Combining Finances - How Do You Do It?

Updated on March 26, 2008
S.J. asks from Gordonsville, VA
46 answers

I am new to this site so I am hoping that I can get some good advice on what to do. My daughter was born 3 months ago and my husband and I are trying to figure out how to combine our finances. Up to this point we divided household expenses and paid them from our own accounts. I make about $1000 more a month than my husband. We really don't have much debt besides his car payment and my student loan. At this point I am mainly the one who pays for all the baby expenses. Now that we have a baby we are trying to figure out the easiest way to combine our finances (so I don't feel like I am always the one that is paying for everything). I know that a joint account sounds like the easiest solution but we are hesitant to do this since it is one more thing to keep track of. How do we do this so that I don't get stuck keeping up with one more thing? Any advice on how other couples do this would be greatly appreciated.

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A.M.

answers from Washington DC on

This works for me and my husband; because I made more then my husband in the beginning I took on 2 more bills then him. We always maintained separate bank accounts, what I would do, about 2-3 days before his payday, Id tell my husband what his bills came up, [some bills we split down the middle like 1/2-1/2 on mortgage, and one week I pay daycare and the next week he'd pay daycare] about 2-3 days before he got paid Id total up my husbands bills, then on his payday I'd deduct that amount he owes for his portion of the bills and deposit that amount to my bank acct, then I would pay all of the bills from my acct; my portion of the bills and his, that way the money left over in my husbands acct he knew was his spending money to do whatever he wanted to with it.

M.J.

answers from Dover on

The first thing you have to try to change is the attitude about the whole situation. If you feel like you're the one paying for everything instead of like you're sharing everything, it's never going to work. My husband & I have been together for 12 years, married for almost 10 & we've always shared the bank accounts & paying the bills. Over the years we've had different jobs, sometimes I've made more than him by quite a bit & sometimes he's made more than me. That part of it shouldn't matter since you're in this together. If you look at it like that, then it doesn't matter whose car payment or credit card it is, it's all just going into one big pot anyway. I don't think I'm entitled to more spending money than my husband just because I may earn more at the moment, we're a team.

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J.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,
My parents did it this way and still do: My dad made the most money so he paid for all the "bills" (car, house, utilities). My mom paid for clothing the children (4 of us) and the food for the family. I dont' know if this helps or not :-).

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P.J.

answers from Richmond on

Hey S.!!! Thank you for sharing your story!! I understand what you are going through. But God is so good okay!! First, the reason why I believe any couple would have trouble with the fact of combining their finances is a lack of trust where the handling of money is concerned. When you two got married, you guys joined together as one. So there is no two separate finances. Everything became one. When me and my huband put both of our finances together, it was awesome. We learned to be faithful over our tithes and offerings, and God poured out an abundance and we were able to take care of bills, childcare for 4 kids, etc! God is so good!! See, the enemy will try to confuse you into thinking putting together your finances will be hard and that things may not get done. The devil is a liar girl! Watch how God will turn it around for you and hubby and your finances. Now, theres nothing wrong with having a separate account that you strickly pay your bills for. But as far as one making more money than the other, that's just the enemy allowing you to look at it for what it is. You both love one another and don't let something as little as putting finances together, cause you to lose your focus on thanking God and trusting in Him for what he has blessed you both with and you are able to maintain and live girl!! How do I do it??? God and the Lord Jesus alone!!!! He meets all of our need!!! Your God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!!!! Yall will be fine girl!!! Take care and be blessed girl!!

P. :)

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C.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I will preface this with I am Catholic and we believe that marriage is forever - and both sets of our parents and grandparents are still married. If you have a different background, your feelings on this will be different - and certainly valid.

When we were both working, the money all went into a joint account and we both were respectful in our spending. After having children, I now stay home. It's harder to balance our finances, so I now have my own account and I get paid from our joint account. Call it an allowance or whatever, I consider it the money I need outside of the bills to take care of the household - clothes, food, activities, etc. We wrote out a budget and came up with this number. My husband manages the finances (I stink at this) including paying the monthly bills and investments as well as uses this account as "his" account (he's very frugal). I have "my" account to manage the house and I find that now I can also buy him gifts without having the surprise ruined and save for larger things without having to negotiate everything or "ask permission." (although he has never treated me like this, there is a pride element here seeing that I used to have a successful workforce career.) I also just started consulting work and the money I earn will go into the family budget and hopefully help with college savings and maybe even buy us a vacation this year. :)

I guess the point is that once you are married, it's no longer really your money or his money. It's our money. Whether you're at home or in an office, you're both contributing to the success of the family. It's a partnership and everyone has a role. Everyone has the right to spend the money and everyone has the right to veto the spending. You do what is best for the family unit. This takes a lot of trust, open communications and a big leap of faith.

Good luck!

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N.P.

answers from Charlottesville on

My Husband and I are going through this process right now actually so I thought I would share our experince with you. He is on a commisioned based salary so most of the time we make the same amount but sometimes he makes more. My parents went through a nasty divorce especially when it came to finances and my mother always told me that no matter what a woman should always have some of her own money that cannot be touched by anyone else. My husband didn't understand that coming from a two parent household but he respected my request and we have figured out something that works for us. So anyway here's how we are doing it step by step:

1. Write down ALL of your necessary expenses such as Mortgage, car payments, bills, gas, groceries etc.

2. Once you have figured out how much the two of you have to pay out each month figure out how much is left over or how much "extra" money you have.

