Thursday, July 24, 2008

Married money.


If you're married, or in some long-term-ish live-in relationship, how to do you do money? Shared bank account? Separate? Split bills down the middle? You pay one month, the other pays the next? Does sharing it give you anxiety? Are your purchases scrutinized? Could you not care less? If you're a stay-at-homey with no outside income, what is your money sitation?

Please spill the beans.

If you're single, feel free to chime in too on how you manage to save money (if at all).



(Photo has nothing to do with this. I just like that someone bothered to make Ho Hos the subject of his painting.)

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re: $$$.....What's mine is MINE, what's his is OURS.....

It's a nice understanding.

Mint Julep said...

I am married.
I still have my maiden name.
We both have our own checking accounts.
We contribute to one savings account.
We split the bills down the middle.
We do not scrutinize each others purchases because we have the same goal in mind--save our money and avoid going into debt.

Anonymous said...

I am married.
I still have my maiden name.
Everything is combined.
I do all the financial work - checking, bill paying, investing.
My husband would not know if we were bankrupt or millionaires.
But we both agree that debt is bad and saving is good.

Anonymous said...

We have a joint Amex, which he pays attention to because he is anal like that, but it's pretty non-judgey. Around birthdays I tell him to stop looking for a while so I can surprise him!

We have joint checking and savings, with both our direct deposits going into...one of them. Can you tell he handles most of the money stuff, because I'm sloppy and he's the checkbook-balancing type? All our expenses are paid out of those joint accounts.

I also have a personal checking account where I have occasionally deposited a freelance check since I wanted a way to save up for surprises without him knowing about it, and because big presents somehow don't feel like gifts if I'm paying them out of a general account! I'm weird.

(We've been together 9 years, married 2, I'm almost 28 and he's almost 30, in case demographics help. He earns about twice what I do but also brings huge grad-school loans to the table.)

karly said...

married
no joint bank accounts ever ever ever
he pays for some things, i pay for others, it usually works out in the end. Every few months we get together to go over bills to make sure it's still pretty even.
We're both too laid back to scrutinize
i do have an extra savings account that we both contribute to. I'm looking for a new one with a better interest rate. I just turned old when I wrote that.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

We have separate bank accounts as well as joint checking and savings accounts. We transfer money for bills into the joint checking account each month in ratio with our respective incomes. Bills are automatically electronically paid from this account. We also each put money in the joint savings each month for household purchases (something breaks, we need a new bookcase, etc).

We have one joint credit card that we use to pay for groceries and gas because it gives cash back for those types of purchases. We split the payments on this.

All debt brought into the marriage is considered joint debt and we have a repayment schedule based on interest rate (paying high interest rate debt down first, my student loans from grad school last, etc.)

That might be too much info but it is a system that works really well for us! (and we aren't as anal as we sound, it took 3 years before we finally came up with this system!)

Demographics - we are both 25, dating 6.5 years, married 2 months.

Anonymous said...

I'm married.
Before we were married we had separate accounts, and would try to split bills between us. That didn't work very well because one of us always felt shafted.

We have our separate checking accounts, and joint checking/ savings accounts. All of the bills, house-items, groceries, etc. are paid out of the joint account, and all our personal purchases are paid out of our personal accounts. No scrutiny about purchases that way. It's perfect.

Marieke said...

Married. Started out with two separate checking accounts and split the bills until i found out that he was routinely overdrawing his account. we moved to a joint checking for bills and shared expenses only that i monitor very heavily. because he's too 'laid back' to monitor his spending like i do, we are going to ditch his checking account and i am going to issue him a weekly allowance and handle all the bill payments from our joint account. this will keep us out of debt, reduce my stress, and give me control over our finances - which i like to have.

Anonymous said...

We are married. I have his name, his kids, and our debt. All $20,000 of it.

Elizabeth said...

