(Closed) Seperate bank account or Joint accounts?

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 31
95 posts
Worker bee

My SO and I are not married, but we love together. We keep separate accounts and we would keep the same arrangement if we married. We share expenses, but we’re both adults with our own banking habits, credit history and expenses. We keep each other included in our financial decisions and have joint goals, but it doesn’t make sense for us to pool our accounts. 

Post # 32
8601 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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olna:  the reason suzie says to split according to income (and I agree) is because it’s wildly unfair to have one spouse living a comfortable lifestyle while the other can’t afford beans. It’s not “subsidizing” and “why should they have to because you make less”, you’re  a team, that’s the whole point. 50/50 is not fair unless you earn the same. This is your life partner not your roommate!

Right now we’re seprate but have a joint savings for honeymoon. He pays for everything (except my day to day expenses) and I contribute to the savings substatially. We like to pretend we live off one income and save the other. When we’re married we will have joint checking/savings which the majority of our money will go to, while maintaining personal checking for discretionary spending, surprises/gifts etx (a small percent). 

Its a different attitude to have your money vs my money in marriage. I prefer to be a team in all aspects including financial. I think seperate accounts can be secretive. 

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by MrsBuesleBee.
Post # 33
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

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MrsF1234:  There are not really “benefits” to keeping our accounts separate. Getting a joint account is on the to-do list… but its not exactly high priority because we function without it. It’s kind of become a joke that the next time someone writes both our names on a check is the day we’ll get one (I get out of school after banking hours so both of us having to be at the bank to cash or deposit a check is actually difficult)

Post # 34
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I don’t get the “my money” vs “your money” mentality of some married couples.  What happens if/when one of you gets laid off?  Or seriously sick?  Do you split expenses when you’re on vacation?

The point of marriage is to make everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly – “ours.”  If you have substantial assets going into the marriage then get a pre-nup.

But yea, OP, I can totally get what you’re saying about feeling that it is more of a business than a marriage if the finances are kept separate.  I honestly think it would be a deal-breaker for me.  (I guess full disclosure would require me to say that my Fiance makes more than I do, but he’s also 18 years old than I am.  He will retire long before I do, and then our finances will be reversed.)

Post # 35
6386 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

We have joint everything, my husband makes the money and I control it.  It’s what works for us.  You and your Fi have to figure out what works for you.  I personally would have a problem being in a relationship where I was concerned about bill paying being “fair,” but that’s just me.

Post # 36
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

My Fiance and I combined fiances for the first time last month.  We are getting married in June and thought maybe we should go ahead and try it – once less thing to stress about after the wedding and it gives us a couple of months to get used to being joint.  (We didn’t live together before).

I’m in a different position from most as I make 2 1/2 times what my fiance makes.  I was adamant that we have joint accounts because I never wanted it to be my money / his money, who’s paying for dinner, etc… My Fiance feels the same way.  I manage the money but that’s simply because I’m an accountant and good at that – he is not.  This past month was a real learning experience for him as he has never budgeted money.

I think it is up to each couple, but I think if you have separate accounts it makes the my money / your money more prominent even if you say it’s all our money and I never wanted that.  I wanted our spending/saving, etc… to be a joint effort.  We do have xx amount of money each month budgeted for “blow money” that we can do with what we want without permission of the other.

Post # 37
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We have separate checking & savings.  We have several shared credit cards.  DH makes four times as much as I do and he pays the lions share of our house-related bills.  My own car, phone, medical & personal living expenses are paid by me.  Plus groceries & little things around the house (new shelves & a magazine rack – me, a new sofa – him).  Gifts for family, costs of entertaining at home & dog care are covered by me.  We don’t go out much but DH pays when we do.

We both pay for everything we can on our shared credit cards, then we both pay what we owe on that credit card every month.  And if I’m short for some reason (say after wedding/graduation season has rung me dry in cash gifts or I had to get a root canal) then DH pays picks up my slack.  We both pay ourselves first in terms of savings.

I use our credit card often for work expenses which are reimbursed.  By doing this you might say I cover our airfare when vacationing because I rack up toms & tons of miles this way and we never have to pay in cash for airfare which is often the biggest chunk of money for a vacation.

So we have a basic set up & division of expenses but there can be shifts within it.  This works for us, money is not something that causes friction between us.  We are lucky to be similar minded in our spending, I think that helps.  




Post # 38
34 posts
  • Wedding: December 2015 - Key Largo Lighthouse

The way my parent’s have done it (and they’ve been married over 30 years!) — (I’m just saying what my parent’s do because my finance and I haven’t had the discussion yet) — is they have a joint account where a majority of their paychecks go. They use it for joint expenses such as bills, mortgage, house repairs, travel, groceries, etc — basically things that are for the “family”.

Then they each have a set amount that they discussed that is put into their own personal accounts each month. That they use as their “pocket” money for individual purchases — basically things for themselves such as new clothes, my mom likes to buy books, my dad likes to buy music.

It seems to work really well because the joint account is purely used for family expenses, and getting kind of an “allowence” each month allows them to buy things for themselves without taking from joint expenses — especially since my mom likes to buy a lot of books lol — she get’s her allotted monthly amount in her personal account and that’s what she has to use if she wants to purchase such items.

It’ll probably be something I talk about with my fiance because one of us is more of an impusle buyer and right now we just have a joint account — so those impulse IT purchases (aaahemm, fiance!) takes from joint family expenses lol.

But different things works for different people. You should discuss your feelings with your finance and explain how you feel and share with him your thoughts on what you want to do and he should be open to having a open discussion about it.

Post # 39
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’m definitely in the boat that different things work for different couples. 

