How will you/do you manage your finances as a married couple?

posted 3 years ago in Finances
Post # 2
2921 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Before we moved in together last year, we had many discussions on how our finances would be set up and I think what we have works pretty well.

My Fiance makes significantly more than me, plus I work on commission so my income isn’t steady.  We have a couple of joint accounts – a checking account for paying out utilities and mortgage, a savings for obviously savings and we each have our own fun account.  We each also have our own retirement accounts.  We put a certain percentage in each account and because he makes more, he winds up putting more in.  Sometimes he will just put money into my fun account just because he’s a sweetheart. smile

The fun accounts work out really well as we use them mainly for hobbies and non necessities.  He likes to golf, so that can get pretty pricey, and I don’t get mad that he’s using our joint account for a hobby that I don’t have a ton of interest in.  Conversely, if I want to buy a new pair of shoes, or get a manicure, he’s not mad that I’m spending money frivously.

Post # 3
14969 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We make about the same and have all joint, all one spending and savings accounts, no separate spending accounts.  Purchases over $500 get a mention otherwise we just make the purchase (which dosent happen that much). 

Post # 4
80 posts
Worker bee

We are engaged and we just share our money. I know alot of people think that is weird but that’s how my parents did it and so did his. It works for us. Both of our incomes go into one account and we just pay bills and spend from there. When I want to buy him something I just use my credit card and he does the same.

Post # 5
4250 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

We have joint everything.  We still have the accounts we had prior to this year, but our names are on all of them now.  It works great because there’s no question of who owes who what amount of money.

Post # 6
741 posts
Busy bee

We have one shared current account and we have kept our own accounts. Day to day spending and bills are from the joint, we also have joint long term savings and joint short term savings.  The individual accounts for spending money is what works for us best. I think I would struggle to spend money if it was all from one account, even though I eat slightly more. We are in our mid 20s and living in a big city with pretty active social lives, so we like a high spending money budget, we just find that it’s easier to keep track of if it’s in a separate account. 

Post # 7
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Well, ideally I would like to have joint everything. I feel that having joint money and accounts goes together with being a team and minimizes issues of “my money” vs “your money”. I’m sharing the rest of my life with him, it only makes sense that we share our finances as well. (No judgment on how other couples do it. I know every couple is different). 

But then life decides to step in and show me that I can’t actually plan everything….it turns out my husband has a gambling problem when his anxiety and depression is really bad and also isn’t good with money anyways. 

So, we still have a “joint” account. Both of our paychecks go there, all bills, anything I spend, etc. comes from that account and the associated credit card. He has online access to it but not from his debit card. He has a separate account with his own debit card where he gets an allowance each month. We agree on the amount at the beginning of the month and I’m trying really hard to not feel like a mom giving a kid allowance. Our main credit card is under my name, so we got him a credit card just so it can help his credit scores. The card stays in the house and is only used to pay for his cell phone bill and then is paid off every month. Like I said, only for credit score purposes. 

Post # 8
1117 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We have one checking and one savings account. All income goes into the checking and all bills are paid from the checking account. Anything left goes into the savings account. Darling Husband is in school, so I am the primary breadwinner in the family. We are on the same page financially and discuss all of our financial goals as a team.

We didnt live together or share any expenses prior to marriage, so we didn’t have a financial setup of splitting expenses. Once we got married, everything went from mine and his to ours. (I only mention this because it explains why it was so easy for us to combine our finances so quickly. I imagine that if you already have a expense-sharing system in place, it is much harder to combine everything. So I definitely understand your hesitation.) I am definitely a proponent for having 1 set of finances. As difficult as it may be to be accustomed, it definitely unifies the couple. Its hard to be a team in everything except finances, because let’s face it, money is a huge part of our lives. After all we spend a HUGE part of our lives earning it. I pay all the bills (actually going in and making sure the bills get paid). I do it because i’m super organized with finances, actually enjoy it, and am constantly on top of it… it’s not because I make more. Darling Husband likes that it’s one less thing to worry about and he knows 100% that everything will be paid timely.