I am am married, he works, I am a stay at homey. We have a joint checking account, and out of that I pay the bills and balance everything in a spreadsheet. We both pretty much spend money when we need to or want to, but we definitely discuss major purchases. We also each have our own separate bank accounts and every two weeks a small amount goes in there and we use that money for whatever we want - personal stuff. The only rule is that you can't use joint money for your own personal stuff that you don't strictly need, like cd's or makeup.
The extra bank accounts have saved our marriage, I swear. No more bitching about whatever random crap the other person has wasted money on.
But not a lot of money goes into savings, I won't lie. We need to work on that part.

a said...

pair of 23 year olds, not married.

-we split the mortgage according to income. i pay more because i make more.
-i pay oil, cell phones, car payments, car insurance, car tax
-he pays electric, netflix, internet, voip
-we split the water bill
-we don't have cable
-we have our own credit cards
-i usually pay for groceries, but he pays for meat if he wants it

he is in a lot of debt due to school loans to the tune of 60k. he is paying those down aggressively because he doesn't want to still be paying them if/when kids enter the picture. i on the other hand have only about 15k in school loans, i have a higher salary, and the car is mine. we share the car, but i commute an hour to work and drop him early on in the trip so it makes sense that i pay the bulk of that. with the deaths of my entire paternal side of the family, i also have estate money. so at this point, it doesn't make financial sense to marry or merge accounts.. not that we're ready for marriage yet anyway. i anticipate a move to a joint expense account at some point. things will change as his income increases. we both maintain our own short/medium term savings as well as our own retirement accounts. major purchases, like for the house, are split. we're both pretty decent with money. i'm kind of his sugamomma, at least for now.

i suwannee said...

i'm married. we're both 28.

we have one joint checking acct. we both put money in it proportional to our income, and all bills come out of it.

then we each have our own stock portfolios, savings acct., personal checking acct. and retirement acct.

we've never fought over money once.

i work on commission, so when i have a slow month, he's always willing to step out and take care of dinners, gas, etc.

works out well.

i suwannee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
i suwannee said...

step up rather. but maybe step out. like if we're engaged in a dance off.

kaite said...

married, he's 38-ish, i'm 29-ish; he writes the checks/pays the bills, i transfer a set amount of my monthly income twice a month to our joint bank account. the rest of my income, which varies because i'm self-employed, i have free reign with...some of it i spend on myself ocassionally and the rest i tend to stash away in a savings account that only i have access to because he sucks at saving.

we own a house and our only debt is an equity loan on said house used to purchase land for a future eco-farm.

we rarely use credit cards because when we first got married we ended up with 10,000 dollars in CC debt which we were lucky enough to get out of by moving across the country and flipping houses.

we're pretty crafty when it comes to money...but i always have to give the 'go ahead' on most purchases.

Anonymous said...

Married 20 years.
Took the name, had 3 kids
I stopped working 6 years into this to have twins.
He's extremely responsible, saves for the next generation, grew up upper middle class.
Even though my father wore a white shirt to work, we were working class. I saved for Saturday night.
Everything is shared, I spend for the house/kids rather freely, big purchases or renovations are discussed.
We had a discussion early on in our marriage: what are your financial goals and how do you want to live? I said I never wanted to be house poor and wanted to have freedom to make decisions.
We have almost no debt, live in a modest house, drive older cars - college money in the bank.
We are able to "choose" to send kids to public or private, pay for camps and extras without a second thought.
Kitchen is 20 years old, a few of the bathrooms are even older.
God, I sound like that nut, Amy Dacyczyn, from the Tightwad Gazette.

ceVec said...

Shacked up, both 27, separate accounts. We split all bills down the middle, which works well since we make about the same amount. Individual debts (credit cards, school loans) are small and taken care of individually.

