Have you combined your finances after getting married?


#1

My wife and I decided to combine our finances into one account and I simply wonder if there are couples who decided to have separate accounts and why.


#2

Great move, congrats! It’s a bad idea not to do so. How can you have shared goals when you’re not even willing to combine finances? Two is more powerful than one.

Many don’t probably because of the unfounded notion that you’re responsible for the other party’s debt. But in reality, your credit histories remain separate.


#3

Congratulations to you and your wife! That’s very exciting.

My hubby and I (married 2 years now) have shared and separate accounts for a variety of things. We each maintain a separate checking and savings account of our own. We also have a shared checking account, a shared money market, and a shared brokerage account. We got married later in life and have preferred ways of handling our day-to-day finances, so this seems to work for us. Grocery money goes into shared checking and the other two accounts are for our shared long-term savings and investing goals. We also have a shared long term care insurance policy.

Every couple is different, and it is up to each couple to work together to figure out what is best. I knew a couple that switched off paying the bills every 10 years. She did it for ten, and then he did the next ten. A friend of mine and her husband keep their finances separate; other couples couldn’t imagine doing so. The same friend thinks my system for our finances is needlessly complicated, but I personally like having a bunch of different buckets of money in separate accounts.

Division of labor: My husband does our taxes every April and I oversee our investments, and that seems to work well for us, given our respective strengths.


#4

Many don’t probably because of the unfounded notion that you’re responsible for the other party’s debt. But in reality, your credit histories remain separate.

They are afraid to be responsible for someone’s debt, but how do they think of becoming parents and be responsible for someone’s life?


#5

The same friend thinks my system for our finances is needlessly complicated

I’d agree with your friend, however, I now understand the benefits - a bunch of different buckets of money in separate accounts.

I knew a couple that switched off paying the bills every 10 years. She did it for ten, and then he did the next ten.

A little bit strange decision. 10 years is quite a long period during which anything can happen.


#6

Sometimes, separate accounts can lead to divorce. :thinking: I’ve just read this story
Though this couple was not young and each of them had already had a well established and controllable budget, the money question and separate accounts have yet ruined their marriage. This example shows the real importance of having money discussions before marriage.


#7

There isn’t any one thing that is going to work for all couples, and the article you posted, frankly, sounds like an extreme example. If someone has entitlement issues or there is an unwillingness to accommodate one’s partner, that will not bode well for a marriage, no matter how accounts are shared or divvied up. I agree with the responder who said that it sounded more like a battle of the wills. He paid for everything before and then got tired of that, and as a couple, they couldn’t survive. They didn’t go into their marriage with an attitude of cooperation. A couple like that is better off committed but living separately. Your comments about how some decisions sound “strange” to you may not work well for you and your wife, but they work well for other couples. Each couple really needs to find what works best for them. The couples I mentioned are all still happily married, and it’s true: discussing finances BEFORE you get married is imperative. It’s when expectations change AFTER you’re married that there are problems.


#8

We fully combined ours and I’m really glad we did. It makes management really flexible and easy for us. We each have a discretionary account that increases by $75 every month; we use that for anything non-essential (impulse coffee out, clothes we want to buy), as well as gifts for each other. It accumulates so there’s incentive to save it up. It’s been really helpful for us to articulate the distinction between discretionary costs that come out of our private accounts (e.g., shoes that my husband bought just because he likes new kicks) and life maintenance costs from the common account (e.g., new commute shoes because my current pair fell apart).