If you really want some kind of separate finances, i would suggest having all the income deposited into one account. All bills are paid from that account. Savings is paid from the account. And then each of you are paid from that account for discretionary spending, with that amount being equal.

Example: Total monthly income: $5,000

               Bills: $2000

               Savings: $2000

              Her account: $500

              His account: $500


That way you have some autonomy with your own money without having to ask permission. It should be equal because the two of you will contribute to the family. One may be more in a financial way than the other, but your value is the same. Besides, I couldn’t imagine living it up while my husband is drowning in personal expenses. We are a team. If he goes down, I’m going down with him.

Post # 9
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

We currently pay equal amounts into the joint account for bills and the rest stays in our individual accounts but once we re married we ll plan to put all our earnings in our joint account and take out a set percentage for individual spending. That way we ll be combining savings to save as much for a house as quick as possible and it’s rare we buy anything that’s just for one of us anyway. 

Post # 10
1117 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

chocochai :  I just wanted to say you are very strong for handling your husband’s gambling problem. That is something I fear. i know it seems like you are acting like a parent with the “allowance”, but you have an excellent system in place. Gambling is definitely an issue that doesn’t get spoken enough and is akin to alcoholism. It’s a sickness and a struggle. I want to encourage you and give you some internet hugs.  

Post # 11
8246 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

wolfeyes :  we’re fully joint and that works best for us. We don’t even think of it in terms of “he makes X and I make Y” we budget and plan for everything based on our combined income. All of the money goes into one joint checking account and from there it is used to pay all bills or get transferred to joint savings/brokerage accounts. We don’t have separate “fun money” accounts either – the deal is we just both agree to not be jerks and spend all of the money, and we try not to nag each other over spending the other thinks is silly. Keeping separate accounts was a huge hassle to us when we were living together pre-marriage so we went all in after the wedding.

ETA: we save 25% of our base salaries (we both earn OT sometimes) right off the bat so we never have to worry that someone will spend too much. That cash is immediately swept into an online savings account that’s not easily accessible.  

Post # 12
2018 posts
Buzzing bee

1 bank account. Everything we make goes into the joint account and every purchase comes out of the joint account. My husband manages our money on a daily basis, and we look at our progress towards our goals on a monthly basis together.

Post # 13
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

beignetwife :  thank you very much! It’s been tough. The gambling has almost been easier to deal with, because it’s a zero tolerance thing and he’s now voluntarily banned at the casinos. The harder part has been his every day spending. He spends so much money needlessly and with very little ways of tracking it. Or he feels like he’s being too controlled and starts to try to hide stuff. If it was up to him we’d probably never have savings. It’s hard to find a balance of both people feeling equal and still having savings/financial goals. 

OP, what I’ve learned, is that no matter what system you work out, it will require checking in with each other and reworking your system on a frequent basis. Just because something works this month, does not necessarily mean it’s going to be smooth sailing next month. Try to make financial discussions a part of your regular routine. It’s really helpful to check in on how you are doing so that there isn’t any surprises or resentment. 

Post # 14
48 posts
  • Wedding: April 2015

 We each have our own credit cards and own checking accounts .  Then we have a “house” checking account and a “house” savings account and credit card. 

 Regardless of how much either of us make we put the same amount each paycheck into the house accounts.  That’s where all the bills and rent and mutual purchases get drawn from.

 And we use our personal accounts for personal bills and purchases 

 I like it because it’s pretty fair were both contributing the same amount and if you’re more thrifty or like to spend you can have your own thing going on as well as long as the bills are paid

Post # 15
482 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

We’ll have a joint account and use our budget from that. We have separate accounts now but still use each others anyways, it might as well be all together already. He makes much more than I do but we don’t pay attention to that, it’s our money. He tracks all of the finances and has a giant excel sheet and I can always see what is going on with his account and our accounts together. 

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