I like the idea of a joint account there solely to take care of bills and occasional emergencies.

cr said...

boyfriend and I are together for around 4 years; we are 28 and on grad schools. I have full scholarship, and he has partial, so most of what he makes goes into school to avoid studen loans/debt.

we have separate accounts, I pay rent, he pays utilities. We don't use credit cards (have it only for emergency reason), and blow up our savings with 2 overseas trip each year..

we have zero debt, but not much savings also.. not very savvy in the money-planing department. Not that there's much left from the assistanthip jobs we have anyway..

pam said...

I'm a married stay at homie-was a special ed teacher, so not much $ anyway.
Hubby pays bills. when i worked I contributed-we had a darwinian system-each according to abilities...
We've always had separate checking accounts, and separate credit cards. He gives me money for my checking account-sometimes it's awkward, but overall it works.

Rebecca said...

Not Married, but I would assume that will happen eventually.

Together for 5 years, lived together in an apartment for 4, just bought our first house.

Before the house, we would split rent. I would buy all the food/"fun stuff", he would pay all the utilities. Now that we have the house we are trying to split eveything down the middle. Our next step is to set up a joint account for the house, and keep our private accounts for ourselves.
He cant get mad when I buy Gucci and I cant get mad when he buys a guitar amp. ha.

Anonymous said...

Married 25 years. Mostly a stay at homey right now, have worked on and off, mostly on, no kids. Joint everything from day one. Discuss large purchases, but we both spend as need or want. I think it works because we have pretty much shared the same long term goals and are realistic about what we have and want. I must admit I am always a little bit supprised when married couples split bills, accounts, etc.. They way we look at it is we're in this together.
Also, love your blog!

sherry said...

Married and a "stay at homie" (love that)! I supported him through a LONG PhD and he was supposed to support me through mine when he finished but we soon had two babies (now one and two). Everything's joint, even though I understand the importance of financial independence for women, I still felt uncomfortable about it when it applied to us. I insisted on joint accounts when he was a student and I was working. I sometimes feel guilty about splashing out on myself, but he's never raised and says I deserve it, which, since I AM working at home in a very difficult and completely devalued job (parent), I guess I do.

sara said...

I'm married and a stay at homie with one child. We have joint checking and savings accounts, stocks, mutual funds, etc. We both have individual retirement accounts. I can't imagine having separate accounts and being married but that's just me. I pay all the bills and he takes care of the investing part. We both spend pretty freely on what we want but major purchases are discussed first.

Anonymous said...

I've been with my bf for almost 4 years now. We've lived together for 3 and a half.I finished my college courses the year he started University. We split rent according to our incomes. I pay 2 thirds cause I make 2 thirds more. We don't really have any bills becuase our rent is "all included" (meaning electric, water, ect)When it comes to groceries I buy what i want, he buys what he wants. We just started doing that because or else we'd argue on what we needed and what we didn't need. It works great... I want to support him focusing on school, so I don't mind paying more so he doesn't have to work CRAZY hours and go to school. Plus I'm planning on going back to school in Interior Design by the time he's finished...so hopefully he'll support my ass then ;). We have seperate bank accounts. We're both only 21 so we haven't started a savings account yet, althought we know we should...We just use his checking account every month for rent. And that's how we work it.

Anonymous said...

Live with my bf. Would never ever share accounts with him.
#1) He can't control his spending.
#2) He's secretive about his money
#3) Loves the fact that his married friends hide cash and investments from their wives
#4) I make my own money and do not want to be accountable to anyone other than myself and my creditors.
That said, we split the bills and household expenses down the middle. Major purchases are also split. I keep the receipts.
If we ever break-up, I'm not sure how we'll split the big purchases. I guess it depends upon the reason for the breakup. If I were to catch him face down in some bitch's lap, I would take it all without any remorse.

feministhousewife said...

Together almost 5 years, married for almost 1. No kids yet. Everything's joint. She makes much more than I, but all the $ goes in the same account and is "ours."

From the joint account, we pay everything. We have 2 joint credit cards for gas, clothes, concert tickets, etc. We each have a card or two of our own - which we don't really ever use.

