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24 Comments

  • Reply Bob |

    My S.O. and I split up the bills 50/50 and pay them like that. We always ask each other before making any large purchase if it is okay. If we’re concerned we show each other our checkbooks, but that rarely happens. I always say that my records are open if she ever wants to look. This has worked great for 13 years. I couldn’t imagine combining things. I check my account for errors maybe a couple times a week online while she’ll double check the printed register to make sure her records balance each month. Two different styles, and we’re happy not combining.

  • Reply Family Man |

    We are asingle family income right now. My wife is a stay at home mom, so everything is joint. She has struggled a bit with it as it isn’t always easy to not be contributing as she used to. Right now we don’t get an allowance, but I like the idea.

  • Reply Corporate Barbarian |

    All of our accounts are in both names. I handle the checkbook, but my wife can easily step in and take over. Most of our bills are set for automatic payments, so keeping the checkbook is easy. As far as spending money, we allow each other $50 per week. This allows for the occasional pizza or ice cream.

  • Reply [d] |

    I can’t imagine not combining. We both have access to the set of accounts and we can at any time check it. Our communication is pretty good, I almost never question any purchases, just couple of dollars here and there at Wal-mart or some such… otherwise I pay the bills, but I know that she knows where the excel file is with all the passwords and bills to pay so if something happens, she can easily take over… Not combining paychecks and accounts would break the trust between us – someone can start suspecting about the other and try to guess/play the unnecessary game of cat and mouse, and it can eventually resurface during an argument. It makes this issue – a non-issue, we never argue about money, we never bring it up. There is no other, better way to do it!

  • Reply Honey |

    The BF and I aren’t married yet, so we haven’t opened a joint account or anything (though we probably will so he can get some of my benefits at work). We divide the rent proportionally to income and everything else is 50/50…we try to keep which bills are in whose name in a way that we rarely have to “cash out” our running balance with each other.

    And anything that isn’t shared bills is the other person’s responsibility. So he eats lunch out every single day because he makes over $90K and he can. I pack lunches because I can’t afford to do that. He does have $7K on one of my credit cards because the interest rate is better…he has all the passwords to pay it online and we both get the e-mail alerts so I know what he’s up to.

  • Reply Michelle H. |

    We’ve had a joint acct. for all our married life – it all goes in together and all goes out together! ha! We’ve started doing a budget and also including “blow money” each month. It really cuts down on any arguing over finances!
    Blessings

  • Reply FrugalME |

    Single at the moment, however it makes a lot of sense. When one person is spending more that the other it can certainly make for a lot of tension. We had allowances as children and we learnt to live with the amount and to save for the things that we wanted. Why not we we get partnered. Either keep the accounts separate or set the boundaries.

  • Reply Angie |

    We’ve been living together 4 years now and still have separate accounts. Instead of dealing with the direct deposits and auto payments changing we just split up the budget amounts according to what we earn. Since we are on a zero-based budget recently there is no real concept of income. Just pay your set bills.

    The only problem comes in with him having all the bills that the amounts are variable. He doesn’t do so good applying the extra towards savings. That and the bi-weekly paychecks are hard to keep track of.

    It actually works out good, since I like to tightrope and have just the exact amount needed in the accounts. If I goof something up (rarely!) he can swoop in and save me from overdraft fees!

  • Reply Beks |

    I’m glad to hear separate accounts are working out with some of you. Obviously there is a high amount of respect and trust needed to carry it off. Kudos!

    To the ‘share’ couples, glad to see I’m not the only 28 year old on an allowance!

    Michelle – Ha! I love it!

  • Reply Amy |

    We have joint accounts (second marriage for both of us). He has three daughters (two grown, 1 just graduated from high school) from his first marriage. We instituted an allowance of $70 a week and any money he wants to spend on the kids comes from his allowance. It was too stressful when his kids would ask for money….all the while holding their Starbucks coffee, telling us about their great cable package and wearing designer jeans and shoes. Now I don’t have to make those value judgments (ok, I still do, but it’s not “my” money now – it’s “his”).

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    My wife and I use a joint checking account. We have separate credit cards that we used to use in the past, but all the bills, including them, get paid out of one single account. One time she wanted to have her own checking account, but all that did was complicate things because she would have to take more money out of ‘our’ account. Needless to say that is in the past and now we both function out of one account, use our debit cards, and get out of debt. We’re still trying to get used to living on a budget though. Each week we evaluate what money has to go where, and then what is left for other things. After 3 years of marriage, we’re still learning how to manage money together but it makes our relationship stronger.

  • Reply debtor |

    this is an interesting topic and I hope to hear many other views. It’s stuff like this people should share with other young people.

  • Reply Lynn |

    WE have 3 checking account – one for each of us and one joint. Our paychecks are deposited into our respective checking accounts and then we each write a check for the amount of the paycheck minus an allowance. My husband gets $125 per biweekly paycheck and I get $25 per weekly paycheck. My husband makes more than I do and spends money on expensive beer and fishing gear so I allow him more money. All of our bills are paid out of our joint checking account and I can’t imagine it otherwise. This works well for us. Originally we didn’t have an allowance system and I would get so mad when he would buy all his expensive beer and his fishing gear that I implemented the allowance system. I also like putting the money into each of our personal accounts first because then it feels like we each make money and then contribute to the joint pot. Plus since I am not handing my husband money he doesn’t really consider it an allowance like a kid would get.

