(Closed) Joint Account for Bills Before Marriage?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
13017 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We did not.  Fiance was concerned about securities liabilities (basically, if he was in an accident, how much I could be sued for if it became an issue, and that kind of stuff).  We keep a running spreadsheet of who paid for what and split expenses 50/50, but just not using any sort of joint finances.

Post # 4
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

We didn’t live together before we got married, but we did open up a joint savings account to save for our honeymoon, which we then turned into a joint checking shortly before the wedding/honeymoon/moving in together.

Post # 5
Member
4465 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We shared an account for several years before we got married.  We used it to pay bills, rent, etc.  We encountered no problems.

Post # 6
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My fiance and I have a joint account for bills. We opened it when we moved into our new apartment. Its nice because before that, one of us would have to go to the bank to deposit the others rent money so we could pay it. And I HATE going to the bank so it sucked. It also is nice to have an account for just bills so my own personal account is just my play money 🙂 lol.

Post # 7
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Fiance and I have a joint checking accoung plus our own personal accounts. We both put $1000 into the account each month to help with the living expenses. We split rent, food and things for the house everything else we pay with our own money. We plan on doing the same thing after the wedding. We won’t be combining finances. 

Post # 8
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Fiance and I do exactly what you posted and we have had no issues with it.

Post # 9
Member
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

We just opened a joint savings account for our wedding/honeymoon savings.  It will become our vacations/misc savings account once we’re married.  While I like the idea of blending our money in a joint checking account for bills, I don’t like the issues it brings up in regards to if we end up separating before the wedding.

However, we will likely open a joint checking account after the wedding for joint bills (rent, food, electric, etc…) but we will each maintain a separate account for our personal bills (car loans, car insurance, etc…)

The biggest issue we have (and I had with my ex husband) is that I am a saver and he is a spender.  With the wedding/honeymoon savings account I am getting an idea of how well he is able to save money and budget our wedding/honeymoon expenses to get the biggest bang out of our collective buck.

Blending or maintaining separate accounts is a big issue in financial planning.  Many financial planners advise against blending all of your money together while many couples believe that maintaining separate accounts allows one spouse to cheat or save money for a divorce without the other spouse knowing.  There are pros and cons to both.  I think it’s important to maintain a bit of independence and keep some of your income in a separate account but blend an equal percentage into a checking account for bills and a savings account for marital things like a house and/or vacations.

I personally think that when you blend money it’s 50/50 and if you want to spend any of it you have to get your spouse’s agreement on what to spend it on.  If you have some personal savings then you can spend it on whatever you want without having to get permission.  I save $150 a month for myself to do as I please.  Most of it stays in my savings for vacations I take without my Fiance.  Some of it gets spent on things for both of us like a new Roku box so we can watch Netflix together.  Occasionally I spend it on a haircut or a mani/pedi or a massage.  I like having some money of my own to spend how I like without having to answer to my Fiance for every dollar I spend on myself.

Post # 10
Member
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

After we moved in together, we found it the perfect solution to open up a joint account in which we each direct deposited $xxx/pay for bills, entertainment, etc.  A portion of the money left after the bills were paid was then directed into a separate “wedding/honeymoon” account.  My fiance, who has never been a saver, still gets shocked when he sees how much money we were able to save for the wedding in a year.

Post # 11
Member
598 posts
Busy bee

We definitely started a joint account for mutual expenses when we first moved in together. It works great! And if something goes wrong with your relationship, just split the money in the account 50/50. 

Post # 12
Member
716 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Boyfriend or Best Friend and I opened a joint account for rent and groceries when we moved in together via Ally. We have our own separate accounts but use that one for our joint expenses. It works well. The one question we had when we opened it, since it gets interest, is who pays the tax on it. Since we opened it as me in the lead, the tax liability goes to me….

Post # 13
Member
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

The only concern I personally have for blending 100% is that if one spouse decides to take off with all of the money there is nothing stopping them.  I guess it goes the other way too but I would be the poor dumba$$ left with an empty account.  But I had negative $15 in my bank account when I got divorced so I have trust issues about money.

Post # 14
Member
1358 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We considered doing this, but as we are having a 7 month engagement, by the time we thought of it, we’d already signed a few big checks for vendors. We decided it wasn’t worth it to combine finances, then have to go back to the bank to get my name changed on everything a few months later. If we had a longer engagement, though, we would have. It would have made divying up vendor expenses a little less of a hassle. We also would have for sure done a COD if we’d had time.

Like someone else said, it does mean that there could be problems if you decided to separate prior to the wedding. Obviously, no one considers that possibility when going into an engagement, but I would definitely decide up front what you both plan to do with the account in a worst case scenario. Also make very clear rules about how the account will be used and agree beforehand how budgeting, expenditures, etc. will be done.

For example, Fiance and I discussed it and decided I would do the budgeting once we combine accounts, and we will each have our own allotment for fun expenses, plus allotments for date nights, groceries, etc.

Post # 15
Member
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We merged all the money/bills after we got engaged and moved in together. 

I lived in my own house and he lived in his.  Then when we got engaged, I sold my house and moved in with him.  

I also got my name on his house (the title) should something happen to him prior to marriage.  Plus it just should be that way if we’re going to get married.

It has worked out great.  We originally talked about an “engaged plan” and a “married plan” but in the end it made sense to merge it all and pay all the bills out of that account.  Even our fun money comes from that account. 

Not a single money fight in over a year and we talk about money weekly!

I think if you have the same money values, similar money goals, PLUS the ability to calmly/rationally talk about things – then I cannot see how it could NOT work!

Post # 16
Member
1664 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We opened a joint checking before we got married.  We still have it and still have our own checking accounts and savings accounts.   When bills are due, we transfer our respective half from our checking accounts.  We keep thinking we should change it, but haven’t gotten around to it. 

The main bill is the joint credit card which we pay off each month.  We put everything we can on it, including other bills like cell phone and internet.  This makes it really easy to track what we are spending money on, and we get a lot of points.  We haven’t had any problems with either.

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