure why we don’t just pay our loans from our joint account?

Post # 18
Member
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We’re having seperate finances because if we merge them than my student loan payments balloon up over double than if we count only my income toward them.

Post # 19
Member
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@inspiration86:  In my opinion, there is no right or wrong way. You have to choose a method that works best for you two and something that you both agree on. It is a huge decision and not one that should be taken lightly. I know plenty of couples who function perfectly well while mainntaining their financial independence, and plenty of couples who function perfectly well while merging all of their finances.

Do you have a preference? Does he? That is a good starting point. Then I suggest going through the pros and cons of both, address any concerns you may have, and making a decision based off of all of those facts.

Post # 20
Member
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Going to merge soon, I have a question?  If you have a joint checking account, can you have two debit cards off it?  I ask because for some reason, we keep thinking of instances with our friends or family where they only have on debit card.  Example- my parents have a joint account but only one card?  My best friend has a joint account but one card (they have to “borrow” it from each other)??

Post # 21
Member
3423 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We haven’t merged yet. I actually have no idea what my husband makes. 

Post # 22
Member
10642 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

In theory everything is joint.  On paper, not everything is, but it isn’t even possible to make all accounts joint.

We primarily use a joint chequing account and joint CC.  We aren’t really people to go out and randomly buy a tv or something, we would look at them together even if we had separate finances.  If we need clothes or something like that we don’t bother checking in with each other.

We do have separate CCs that we barely use, but can use them for gifts.  Right now the plan is going forward to keep unregistered accounts besides the chequing account as separate to simplify attribution for taxes, but it might change.  I was curious to see what others did her for that and it didn’t get much for responses.

Post # 23
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I am a HUGE proponent of what I call the A to L Method… as it isn’t based on percentages, but truly is where EVERYTHING in the marriage is owned jointly.  When no one has more than the other person there is no sense of competition.

My first marriage (married circa 1980) women were just getting well established in the work world, and “the glass ceiling” was breaking… which meant that women could make good money.

My Ex and I were progressive for our time… or so I thought.

I was very much an independent woman, who wanted to pay her way.  So instead of doing things jointly like our Parents did (mostly his money, mostly her management) we kept a good lot of our funds seperate… and used the percentage method.

Whereby I paid 50% of things.

After the kids came along, and my career didn’t advance as quickly as his… we kept with the percentage method.. he made 2x as much as me… so I paid 1/3 and he 2/3

However even this model proved to be flawed.

After 20+ years we divorced.

I ended up broke… as in Homeless kind of broke.  As my Dear Hubby decided that all the money he had, was solely his… and not 50/50 as the courts deemed.  He deemed that if the money was in his hands (accounts – investments – stocks – property) that it was truly HIS and not OURS 

After all for 20+ years that was the way things were… I had put in 1/3 he 2/3 and everything else had been ours to do with as we chose

So the fact that he had oodles of money invested, he figured that was HIS and ONLY HIS

Ummm, no… not how the courts view marital property

He made me fight to get any of what was OURS… fight and spend my meagre savings to keep draggin his @ss back into court.  In the end I was over $ 100 K in debt (this from a marriage that had NO DEBT and hundred of thosands in assets).  And he was still playing the system, including scooting his assets offshore.

So my best advice now for women starting out with a man is protect yourself.  Percentages is fine when you are “dating”.  But once you are married, and the law says clearly that you both are entitled to 50% of common property, then make sure that is laid out right from the get go with your guy.  You bring all of you to the marriage, and he brings all of himself to the marriage.  Talents, Skills, Assets… now and future.

Hence why I am now in love with the A to L method that Gail Vaz Oxlade talks about on her show “Til Debt Due Us Part” where EVERYTHING right from the get go is divided in 2.

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) things can be altered very easily.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 24
Member
6116 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@Birdi:  Do you know roughly?  Or like no idea whatsoever?

Post # 25
Member
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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@Birdi:  You married someone and you have no idea what his income is? Really?

Post # 26
Member
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

We each have  separate savings and checking, and we have a joint checking/savings too.  Most of our money goes into the joint accounts. Like previous posters, we both have a little of our own.  Its all OUR money, and I don’t think having separate accounts matters one way or another.  Personally I don’t believe how a couple handles their money is indicative of what kind of a marriage they have  We sit down and talk every 6 months or so, to make sure our method works fo rus and adjust as needed. 

I say do whatever makes sense for you.  I have seen so many different ways, from totally separate to completely combined.  Its definitely an interesting topic, and I always like seeing new ways couples handle it!

Post # 27
Member
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

stephee: Yes, you can have two cards….Husband and I each have a card for our joint checking, and I believe each card is a different number too.  🙂

Post # 28
Member
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@inspiration86:  We have joint checkings, joint savings, and separate checking accounts. We put $100/month into our separate checking accounts to be used on presents for the other for Christmas/Birthdays/Anniversaries, that way the other doesn’t see where their presents are coming from! Everything else comes out of the joint checking account.

Post # 29
Member
3423 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@sienna76:  

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@oneofthesethings: It’s weird isn’t it?  I knew what he made years ago. I just asked him.  He swears we already had this convo. 

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