  • Reply Julie |

    We have several accounts. We get $50 a week allowance each into our own accounts, then the bulk of our paycheck goes into our joint account.

    We ask each other if we have a big purchase. Most of the CC’s are in my name, and he is the authorized user. The big loans are in his. Our savings go into several accounts online which I manage. I have to move money quickly into them because if my husband sees too much overage in our joint (other than the 10K cushion), he has an itch to spend it.

    It works for us.

  • Reply Julie |

    forgot to subscribe to this thread. I want to know what everyone else does!

  • Reply Rebecca |

    We have everything in both of our names for all our married life since as Michelle said above, it all goes in together and all goes out together. Plus we look at everything together as partners anyway – so money is included in that.

    We don’t have an allowance but what we do is when we get unexpected money – maybe some extra income or a gift to both of us or maybe a tax refund – we sometimes will set aside a portion of that as “flit” money… we can flit it away on anything that we wish. This gives us a little cushion we can spend without involving the other.

  • Reply Slinky |

    My fiance and I keep things separate and split all joint expenses 50/50. Like Bob, we both track our own expenses and budgets. We have two very different styles and are very happy with our system. We also both use an allowance system for spending money. I typically give myself $100/month, although it varies some.

  • Reply Lizzie |

    We tried separate when we were first married and it was a disaster! We quickly made it joint and now as a sahm, I balance the books. It definitely works better this way!!

  • Reply Abigail |

    I’m the financial person between the two of us. For awhile, due to a bad month or two, personal money was thrown out the window. But we have recently reinstated it. My husband gets $30 a month for his game playing. Or whatever he decides to spend it on. I’m still trying to decide whether to give myself mad money. (When it’s so little, I start thinking of everything I *could* get, end up resentful and horribly materialistic. Very unpleasant for me overall.) Still, the point is, all of our other money is communal. It has been since we moved in together. He worked full-time and I was on disability. But I was in charge of balancing finances/avoiding overdrafts/getting rid of his student loans. Plus we put a lot of day to day expenses on credit cards as was necessary. So, I just told him how much I needed to cover the credit card bill, how much for our payments, etc, and he withdrew the money for me. Now, we have a joint checking account, and he’s slowly learning how to deal with money on his own. Which is *wonderful*!

  • Reply Bisous |

    My husband and I have entirely separate accounts. He has a rent house and pays all the expenses associated with that (but also keeps all the rent), and he also pays the car insurance and oil bill. His job pays for benefits – with my job I pay for the mortgage, childcare, cable, cell phones, electricity and everything for the kids. We each have our own credit cards and buy what we want with them. We carry no debt other than the mortgage, and we each max out our 401ks on our own.

    It works for us to have our own money.

  • Reply charlie and nice |

    My wife and I have adopted a blended system. We have joint savings accounts where we direct deposit our incomes. We have a joint checking account for all the bills and two individual checking accounts that only we individually have access to. Monthly, we transfer an equal allowance to our individual accounts. We have a joint credit card for large joint expenses that gets paid by the bills account. We have individual CCs that get paid by our individual accounts. We are newly weds though so I’m not sure how well the system will work out for us.

  • Reply Jessica |

    We have been married for over 10 years and have always had joint accounts. I handle all the finances. We have a small business and we run all the costs of inventory and other purchases through credit cards (which are completely paid off weekly.) These credit cards collect points toward gift cards. We save these up to buy ourselves nice things throughout the year. For example, we just used our points to buy a nice flat screen TV. But it takes a long time to save up all those points. On the personal side, we both have debit cards and that’s what we use to buy whatever. We are on a strict budget due to past debts, so we don’t just go and “buy” anything. Beyond gasoline and the occasional beverage or snack, we discuss anything before we buy it. We have a small vacation fund we put money in each month. Between the credit card points and the vacation fund, the tight budget doesn’t seem so restrictive.

  • Reply Beth T |

    This was really interesting to read because I’m getting married in August and this was one of our topics that we were dicussing. I’m all for a joint account, one because my parents have theirs like that but also from waht i’ve heard from close friends.. .my soon to be husband grew up with his parents on separate accounts so we kind of discuss this a little more then usual. Hopefully he’ll lean towards a single account…. cross your fingers.

  • Reply my opinion |

    ahhhhh….. the old ‘joint account or separate account’ dilemma that all ‘new’ couples eventually face.

    This is quite normal in the early stages of a relationship but tends to become less of an issue the longer you are together. Equally, having said that, there is no law that says you have to eventually place all finances in joint names.

    In any event, I would say that this question actually comes down to these two issues:

    1. TRUST.
    2. PRIVACY & AUTONOMY.

    Do we trust our spouse with our finances?

    Probably.

    If you’ve had a decent amount of time to get to know each other before setting up home together, the trust factor ought to be there.

    So if thats not the issue, what is?

    To my mind, its the PRIVACY & AUTONOMY that we’ve enjoyed in our spending habits as singles.

    Prior to meeting your partner, you could spend whatever you want on whatever you want. Only your bank manager had any power to influence your behaviour.

    From looking at my own life and from observing my friends, I would say that most couples eventually reach the point where they consider their finances to be combined and the issue of a joint account or a separate account becomes lost in the mists of time.

    ps – Beth T, now that you’re happily married, do you have the joint account that you hoped for – it would come in handy with christmas fast approaching 😉

So, what do you think ?