We each have the same monthly amount alotted for spending - for fun, dinners out, etc.

Big purchase decisions are always made together. Gifts for one another either come from squirreled away leftovers from the monthly spending money, or we charge 'em.

Anonymous said...

what... no credit for the "someone" who painted the ho-ho's?

Be the change..... said...

I live alone: I'm BAD and shop too much. I don't save anything other than my 401k (6% of income), but I do own my own place. I need to start saving!

MoniKa said...

married. happily for just over a year....but they're arent kidding when they say the first year of marriage is the hardest...
we combined everything when we got engaged. BIG mistake! my spending drove him crazy. his nagging drove me crazy.
we're in the process of going back to individual accounts. we'll still have one joint account that our salaries will be direct deposited in and household bills and expenses will come out of. and we're transferring a set (generous) "allowance" into our personal accounts bi-weekly.
hoping this will work better.
hate to have to kill the man i love over my shoe addiction :)

amymezzell said...

I am married, and we have joint checking and savings. The fact that he had more money than me starting out hasn't really factored into how we handle anything - we simply share everything now that we're married.I do all the banking/balancing, and he usually handles investments. We both buy whatever we want randomly since neither of us tend to go crazy with spending, and we just consult each other before a large purchase. I personally wouldn't like having seperate accounts and dealing with who pays what bill or having to split things all the time. Taking turns each month would seem unfair since bills like utility bills vary from month to month. If you're a less organized person, sharing everything seems the way to go because it just plain simplifies how many things you have to take into account when you want to look at budgeting or track spendings. That's just me, though, and the best way is whatever both people are happy with doing. Since my husband isn't much on balancing checkbooks and keeping up with things, it's probably a good thing for him to have me sharing money because that means sharing responsibilities.

Decorno said...

http://www.jerrylebo.com/two%20hohos.htm

There.

Anonymous said...

I am a stay at homie...Husband owns a business medical related. I do maintain my own checking account/savings to pay my bills. Usually I just grossly over-inflate my own bills to get extra money or whateva...he is very lax w/money so he doesn't scutinize my purchases,etc. But I am trying to get him on track with his money. His credit sucks, mines great. I feel guilty and lazy for staying at home and doing "nothing", no seriously nothing. I have tried to pursue various interests, but it falls apart. My 2 yr old goes to a caregiver during the day,(why?) and the 7yr old is at school. I don't even cook regularly. Occasionally I have felt guilty and became employed but I think because I knew I didn't have to work, I ended up ditching the job for various reasons that at any other time in my life, like before I got married I absolutely would have tolerated. (ie; boss is a total bitch, office environment(really it was too cold and smelled), utilized the employee discount just enough to justify employment) I gotta get my act together.

Anonymous said...

Married.
Him- 39
Me- 28
No kids.

We both work and he makes a significant amount more than me because well....I make almost nothing.

We have joint checking and joint savings for everything. We also have our own individual checking accounts and get the same amount of $$ deposited in it each month. This is our slush fund. We can do whatever we want with it. Shop, go to dinner with friends, etc and neither one has to justify slush fund spending to the other one.

I had my own credit card and when it gets out of hand my husband freaks out. The highest amount of credit card debt I have ever had is $3,500 and it was all from shopping. He paid it off and I closed the card. Now I buy stuff on our joint card. He gets pissed but I try to soften the blow with "At least we're getting miles." Doesn't always work though.

We own a home and have 401Ks, savings and life insurance policies, etc. I think we are doing pretty good.

lovely said...

we are also shacked up. im a "stay-at-homie". im 25 hes in his mid 30's. joined checking and saving.he balances everything i just withdraw when i need to and use the atm. not loving our arrangment but it'll have to do 'till i go back to work.

Anonymous said...

