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How did/will you handle joint and individual finances with your spouse?

Posted by on May. 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM
  • 29 Replies

Getting Married Doesn't Have to Mean Sharing Every Dime With Your Spouse

by Maressa Brown

bride groom cake toppers cashWhen you're a bride-to-be, fun, fluttery, bubbly pre-wedding talk seems to fall into one of two categories: "OMG, tell me about the wedding!" or "Ooh, what a fairy tale!" (Things like the proposal, the dress, the future spouse in general can all fall into the latter.) No wonder that after tying the knot, some couples experience a total freakout/reality check. Like it or not, there's a lot more to marriage than happily ever after. Like paying the bills.

Then again, lots of couples live together and pay the bills together for a long time before getting married. My now-fiance and I lived together for five years before getting engaged. So what could really be all that different once we say "I do"? As I'm learning, nothing necessarily, but there are a bevy of financial possibilities and responsibilities -- both positive and negative -- associated with becoming Mr. and Mrs.  

For instance, we're going to open a joint checking and savings account FINALLY. But then we have to discuss what -- after the wedding gifts, of course -- goes in there. A percentage of our paychecks? A particular amount every month no matter what? Is it necessary to get a credit card in both our names, or should we just continue to use our own individual cards? One thing's for sure: I'm not going to want to be writing my husband a check for half the rent or cable bill.

At the same time, I completely expect that we'll have separate individual accounts to do with as we please. As independent-minded, hardworking people who are used to managing our own money, there's no reason we shouldn't maintain our own personal accounts in addition to the joint one. I'm not sure I could ever imagine pooling all of our assets -- seems so old school. Though I'm sure it's right for some couples with a different outlook and/or situation, it's not right for us. At least not right now.

And yet, I'm sure there are people out there who would say what's the point of getting married if you aren't marrying your money? Or that it's selfish or unnecessary to keep individual accounts. To that I'd say my future husband and I happen to have our own preferences. We're both more comfortable with the idea of sharing with a bit of space. The financial equivalent of twin beds in a guest room we can nap in, and sharing a queen-size bed in our bedroom at night.

Maybe our attitudes will evolve as we settle into being married, but in the meantime, this is what works for us. All newlyweds should do what works for them and not necessarily what's been done by anyone else.

How did/will you handle joint and individual finances with your spouse?

by on May. 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 2:06 PM

 We plan to have his account, my account and our account.  We plan to pay bills out of our account and add a little extra each month for fixing up the house and for emergencies.  I have student loans and a car loan that I would never try to push on to him so those will be paid out of my account, his child support out of his, etc...

by on May. 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM
My hubby handles the money. I am not good with math so he handles it. He also tells me what he buys and how we are doing So that I am not completely out of the loop.
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2013 at 2:09 PM
We got a joint account as soon as we found out we were expecting our first. He was working, but terrible with money. I wasn't working and am good with money so it just made sense to combine to save and start living like a couple, not just bf/gf in hs.
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2013 at 2:24 PM

 My husband & I have a joint account. We handle it very good

by Bronze Member on May. 3, 2013 at 2:30 PM

me and my husband have been married 11 years now. we have always had our money all together in 1 account since day 1. we never saw it as "his" money, or "her" money, or "my" money. its always been "our" money. we put everything in 1 account and share it and use it to pay bills and that. we both have equal access to the money and are both free to spend the money as we want, within reason. we always discuss big purchases together. its worked very well for us and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Cafe Steph
by on May. 3, 2013 at 2:36 PM

We have a joint account and I handle paying the bills. He brings me his receipts and asks me before making big purchases. I also okay purchases with him even though his response is always, "You know whether we can afford it or not so go for it."

Cafe Steph
by on May. 3, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Oh, and I'd already been helping balance his checkbook before we were even a couple, lol. He's dyslexic, so it was always a challenge for him. ;)

by Casey on May. 3, 2013 at 2:42 PM
We have been married for 11 years and have always been, and always will be, financially separate. We both earn and keep our own money and split bills.
by Trica on May. 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM
We've always had shared aaccounts&never had issues!
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM

 I will add that I did have just a joint account with my first husband but as my fiance and I are both in our 40's, we're going with the his hers ours method. 

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