DH wanted separate accounts so he can keep track of his expenses easier. I felt like a joint account would be better for joint expenses. We sort of compromised. We have one joint account that’s mainly used for paying rent and ugh, taxes. There’s no rhyme or rhythm on how much we each deposit into that account. He tends to pay for most of our stuff but I have a bigger savings account which we would eventually use to buy a house. In the end, it’s all our money. (For the record, I make a few thousand more a year than he does. His student loans are more than double mine. I fully intend to help him pay off his loans when I’m done mine this year.)

Post # 40
7534 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

The best advice I ever recieved from another woman was to have an account of your own, into which you deposit money regularly. Why? Because as much as we think it will never happen to us, divorce, illness and death does happen and in the case of divorce the woman often gets screwed. A lot of women fear to leave an abusive relationship because they have no money so can’t support themselves or any children. Control of money is a tool which a lot of abusers use.

The woman who gave me that advice said without that account her daughter woukdn’t have gotten braces and they wouldn’t have been able to support themselves when her husband was off work for a long period of time due to illness.

Post # 41
404 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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futuremcm:  Same boat here! Although our percentages are just slightly different and we make closer to the same amount (DH and I that is). This works SO well for us!

There definitely was a time when DH made twice what I did, and in the future, I am sure that one of us will make more than the other at any given time, which is why we do percentages, and not equal dollar amounts. It’s fair because it’s the same percent, but whoever makes more contributes more to the joint checking and savings.

We each have our own personal checking and savings. We just kept our original accounts from prior to being married, and then opened a new checking and savings together. I didn’t feel that it was necessarily fair to throw all our original savings from before we were married together just because now we were married. That was money we each earned on our own beforehand, and I think each of us has a right to it. That’s not to say we don’t put some of that money in the joint on the occassion we have a big purchase to make or anything, but I just didn’t throw it in the pot right off the bat.

Frankly, this works for us because I shop way more than DH would probably like. I still keep my finances in order and I have no debt (besides our house) but I just don’t want to deal with any hassle when I buy new outfits I don’t “need” but “want.” It more or less just avoids the argument completely. This is not to say that this would work for everyone, or to say that if you believe that everything should be joint now that you’re married (my parents were 100% joint so this is how I grew up understanding money and marriage to be, but they agreed a bit more on how to handle finances than DH and I) this is just what works for us. Considering that money and sex arguments are the number 1 issues when it comes to divorce, I’d rather do what it takes to have smooth sailing.

Post # 42
4113 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My husband makes more money than I do but, we have a joint account that all of our money goes into.

In addition to our joint account we each have our own savings accounts that we put even amounts of money into each time we get paid. It works for us, we’ve never had any issue with our system.. Its just kind of always worked out.

Prior to getting married, things worked similarly.. He would pay all of the bills, with the exception of a few that were in my name and we would just share the money left over in each of our accounts (after allocating some to our individual savings accounts). Getting a joint account simplified things a lot because we didn’t have to login to two online banking profiles or continously transfer each other money.


Post # 43
8464 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Ours is joint. I actually read an article recently that said married people with joint accounts are happier, lol.

If you want to do separate accounts, then IMO it should be a percentage of your incomes that goes into the “bills” account. Splitting things evenly doesn’t work when one person makes much more than the other.

Post # 44
8409 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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olna:  We’re completely joint. I don’t get the concept of “splitting” bills. Both of our paychecks go into an account and the bills come out of that account. What’s left is ours. Apparently separate works for some people, but honestly I’m baffled at how you can want to marry someone — commit to each other body and soul for the rest of your lives — and say “but don’t touch my money!” A PP said “why should he pay more for the electric bill just because he makes more money?” … My question is what kind of person doesn’t WANT their spouse to be warm and comfortable? Who is going to say “Nope, you need to chip in your 50%. Sorry that means you’ll be eating ramen the rest of the week. And no you can’t have a bite of my steak au poivre.” I suppose if you have different spending habits and financial goals it might work better to keep it separate. But I probably wouldn’t have married someone whose habits and goals were so different from mine that we had to keep separate accounts.

Full disclosure: my husband does have a very small separate account for fun money, like less than 1% of our takehome pay. Our habits are slightly different and it aggravated me to see purchases for video games, movies, and other stuff that to me was “silly”. But I recognized that it was my hangup, not a legitimate complaint. It wasn’t crazy amounts, we could easily afford it and there was no reason for me to care other than I grew up poor and with the attitude that fun was frivolous. So we came up with an amount that doesn’t impact our budget or goals yet lets him buy a reasonable amount of crap without me looking disapprovingly over his shoulder. It’s direct deposited into his account and I never miss it. I don’t need a separate account because I rarely buy fun stuff. (And I don’t feel deprived or martry-like because of it — I just don’t want a lot) When I want or need something, I just use the checking account and my husband coudn’t care less because he knows I spend responsibly. So we’re probably 99.5% joint.

Post # 45
3170 posts
Sugar bee

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olna:  We’re combining all our accounts except the ones we can’t, like our 401k accounts. We will have joint checking and savings accounts and share a primary CC (I’m going to add him as an authorized user on mine). We already live together and split all the bills 50/50 because we make the same amount of money, so it will be really convenient to combine everything instead of putting two CCs down at dinner or having him transfer me money for the rent.

Once we are married, we won’t split bills down the middle anymore – we’ll just pay for everything from our joint accounts. As of now, I’m planning to be a Stay-At-Home Mom or substantially cut down on my workload (and therefore, my salary) once we have kids, so splitting the bills based on salary wouldn’t work for us after the first few years of marriage. We’re never going to go there, but to each their own.

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