My fiancĂ© and I live together and make about the same. We have separate checking accounts and a joint savings. He pays for the rent and most of the bills out of his checking account (as well as his loans and credit cards from college), and I pay for my piddly student loan and animal insurance out of mine. I put the rest of my money (after my personal purchases and groceries I buy) into our savings account. The plan is for us to live off of his paycheck and to save mine, but so far, we both pay for groceries and personal spending money. We think our money is our money, and we have a lot of goals that we want to achieve together. We have done better financially the few times that we've consolidate our money into one spot and worked from there, because then we’re accountable to each other. When we don’t do that, then we both spend money. So we’re going to open a joint checking account and deposit all money in there. Then I’m going to voluntarily relinquish most of the control because I’m definitely the bigger spender of the two. I rather like the idea of him giving me an allowance because I might develop some control!

Maria said...

living with the boyfriend for about 4 years now. we've always split down the middle whenever possible. but we're fairly casual about it and don't really argue over it. we also don't have a mortgage either so it takes the stress off.

Anonymous said...

Everything is joint- checking and savings. I write all the checks to pay our bills, since husband doesn't like that task.

We're both conservative with our personal spending and never question the other's purchases.

We've agreed the only time we have to confer with each other is if the purchase is $5000.00 and above.

Michelle said...

Married one year, he's 28, I'm 27. I make more money but have more debt. We have joint accounts, and neither of us are big spenders. Our current financial focus is to get out of debt; we pay loans off by interest rate, regardless of who accrued it. We discuss all big expenses and often discuss smaller purchases as well--not so much for permission but because one will think of something the other hadn't. I manage our checking account and bills because I'm more organized. Every few months, we sit down and look at our bills and our "get out of debt" plan to evaluate how things are going. Once we're out of debt, we'll start a savings plan.

franki durbin said...

Shared. We run several business together also, so it's all one big blurry financial situation. We both have access to all business and personal accounts, but different roles. He handles day-to-day money management and "money moving." I'm more of the long term investment strategist and visionary. Usually I come up with the "I'd like to be here in 2 years..." plans, but he actually strikes up those planning sessions more lately.

In terms of "personal play money" I'm pretty predictable... I tend to shop about the same amount every month we (okay, he) factors that into planning.

Fun topic, by the way ;) What about you? How do you do it?

Kathleen said...

Married, both early 40's - we have separate checking, joint savings and cd's, all credit cards are separate. I take care of all the bills but he knows what's coming in and going out. I work approx 15 hours a week at his business (any more than that and we'd be in divorce court) We have no debt, just utility bulls, only use credit cards so that we can get miles - we pay them off every month. We buy whatever whenever and only discuss major purchases -

layersofmeaning said...

We've been married for 1 year.
We have 1 bank account, 2 savings accounts. One is a regular savings, the other is our baby (future baby, not pregnant right now)fund. It's our money, but I'm the one takes care of paying the bills. My husband has no idea how much we have in our checking account, $10, $100 or $1000... he has no clue. Never checks our account. I kinda like it that way... I HAVE THE POWER!

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Married for 7 years we've been together for 11. The hubs is a little tighter with the pursestrings than myself but it's ok it's probably a good balance. When I worked before kids we both had separate accounts and a joint one, each contributing a certain amount that we had previously agreed upon in which to pay the bills and then our own accounts to play.

After kids still working, joint account pretty much for everything since childcare, groceries and kid stuff begun to take over our finances.

Now I'm not working with the exception of teaching Pilates a few hours a week it's still the joint account. It's hard going from making my own money to giving up stuff like dinners out, the cleaning lady or a personal trainer but I think for us as a family it's so worth it to be home with the kids while they are little.

The hubs is great and doesn't frown or say a word about my monthly cut & color or random purchases. Thank God!

Anonymous said...

