Post # 1
I need some thoughts with regards to splitting finances.
Fiance and I have lived together for 2.5 years. We rent under our budget and have limited personal expenses. Currently, our pay cheques go into personal accounts, and then we both put some money into a joint account to cover rents groceries, eating out, the dog, etc. It’s just enough to cover the month with no savings.
We purchased our first house together in July, but it has been under construction so we didn’t really owe much besides a small deposit. Now that it is nearing completion, and we are getting closer to the wedding, we’ve been discussing what to do with our finances.
Fiance makes twice as much as me. We have a decent combined income, and will live comfortably. It is important to us to have some joint savings. Fiance is putting in about 65% of the down payment on the house (I’ve wasn’t really saving until the past couple years as I was trying to finish paying off my car). Fiance has to put quite a bit of money into RRSPs each month because his pension is only done through there and his work will match a certain amount. I have a very good government sector defined benefit plan. I joke that while he earns the most now, I’ll be his sugar mama in retirement 😂
I have told Fiance that at the end of the day, how we pool finances will affect him the most since he earns quite a bit more than me. He is torn. A lot of his friends have completely separate finances. He says he doesn’t want to do that, but he worries about petty arguments over personal purchases of we were completely joint. Neither of us is a big shopper, but things like getting my hair done seem way too expensive to him.
He keeps saying he trusts me completely and is fine with joint, but I want him to feel comfortable and I know he has some concerns. Last night he asked about maybe having something drafted by a lawyer saying he has put X amount into the down payment, and if anything were to happen, he’d get that back and 50/50 afterwards. This seems silly to me, because at the end of the day, the extra money he has put in will not be much in comparison to other expenses.
What do you do? What works? I just want it to be fair and minimize disagreements.
Post # 2
Because he makes significantly more than you, I think that putting in a certain % of your incomes into a joint account for bills and savings seems fair. Then you each have an equal % of your income left for personal spending. Or you could put 100% of your income in a joint account, and decide between the both of you a montly allowance.
As for the mortgage and down payment, that does not seem unreasonable since you are not married yet. Although, if you are doing 100% joint account, then it does seem sort of silly.
Post # 3
MsElle: We each maintain our own checking accounts. We figured out the amount we need to busget every month to maintain our home, groceries, taxes, insurance etc . We both contribute to a joint checking account and pay those bills based on a percentage of our income. We each have our own savings and investments and we have a joint investment account. We share the same financial advisor.
Post # 4
We are split. He keeps his account, I keep mine. We are in the process of a join savings account, but I will always have my own savings account too. We split all bills down the line (with the exception of the tv bill, which I pay) and same with pets. I usually foot the bill for the cat, he covers the dogs.
I honestly never wanted a joint account. Money has always been an obsessive thing for me to control. I want my money, and I don’t want to feel guilty for spending his. Does it suck though watching him by cool stuff I cannot afford? Yea, a little, but I have worked to get past that. Now I could care less and roll my eyes.
Could you both share the same percentage into your savings, or amount? That’s something I would look at. At least then it’s cut fair.
Post # 5
My Darling Husband makes 3 times what I do. We have one joint account (his choice). All purchases come out of that account. Things I buy that he thinks are silly are banalced with things he buys that I think are silly. It works for us. Neither of us takes advantage and goes spending crazy. It works for us.
Post # 6
Different ways work better for different people. There are as many ways to split/handle money in a marraige as their are marriages.
What works well for us (and I think may work well for you because it sounds like your relationship has a similar attitude) is we pool our money first, and then set an ammount that flows into our personal accounts. This ammount is our money to spend as we want, that we don’t have to argue about because it is ours individually to spend. The pooled money pays the bills, goes to savings, covers needed expenses (work clothes) and together extras (vacations) The money that we each have covers personal expenses, that t-shirt that we wanted but didn’t need and meals out. I keep track of our expenses with DH’s input when spending on something out of the normal.
Post # 7
MsElle: we’re 100% joint and just try not to nag each other about expenses we think are silly (mostly it’s me trying not to nag since I’m a super saver and he’s a reasonable spender). We don’t have to think about who pays for dinner, or pay each other back for things, or keep track of who bought the dog food last. We’re a team and just because my job pays more doesn’t mean I get to spend more. How do you decide who pays for things once kids come? Ain’t nobody got time keeping score in our house.
I know some couples that try to make it “fair” and say “well if we broke up it’s easier to already have separate accounts” or whatever and I don’t buy into it. The plan is to be married forever and if that plan fails then I don’t think it should be easy to undo.
Post # 8
We have a combination of things. We have a joint checking, a joint savings, and each have our own individual checking and individual savings. I make (slightly) more but have higher personal expenses so we put an equal amount into our joint checking every pay period. It is used to cover our rent, our utilities, groceries, travel, wedding costs, date nights, etc. Money is automatically deducted from our joint checking every month to put into our joint savings. We will increase that amount once we get through all the wedding expenses.
Money between the accounts is pretty fluid so if we need to dip into the joint account to cover personal things it is not a problem. The amount we put into the joint account was designed with that purpose.
It was originally intended to be a post-wedding arrangement but it is working so well for us that we might keep it this way permanently. It allowed us to get Christmas gifts “secretly” but also gives flexibility not to worry what the other person is doing with their petty cash.
Post # 9
When you’re married, it’s single-bucket accounting. He makes over 5x what I make, so he basically pays for everything except my limited spending money and trying to pay down my credit card. I mean, what does it matter who pays for what? As long as you agree on each having some “frivolous” money to spend and what that amount should be, why bother trying to parse out who pays for what? Isn’t the majority of what you’re spending beneficial to both of you?
Post # 10
MsElle: We were completely split til recently. It was just a pain. So we have a joint checking and joint savings. And we each have our own savings account. You might just try joining together and then adjust if necessary. Nothing’s set in stone forever.
Post # 11
We aren’t married yet and each have individual accounts plus a joint account. We worked out how much our bills/rent would be per month and split that 50/50, paying the money into the joint account.
I bring home about twice as much as he does but I went chasing a well paid job and thus far he’s chosen not to. I don’t begrudge sharing some of that with him but I also have a horse and a car to pay for – the horse predating our relationship, the car is on finance which I perceive to be purely mine as he doesn’t drive. I’m also paying off a credit card but I think once that’s done we’ll have to have a discussion about saving towards a house.
I can honestly say that we’ve never had an argument about money so this way clearly works for us at the moment but I’m not sure whether it always will.
Post # 12
Here’s what worked for Darling Husband and I when we got married:
1 joint checking account – we each put in 50% of our income (afterwhile, Darling Husband starting putting in 60% of his, since I was paying for health insurance)
2 joint savings accounts (1 savings, 1 emergency fund) – we both contribute when possible
2 personal checking accounts (remainder of salary)
We’ve made some adjustments over time as jobs and finances have changed, but the principle idea has served us well. This allows us to pay shared expenses like rent, utilties, date nights, etc. very easily, while still retaining our own accounts for our own “luxuries” (e.g., getting your hair done).