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Can you have a happy relationship with separate bank accounts?

Posted by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM
  • 35 Replies

 My husband and I have always had our accounts combined with the idea that because we're married, all income we earn individually is our joint income. My sister and her husband, however, have separate accounts and neither has any idea how much the other makes. He has bills come to the house in his name and pays them from his account and she does the same. The house is in both their names but that's the only thing they have in common. She didn't even take his name when they wed. They both seem pretty unhappy and I wonder if their separate accounts is adding to that, since they seem to live separate lives for the most part, too?

Do you think you can have a happy relationship when you have separate bank accounts like that? What if one of you is bad with money and the other is a saver? How do you work as a team for your future together if you're living that way?

 
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by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Mrs.Kubalabuku
by Silver Member on Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM


Quoting iluv2read:

 My husband and I have always had our accounts combined with the idea that because we're married, all income we earn individually is our joint income. My sister and her husband, however, have separate accounts and neither has any idea how much the other makes. He has bills come to the house in his name and pays them from his account and she does the same. The house is in both their names but that's the only thing they have in common. She didn't even take his name when they wed. They both seem pretty unhappy and I wonder if their separate accounts is adding to that, since they seem to live separate lives for the most part, too?  That could be part of the issue, but it's most likely a symptom of a bigger problem in and of itself, kwim?  Perhaps the very reason they kept seperate accounts was jealousy, possessiveness, distrust, etc, and it has been growing over time.

Do you think you can have a happy relationship when you have separate bank accounts like that?  I do, and I have seen it.  I have an aunt and uncle going on 40 years of marriage who have NEVER combined their finances.  It's just what works for them.  Divorced and remarried couples might keep seperate finances if there are child support issues.  Couples whose spouse has to travel and be away for long periods of time might keep seperate finances so that one doesn't drain something the other needs.   What if one of you is bad with money and the other is a saver?   That is one reason some couples might choose to keep things seperate.  But it doesn't often work to solve the problem, it is a symptom of the problem.  The real problem there is the one partner can't prioritize.  Often, the saver will still end up picking up the slack and building resentment.  It can work to help teach teh spender how to properly finance, but if it is used as a way to enable their poor habits it will eventually bring tension back.  How do you work as a team for your future together if you're living that way?  Couples who live that way happily have GREAT communication.  They understand each other's priorities. 

DH and I tried the seperate finances to correct his spending problem.  It didn't work.  He'd just blow through his and forget to pay a bill and I'd have to pick it up.  Or he'd be begging for me to help him buy stuff with the promise of paying me back.

When that failed, we tried a new approach where everything is combined, I pay all the bills on a credit card as they come due, then pay off the card.  It's a cashback rewards, and I get about $70 a month in free cash that way!  (No interest for 30 days, so since I pay it off by the end of the month it's the same as debit, but I get paid to use it.  It's also helped improve our credit rating since DH kind of mucked that up.)  But DH gets cash from an ATM as his "allowance' and when the cash is gone, it is gone and he does not get more.  I get an allowance, too, to keep things fair, but I don't have to have mine in cash.  I can keep track and budget it from my credit card.

So far the new method is working great.


Sunshine2plus2
by Sunshine on Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:33 PM

IDK. My husband and I have our money combined!

lenashark
by Bronze Member on Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:37 PM
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My husband and I have seperate accounts and we have a great marriage, we are very happy. We work as a team, having seperate accounts has nothing to do with that. It's just easier because we use his income for certain things and my income and savings for other things, certain amounts of our paychecks go into different funds, it just helps to keep it organized. I have access to his account if needed and he has access to mine.

Fossmixa
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Well, I've been on both sides of that issue. My Ex and I had separate accounts, although he kept the books, and knew my passwords to my account, cards, and so forth. Big mistake. We divorced after I found out he had been cheating, and left me and the kids with 20K on my credit cards--How did he run up my cards without being on the credit card account? Simple...He ran up his credit cards, then did "balance transfers" electronically from his cards to mine, since he knew all the passwords and such.  I had no idea.....

I remarried a couple of years ago, insisted on keeping my account separate but relented after much debate with new hubby.  He's not on any of my credit cards, though, and has no access to any passwords other than our joint account.  Once bitten, twice shy, i guess.

Lyzmom
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM
We have separate accounts Dh used to drink a lot and would empty the account at the bar, so now I only have to worry about my own. dh pays all the bills and I pay for food, gas and kids needs and wants. He doesn't go to the bar anymore either.
It's what works the best for us. We don't really consider it "his"money and"my" money even though we manage it separately. We still discuss bills and big purchases as couple.
ADBmom
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 4:48 PM
1 mom liked this

LMAO.  is this a real post?

You'll be very unhappy when you divorce one day and have a joint account.  My mom and stepdad have been married since I was 4 and had a separate account.  Your banking doesn't have anything to do with your marriage.  Some people are messy with their money -- you keep that on you, don't get me involved. 

storkradio193
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 5:44 PM

I think a couple can be happy with separate accounts if that is what works for them.  It comes with plenty of complications depending on the couple (e.g. how divide bills; who makes more pays more?; who pays for meals out).  It sounds like the financial separation of this couple could be a sign of deeper feelings of separation or fears.

squeekumsaus
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Um really?

Yes people can have a happy relationship with seperate bank accounts.

When people get together they dont become one person

thatgirl70
by Carin on Dec. 11, 2013 at 7:40 PM
We've always had a joint account, even when I was still working.

The only time I see an issue with it is when I'm trying to be sneaky about his Xmas present: not easy to hide a purchase from a specialty store, like the Dallas Cowboys shop, LOL.
RoseWall
by Platinum Member on Dec. 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM

i think so.

i have not been in that situation though.

it mainly because i have a low income.

very likely i will stay a seperate everything for the rest of my life.

im okay with that.

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