Been married 4 years, everything became joint in the weeks after the wedding. We don't scrutinize each other's purchases but generally let the other know when we are thinking of buying anything that costs more than about $300. We're in it for the long haul and it feels very natural to share. I thought I was doing pretty well finacially before I met my husband but he made some lucky investments early on and was much more financially set than me. It made me feel a bit weird at first, but now I am used to it. We have very similar outlooks on money, which makes things easier - we like that we don't have to worry (within reason, of course) but we are also relatively frugal so that probably helps. I have expensive taste but am cheap, so I won't buy the shoes & handbags I really want ;-).FWIW, I am a stay at home mom.

Em said...

I am a married, stay-at-homey, with no income of my own. We have separate accounts. He puts a specific budgeted amount of money in my account every month. I can spend that money as I choose, but am responsible for groceries, household expenses, and my own gas. If I run out before the next month it is discussed.

Anonymous said...

This is THE bone of contention between me and my long-term partner. I have lots of money, mostly from inheritance, and I live well below my means. He earns a small (but not tiny) income and has less than $5K in her bank account at any time; he likes fancy cars and travel to Europe.
At the moment, he lives in my house and gives me $1K/ month. I then pay for everything except dinners out; we more or less take turns paying for those.
It's hard on our relationship. He feels as though I am not generous with sharing my money and don't let him enjoy his life by tsk-tsking over his lack of savings. I feel that when I pay so much more for our life together, he starts feeling more like a child than a partner.

kassy said...

We have separate checking accounts, but share a savings account. He pays roughly 1/3 of our monthly expenses cuz he only works part-time and I make 3 times what he does. We also do not scrutinize each others purchases although he sometimes gets on me about my Etsy addiction. And sometimes if he needs a new piece of equipment for his studio, I'll act as the bank and he pays me back. It's actually all working surprisingly well, I had always heard that money was the cause of a lot of fights with couples, but we've never had any money related disagreements. We aren't married but have lived together for almost 5 years.

Mary said...

We each have our own checking/savings account and a shared mortgage account which we each put an aggreed on amount in every month. Then I have the gas, utility, and insurance, (about 250 a month) and he has the truck, internet and cell/landlines (err.. 600). I cover groceries, he covers Costco and home maintenance expenses. Every few months one of us cries poverty and a small transfer of wealth is made (or bill covered).
But honestly, I just got my retroactive pay increase from work, and I don't plan on telling him. I had a few unexpected expenses last month:)

Mary said...

crap- complete post- married, we don't save enough, we're both spendthrifts (cheap on some stuff, crazy expensive on others) expecting first child and I'm realizing that being a stay at homie isn't going to happen if we keep up the stupid spending (why yes, I would love to leave my job!)

Anonymous said...

Waiting on my inheritance, and getting just a little impatient, too.

Anonymous said...

Well, pots of money doesn't impart quite the same thrill when you only get it after watching the people you love most die from horrible illnesses accompanied by dehumanizing treatments.

Be careful what you wish for, even in jest!

Anonymous said...

Shaddup, killjoy.

decorno said...

Seriously.

Sol said...

I have my personal account which is always almost empty, and I have a card on his account with which I pay for everything: groceries, things for the house, things for the baby. He pays for all the bills... He's the provider.
If I want a superficial vain thing for myself, then I use my account.
Needless to say, I would like to have more money in my account for those vain purchases, but hey... I'm a SAHM.

Anonymous said...

Same as anon 9am.

I am married.
SAHM
Everything is combined.
I do all the financial work - checking, bill paying, investing.
My husband would not know if we were bankrupt or millionaires.
But we both agree that debt is bad and saving is good.

It's important to have shared ideals about money. Money will break you up before another woman, a job, or the kids.

I don't understand the separate accounts/bill paying among the marrieds. It seems like a lot of trouble considering you trusted the other person enough to marry them. If it's because you have very different rules & ideas about money, then see above.

Anonymous said...

