Post # 1
I am wondering, once married, how do people manage their money? Currently my fiance and I control our own money and mainly go halves in large bills (rent, electricity etc). I guess I had always liked the idea of managing money together but I am a saver and I hate to admit it but I can be tight with my money and he is a more generous with his money (on others and on himself). I worry about this.
What is the best way we can manage money, where both parties are happy. Do we continue to do separate accounts? I always liked the idea of managing money ‘together’ but we are quite different when it comes to managing money. I don’t want to be a couple where we have to ask to buy ourselves something.
What do others plan to do / or how are you currently managing money (post-wedding)???
Island bee x
Post # 3
We have joint checking and long- and short-term savings accounts where the bulk of our money goes, but we each have separate fun money accounts that we replenish every 2 weeks. Darling Husband tends to use his “allowance” to buy lunches out and random impulse purchases, while I save mine for spa treatments and drinks with my girlfriends. I pay all the bills and maintain our budget, but Darling Husband has input in all of our spending and saving decisions – I don’t make any significant decisions without him. This works well for us.
I did ask Darling Husband to read a few personal finance books right after we got married (Suze Orman’s Young Fabulous & Broke and Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover). I’ve owned my own home for 7 years and have a lot more experience with financial and investment issues, and I wanted to make we were on the same page. Suze’s good for understanding basic concepts, Dave Ramsey’s excellent for developing a personal finance strategy. Maybe you could read a few books together and make some decisions from there?
Post # 4
So does both of your pay go into these savings accounts and then a certain amount each fortnight goes into your separate accounts?
I like the idea of reading up on managing finances.
Post # 5
@island_bee: I can tell you what we do!
Upon enegagement and me moving in, H and I combined our money. He already had a checking where all the household bills were automatically set up from, so it made sense for me to add my paycheck to his checking.
I feel it’s so much easier to pay things, save for trips, save for retirmenet when all the money is pooled. H and I have very similar money values and goals. We want to retire early. We want to travel a lot. Of course, sharing money requires some things: that you are on the same page about money, that one of you isn’t horrible with money, that you can talk about things easily when it comes to money, ability to comprimise.
I tend to track the daily expenditures. I can tell you what we spent on eating out, groceries, or cars for all of 2012. This will help us when we calculate replacement incomes for retirement and I’m a big Excel geek so I just like to see where the money goes. I know eactly how much our retirement increased in one year. H is better at long term financial planning. So in that way we compliment each other.
We each get paid on the 1st of the month (once a month). From here we contribute to several retirement funds up front (pre and post tax accounts). Then the rest goes towards living expenses. We have a good sized buffer in the checking, so some months we spend all that’s left of that paycheck (which is OK because of the buffer), other months we don’t and the buffer increases in value.
We also talked about a price point that would need the other’s consultation.
If you have very small incomes to work with, then I would suggest sitting down first and going over all the REQUIRED living expenses and tally those up. What expenses do you each have that must be paid every month? Subtract that from your take home pay. That is what you both have left to live on for food, fun, clothes, savings, etc. You’ll have to come up with plans on how to divvy the remaining funds and it will take some comprimise if you’re not on the same page.
Post # 6
We have joint everything. I manage the finances (pay bills, savings, spending, etc) and whatever is left over is my FI’s “fun money” allowance. This lets him purchase things without me having to know (gifts, suprises, etc). This way all he has to worry about is making the money (I don’t work) and everything else is taken care of. We plan on doing the same thing after we’re married. It really works for us and we never fight about money.
Post # 7
Currently, we both manage our own money separately. We split all shared bills and household expenses, including grocery store trips. For eating out, which we do way more than we should, we just rotate who is up to pay. We have very similar, comfortable, incomes and being financially independent is very important to both of us as we are in our late 20s and have been on our own since 18. We also both come from families who have not been as financially responsible as they should have been and so we work hard to protect our financial futures.
After we became engaged we open up a joint checking and savings account. After deciding on a budget and a date, we both contribute for wedding expenses into these shared accounts. I made a chart to show what monthly contributions should be to hit our goal in time and I follow it quite strictly. My fiance prefers to make less frequently larger deposits.
After the wedding, we plan to readjust the amount we currently deposit into these shared accounts based on our routine shared expenses. For example, if we go grocery shopping now, either he or I will pay and then the other person will just reimburse half. In the future we will use our debit cards to pay for these expenses, including eating out, which will withdraw from the account we put equal amounts into. These shared accounts will only be used when we are together. If I grab dinner with friends, I will still pay for this out of my regular account.
This is our plan for now. Should there ever be kids and/or a large imbalance in our incomes we will need to readjust. What is important for us is that we have the freedom to spend our individual money however we want without it impacting the other person at all. I shop way more than he does but in the summer his golf habit can be quite expensive. As finances are the number one thing couples fight over, this plan removes that issue almost completely. What was also important to me was that we pay into the shared account, as opposed to paying out of it. I have heard of people stashing extra money and hiding it from their spouses. This way, we are both expected to make the same monthly contribution and whatever is left over is ours to do whatever we want.