Logistics of combining finances?

posted 9 months ago in Finances
Post # 2
Member
8089 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

fourthnoel :  it depends on how many accounts you want to manage. If I were you I’d probably keep your own checking, add a joint checking, and then just have your savings accounts with the online high-yield bank. When we got married I added my husband to all of my accounts since he was with BofA and I refused to use them lol. Just double check that you have free checking – a lot of times they are “free” because you have direct deposit over a certain amount. 

Post # 3
Member
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Darling Husband and I opened completely new accounts- checking, savings and money market at a credit union. We had the option of adding these accounts as joint accounts to my personal account at this credit union, but that would have essentially given Darling Husband access to my personal account.  So we opted to open the joint accounts in his name since he does not have an account at this bank. My name is on the account and it is considered joint, but it needed a primary account holder. 

Personally, I have 2  checking accounts and savings accounts (I barely use the one).  Darling Husband has something similar.  We don’t have to pay fee’s on any of the accounts.  It was better to keep our account as separate as possible. 

Post # 4
Member
3530 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

fourthnoel :  There is no right or wrong way to combine finances – it really depends on what you both want as a unit and as individuals and what makes the most sense to get you there.

My fiance and I bought a house together a couple of years ago and opened a joint chequing account for our combined expenses. It is the only joint account that we have. We both transfer a certain amount of money into the joint account from each paycheque that covers the cost of the mortgage, utilities, telecomms, property taxes, etc., and leaves some extra to build up over time that we use for things like repairs and renovations.

Aside from the joint account, we each have our own individual bank accounts, credit cards and investments. We may combine the investments eventually but for now it works just fine the way it is. It’s easy for us to keep going the way we are because we don’t have kids or any major health issues or anything else that puts us in a position where fully merging our finances is necessary, and we both enjoy the freedom of controlling our own finances while also gaining the benefits of sharing expenses. 

In terms of other shared expenses, like groceries, nights out, etc., we don’t really pay that close of attention. We both pay for stuff and kind of figure it works out in the end, so while we do both control our own money, it’s not like we have a “mine vs yours” attitude about it. We haven’t run into any issues yet with either of us feeling like we are paying for more than our fair share or anything.

Post # 5
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

fourthnoel :  It totally depends on what you guys want. I would also look into what savings accounts have the best rates (it sounds like your account does). It might be easier to combine one of you checkign accounts to the other if it’s through the same bank. Or, if you’d like to have all of your accounts through the same bank, I would each keep you own personal checking. And then they can open a third (joint) account for both of you to share.

Post # 6
Member
2527 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Depends on what you want. We combined everything because I find too many accounts too much to manage. We have a joint checking at our credit union and a higher interest savings at another bank. That’s it. Just 2 accounts. 

Post # 7
Member
876 posts
Busy bee

We each had our own savings accounts pre-marriage. He added me to his, so his became joint. I still keep a very small amount in my other account, solely because our joint account is through a local credit union and my account is with a large national chain. I wanted some money in there in case we are traveling and need to use an ATM. We could add him to that account but it’s honestly not worth the hassle given the minimal amount of money in it. We each have Vanguard accounts for long-term savings. We each kept our separate accounts, but we stopped contributing to them. We opened a joint Vanguard account together, and that’s what we contribute to now. We have separate retirement accounts through our workplaces and named each other as beneficiaries. 

When combining accounts, definitely give yourself a buffer period as you switch over bills and paychecks and things. I thought I had switched over all the autopay things to the joint account, but there were a couple I had forgotten about (little things like Netflix and my gym membership) that came from my personal account. I’m glad I still had some money left in that account to pay them! 

Post # 8
Member
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

We combined everything with our checking and savings accounts (one joint checking + one joint savings). We have a joint credit card that we use for most expenses, and we each have an individual card that we use for our “personal” money in the budget (i.e. what you mentioned with gifts, hobbies, etc.). We pay everything out of the joint accounts.

Post # 9
Member
14965 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

The idea of “combining” finance is simply a mind set imo.  The acutal logistics of it is just book keeping.  Like most people my husband and I had all our own accounts prior to getting maried, checking, savings, high yield savings (multiple), brokerage (multiple), ira (multiple), 401k, name it, we probably had it.  It was even a bit much and needed to be consolidated on an individual basis, so there was no way we were opening anymore account for the sake of being joint when we could simply add each other to our accounts as needed and close ones that were no longer necessary. 

First thing we did to make bill pay easy was to have him change his direct deposit to my checking account and have his savings account balance transferred to mine and have his closed.  (We left his checking account open to use to withdraw from with atm card – we keep a lot less here, so if it’s ever compromised that way, there’s a lot less at risk.  And we’ve forgotten to notify our banks of over seas travel so if that gets locked, we still have another).  All the other accounts, we actually never really took care of until years later just out of pure lazyness – but we  always viewed and treated the money as ‘ours’.  About 6 or 7 years after being married, for ease of tracking, we’ve finally consolidated our high yield savings, cleaned up my IRAs (closed 3 accounts!), and made sure both our names were on any remaining accounts.  

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