We are DINKs. Married 12 years. He makes about 52% of our income; I make 48%. We have 2 joint checkings, 1 joint savings, and each have our own credit card. I use one joint checking as my own; he uses the other. We transfer funds between as necessary. Our current arrangement is that I pay all the bills, and he is saving for our upcoming remodeling project. Prior to this, we had a second mortgage, and for a couple of years, while I covered the bills, he put most of his salary towards paying off the second mortgage. In the past, we've had other arrangements like he pays the mortgage, and I pay all the other bills. Luckily, neither of us are extravagant spenders, and both of us are good about keeping credit card balances low or paid off entirely.

Anonymous said...

I am 43 married 17 years, 3 kids.
We run a bussiness together. Everything is shared. I am the bookkeeper in the house. We live a modest life in a beautiful mountain town. I have to constantly remind myself that what is normal here is extravagant for most. Working has helped me keep perspective. Not having tit for tat has saved our marriage. Our long term goals are the same which helps. Yes I would really like to remodel my kitchen instead of embracing the retro look by default, but it matters more that the kids go to college.....and we both agree.

Anonymous said...

DINKs, married 3 years and have no combined bank accounts or credit cards. We take turns paying the bills, buying dinners out, etc. I think it is all leftover behavior from having lived together for 4 years prior to getting married. Plus, I do not trust him with my hard-earned money. He grew up in a wealthy home and spends so much that it makes me physically ill, but as long as it is his money and we are not in debt, I can't complain. Instead, I oversave to compensate for his spendy ways. Our traditionally-minded friends consider our separate finances a sign of a troubled marriage, but we rarely fight about money. We share a life, but have totally different levels of comfort when it comes to earning, spending, and saving. He is also very generous, which eliminates bitterness.

Anonymous said...

I'm a married stay-at-homey with one daughter.
We have a house and joint everything. My husband is very good at saving and very good with the money. I used to get in trouble with my free wheelin' spending, but I opened up a checking account that my husband puts a set amount of money into each month. It has been great. because I buy the household groceries, etc. with that account, but I can use it however I see fit and don't get asked why I went out to lunch three time in one week!
At first I thought I'd care about not working and bringing in money, but I really don't. What I'm doing by staying home with our daughter has a pretty high, but hard-to-calculate value. That being said I was totally stoked last summer when a friend and I had a rummage sale and I made $450 - I realized it was the first cash I'd made in four years!

Anonymous said...

I'm 33 and married. He's 38. We make about the same amount, he makes just a few thousand more than I do. I never wanted a joint account because he's much tighter with his money than I am with mine and he probably would end up making me feel guilty about some of my purchases. (On the flip side, I have much more in savings than he does.) Anyway, we did establish a joint account when we were planning for our wedding so we could save for the big day. It ended up working out great. We saved exactly what we needed to pay for the wedding, the honeymoon, and finish off the registry.

After the wedding we used the account to help us save for a house. Now that we're in a house, we still the joint account but we barely use it. We have our own separate checking accounts and try and split everything 50/50.

Also, fyi, I'm still paying my student loans but I'm just months away from paying them off. Besides the student loans and the mortgage, we are debt-free.

QuiteLight said...

Common-law, 12 years, both early 30's.

We're re-educating after years of non-existant money management fueled by money issues & large-ish inheritance.

Joint account, each of us has a chequing account, and we use my savings account as the savings account.

Right now, our income doesn't cover the basics, so he has 2 months to get a new job that will or we cut back until we CAN cover the basics. The new job is his idea, the cutting back is mine. It's kind of harsh, since we're pretty frugal already.

BUT, when it was just me handling all the finances, I'd have nervous breakdowns because I couldn't say no to him, he'd spend & the money just hemorraged away. Now that we're doing it together, it's a challenge, but he knows what's going on & can make real decisions about looking. And it's not all on my shoulders any more.

We pool everything, always have. When we start living within our means, we'll split the extra between debt repayment, & a bonus for each of us.

Wish us luck!

Ana said...

First of all...love the painting,too!

Okay, so I'm not married, and just moved in w/ my boyfriend of 2+ years.

