(Closed) One Account or Two??

posted 10 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
Member
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

I’ve heard of a lot of couples having a joint account for bills, groceries, etc., and then separate accounts where a portion of each paycheck goes for each person to be able to spend money on whatever they want without the other one complaining. That way, you still get to have a joint account, but he still has at least some money to play around with (and so do you!) That’s what my Fiance and I will probably end up doing.

Post # 4
Member
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I totally agree with amanda.lynn!!  I’m all for having a joint acct and our seperate accts.  I don’t want to fight about money, so I can’t get mad at him for spending his own money and vice versa.  Just as long as money is still going into the joint account!

Post # 5
Member
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

We have a joint account, and then individual accounts where we put small portions of our paycheck to be spent as we please (i.e. the other has no say in how that money is spent).

So is he spending his separate money or just spending like crazy out of the joint account?  Because if you talked to him about spending your money and he said deal with it, that’s INSANELY disrespectful.

Post # 6
Member
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I would normally advocate that couples have three accounts: one for his personal spending, one for her personal spending, and one for household expenses.  Personally, I don’t want to check with my husband every time I want to by clothes or gifts, and I don’t want him to check with me every time he wants to make a purchase.  But that only works because we both spend within our means, and are both saving money each month towards our long-term goals.  In couples in which there is differing spending habits, more discussion is required.

In this particular case, you have a much more significant challenge since your husband refuses to even discuss the situation (this is a huge red flag).  The two of you need to agree on a budget in which both will contribute to the household bills (in whatever percentage the couple deems fair – for example in some couples spouse A makes 70% of the income, and contributes to 70% of the household expenses; in others the couple just splits expenses.)  Next, you both have to agree to a limit for your personal expenses for the month.  Then, you have to agree on your savings plans – first you need to save a 6-12 month rainy day fund (you need to have 6-12 months worth of money that will cover your expenses in case you both lose your jobs), long term savings for retirement, and also savings for a house and/or children.  

I have to honestly tell you, your husband was extremely disrespectful to you when you raised perfectly valid financial concerns.  My very strong advice to you would be to please consider holding off on having children until you have resolved your financial issues (since financial disagrements are the #1 contributing factor divorcing couples cite as a reason for their marriage falling apart) and you will incur a million small and large costs when you have a baby, and you will want to kill your husband if you can’t afford baby clothes and he tells you “that’s it” when he spends the family’s income on crap instead of your child.

 

Post # 7
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My Fiance and I joined our accounts before he left for basic training for the Air Force because most of our bills are combined, and this way I would have access to his paychecks to take care of them. After he finished basic training it was a little difficult to figure out our budget, but now we have it under control. On the other hand, my Fiance and I have great communication about our account and what we spend money on so that makes a HUGE difference. We both do a pretty good job of sticking to our budgets. The only thing that makes it difficult is that I have to check our account online to keep track of his spending on top of mine, but I like sharing an account with him! It’s all about communication for us…

Post # 8
Member
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

In your case maybe 3 separate accounts are better — 1 for joint stuff (bills, groceries, date night, etc), 1 for you, and 1 for him.  That way you can each have your own discretionary spending $$ that you can decide what to do with.  Oh, and also you 2 could come up with some sort of joint plan for saving.  Agree to put a certain amount away each month for savings / retirement / etc, so that he doesn’t have the option to blow all of his money on inconsequential things.

Post # 9
Member
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We have a joint account as it is easier for tax purposes. The money I make gets put away into our savings that we will never touch and the money he makes pays our bills, entertainment, travel, groceries, everything under the sun, etc. Every month he has some left over that will be put into our savings but saving every dollar I make helps.

Whenever we want to buy something for ourselves we use money from the checking (or HIS money). We don’t really discuss what we buy on a day-to-day basis with each other, but decided that if either of us wanted something/combination of things all at once that totaled over $300 we would tell the other.

Post # 10
Member
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I know that this is a little depressing for a wedding site, but I have to bring up the issue of death…

My parents had separate accounts with my dad paying the bills as my mum only had a part time job.  My dad died very suddenly without warning and we quickly had to learn about death and banking.  I’m sure that the laws are different for every state, province, and country, but in our area, when someone dies there is an immediate hold placed on their accounts for 30 days (even with a will).  There were also various laws regarding joint accounts/GICs/RRSPs etc. 

The bank people told us that it was really good that my mum had her own bank account because they’ve seen many people get stuck financially when a sudden death happens.  My mum was able to support herself for the month it took to sort out all the bills, financial affairs, and the will.  So apart from different spending habits, and occasional cases of financial abuse (I know of one such case personally), I think its really important for individuals to have their own separate accounts in addition to a joint account because horrible things like sudden death do happen. 

I know it’s a sad thought for a newlywed board, but I very quickly had to learn about these things, and it is important for everyone to plan for a financially secure future. 

Post # 11
Member
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

bamm, that is really good to know – thank you!

Post # 12
Member
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree with several of the posters as a banker myself.  My first recommendation is to ABSOLUTELY have three accounts each individually and one joint account.  As much as we all hate to think about the possibility of losing our future spouse due to death, divorce, or other unforseen events it will happen to most of us at some point in our lives.  Having your own account and learning to manage money in an account is the best thing you can do to assist yourself when that situation occurs.  I would also HIGHLY recommend keeping a seperate credit card (individual account) so you can build your own credit (aside from your joint mortgage, joint credit cards, loans, etc.) It is really sad when spouses get angry in a seperation and cancel each other debit/credit cards or try to ruin the other’s financial standing but it happens ALL the time!  Be smart about establishing this now and you won’t be sorry!

Post # 13
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

We have one joint account and each have personal accounts as well. We don’t have any joint credit (yet). Like the others have said, you can work out how much to contribute and what to pay out of that.

We’re still working out how to handle our money. It seems like things keep coming up that point out how differently we handle money, even after we seemed to have things worked out. Example: he’s rather fly into a nearby airport and take a 2-hour drive each way than pay an extra $60 to fly into the city we’re actually visiting. He thinks that makes sense, I think it’s silly penny-pinching.

Post # 14
Member
18628 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

We don’t have seperate accounts.  We just try to work with a budget and let eachother know when we plan on spending larger amounts of money.

By The Way, if you own an account as a joint tenant with your spouse in the US, you do have access to the money even if your spouse dies without going through probate.

Post # 15
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

We only have one account, and it works for us.  Since it seems like you are the more financially responsible partner in this relationship, I think you have a responsibility to keep bringing up this topic with your husband until you work it out.  It’s your money, too!  I don’t think having separate accounts is the only way to work out your situation; it just means you’ll have to be more open with each other and come together to work on a solution.

I totally agree with other bees about establishing a budget.  Also, I think it helps to have one person mainly responsible for monitoring the budget; not that the other person isn’t involved, too, just that one person has the responsibility of “alerting” the family if the things get out of control one month.  I also think it’s good to set up spending rules (i.e. both of you are allowed to spend up to X amount every month without consulting the other person, or each person can buy items costing up to X amount of money without having to check in; anything over that requires permission from both of you).  The main problem seems to be that you have different ideas of how to spend your money; it’s just a matter of compromising and reconciling your financial viewpoints so you’re both happy.

Post # 16
Member
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

we actually need a better system!  For now, we are on each others accts, but rarely “share”.  We have divided the bills.  Any $ I have leftover goes on my student loan, and any $ he has leftover goes into our savings.  It’s not a great budget, but we have been able to pay almost 4x my loan minimum (starting maybe 2 mos. post-wedding) plus add to savings each month, so I think that’s good enough for now!

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