We split rent/util/food pretty much down the middle. Outside of that whatever we each make is ours to decide how to spend. But we have a major goal to purchase a home so spending is pretty minimal. It helps to have him (and the house) as a motivator to save rather than spend.

Lucinda said...

He makes more than I do in his day job. We also have an art business together - he's the artist, I'm the business. All the credit cards are in my name, bills, etc. I write all the checks from our seperate accounts. I guess he trusts me that I'm not shady cuz he hasn't signed his own name in...well ever.

jen said...

Married 5 years, late 20's, joint accounts - we share everything and like it that way. We developed a budget together and we hold each other to it. Keeps us working towards something (financial security) and is a great relationship builder because we have similar ideas for money. I can imagine the tension it would cause if we didn't though.

Anonymous said...

I'm 26. He's 28. I emigrated to The Netherlands so we could be together. Eventually, we'll live in the US (where I'm from).

He works (and makes more than the average person his age here). I stay at home. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to "do" & can't do all that much here anyway since I don't speak the language (yet).

We have all joint accounts (here & back in the States). We put at least €500 into savings each month. We each get the same amount of spending money that can be spent on whatever we want.

We have a nice apartment, no car (3 bicycles!), and spend more than most people here on good food & travel. I also fly home 3-4x a year.

...love Maegan said...

married - two years in Sept.

We each have our original separate bank accounts but also have one joint. The joint is where we put our savings, however we save separately as well.

He pays the rent. I pay all the bills. All of them - except food. He pays for food {and some randoms occasionally like the vet and gifts}. He always pays for vacays.

We eliminated all major debt {and I mean major - and yes it was mine} and have been debt-free for almost a year now {but we put all the cash we were putting towards the debt to our savings now} we're saving for a house so that's our main goal.

We use credit cards {none are joint} if we don't have cash on us but they get paid off monthly.

All money is OURS - it's never his or mine - but it was before we got married. Something does change with that which is nice and comforting ...we both have each other's backs.

We're both 32 - no kids yet. He makes almost double what I make but I work harder ;)

This works well for us. There is never a fight over money.

Anonymous said...

Married for 5 years I am 32 he is 38. I am a nursing student fulltime (I have a photography degree). He is a freelance illustrator/graphic designer/DJ. We are living on $30,000 a year (We are frugal but, we live on what we need).

We have seperate accounts and a joint account. He gives me money like an allowance (It kills me but, it is only temp). I pay my way by using coupons and finding ways of doing things cheaply.

We have a seperate checking accounts and savings and a joint checking and savings. We have our own retirement accounts and we try to save money which is impossible. We communicate over large purchases and let each other buy whatever they want with no explaination. If we are low on money than it has to be something to help increase earning potential (ie computer stuff).

Anonymous said...

I wish I had read this when the post was more active so I could get some advice. Scratch that, I wish i had read this earlier in my marriage.
Married almost 10 years
2 kids
I believe in family vacations, savings, and planning for the future but I also like nice things. I worked through college and have worked through most of our marriage to make up for his low salaries.

I plan on getting a separate checking and savings now because he CANNOT manage money, or rather can't make it. He starts new businesses and our family goes broke for long periods of time, his businesses are never successful..this sounds awful but it's honest. My family helps us with money A LOT! Not to mention we have massive debt.

He is generous with money (when he has it) and never ever complains or even cares how I spend, but he doesn't make money.
The only reason I haven't gone back to work is because our kids are not school age and our youngest is a baby, and daycare is to expensive.

I may be one of those people who gets divorced because of money issues. SO sad!

Anonymous said...

"a": 23 with a mortgage and a retirement plan...Eek I think I fail at life already.

Me: 22 renter, still in school, serious boyfriend with no debt but no savings (no overdrafts for the month is considered savings), split the rent 1/2 & 1/2, take every other grocery bill and dinner (depending on how close either of us pay attention, which is very little), I take the big utility bill he takes the two little ones.

Usually it works out and love makes up for the rest. ha :)