3. Decide how much of your extra money you want to put into savings and how much you would like to have for "play money" which you can use to go out to dinner or buy a new outfit etc.

4. Put the necessary amount of your paycheck into the "bills or expenses account" this should be your joint account. Put your savings money into a money market account and put your "play" money into your own account this way you don't feel like you have to ask if you want to buy something. If you make more money than him then you can split the play money 60/40 instead of 50/50 or whatever works for you.

Also we have all of our bills paid on-line and they send each of us an e-mail when we recieve a bill so we both have control over the finances and all we have to do is click to pay them.

I hope that helps! Good luck!

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P.G.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi S.,
What my husband and I do is we have one account, period. We are now married and what is mine is his and his is mine. We do have an agreement that we don't spend more than, insert whatever amount is acceptable to you, without first consulting the other. All or our bills are direct drafted out of our account so neither one of us has to spend time paying bills each month, and we take turns balancing the checkbook. Also, to make it easier for us and to earn a little extra cash, we pretty much put everything on a discover card and then write the receipts into the registar as if we actually spent the money. That way we can pay off the card every month, again by direct draft, and we earn money back on everything we buy. We also keep a seperate registar that we use to balance the checkbook in which we only write out the amount of each bill, check, ATM, ect that actually comes out of the account, this is where we record the total amount of the discover card bill each month. However, by having the second registar in which we write out all bills and everything charged to the credit card we know exactly how much is avaliable to spend so we don't over extend ourselves.
Hope this helps.
P.

A little about me: 43 mother of 2, worked as a physical therapist until 6 years ago when my first was born, and now am a homeschooling mom.

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J.K.

answers from Washington DC on

We have separate accounts. we totalled our income and found out who makes what percent of the total income. My husband makes 60% of the income and i make 40% of the income. So he pays 60% of the bills and I pay 40%. For us, this works out in that I pay all the bills and he pays the mortgage. Percentages work well because it is so fair.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

S.:
I too agree with the 1 account method. HOWEVER - you both need to keep a financial identity of your own and you need to set up a budget. THEN everything that goes into the pot becomes joint as do the debts and savings. Let the one who's a better saver be the point person on the budget and the one whose the secondary person must stay aware of what's going on. Since I'm home full time now and have a smaller income coming in from some Farmer's Market products, I set up the budget and pay bills. Being unaware of the money when I wasn't making as much put me in a lot of fear. But when I took it over again (I had done many jobs in accounting & payroll)and set the budget and pay bills - my deal with my husband is "You make it and I'll save it!" We are on a pretty tight budget but still manage to save. The BIG thing is both must be aware, talk about it, plan together cos money can be a source of conflict. Managed like other parts of your marriage - it is truly another level of intimacy between you!! I think you can do this!!!

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C.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.
Money issues are often times a source of conflict in a relationship. It is really important that before any major changes occur, that both you and your husband have an open and frank conversation about all the expenses that both of you incure, and this includes for the baby. Suze Orman has a great book that we have read and use as a guideline. It is "9 Steps to Financial Freedom" and "Women and Money". Whatever you decide, it is something that both of you should be comfortable and happy about. There really isn't a wrong or right way, only one that will work for both of you.
Having said this, I have seen where couples will open a joint account for all the expenses that they agree to pay jointly. The amount of money put into the account is rated based on the income of each individual. All other personal expenses come out of that person's personal checking account.
Also, consider about putting money aside jointly for your daugther's future. This is important to start now so that is becomes a habit early.
Discussing money in a relationship builds trust. This is one subject that when things go wrong, it is often put on the table. By having discussed it when the relationship is good make life a lot easier for the future. I hope this helps.

C. C.
Life Coach

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T.B.

answers from Richmond on

Hi, S.. I don't really understand why you would "divide" anything. You are a married couple. Do you not trust each other? Why don't you combine your incomes into a joint account? It is the easiest solution. You can always squirrel a little money away on the side if you aren't comfortable. Good Luck! (with the baby, and the money/marriage)

T.

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A.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,
I've been married 10 years and have always combined our finances. The biggest thing is to not make it "my money" and "his money" Doing this will make it difficult. If it's "our money" and all the expenses are "Our expenses" then it's actually much simpler than before. You have to be honest about what you spend with each other though. Good luck!

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L.T.

answers from Charlottesville on

A marriage is a partnership; as is parenting. It doesn't matter who makes how much. You are in this together! Keep separate savings accounts if you must;put a percentage into your individual savings accounts,the rest should go into a checking account to pay for life and ALL of it's expenses. I'm curious...what does your husband do that you make so much more as a kindergarten teacher? Is he being honest about what he makes?

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S.A.

answers from Washington DC on

My husband and I came up with a system when we first moved in together 6 years ago, and it's worked very well for us. We each have individual checking (and savings accounts) and we also have a joint checking and saving account. Sure, it's one more account to keep track of. But think of the advantages.

I budgeted what the joint account would need every month to pay bills. Then I set a fixed amount that we each would contribute to the joint account per paycheck. All household expenses come from the joint account (mortgage, utilities, home improvement, etc). Each paycheck, I set aside money for the joint account then get to keep what's left over for my own spending money. I pay my own student loan. He pays his own car payment.

We each get to feel like 1) we're both contributing to the health of our household finances and 2)we get to spend money on what we like from our personal accounts without impact to the other. If there is a big difference between yours and your husband's income, I would suggest coming up with a percentage of $ you each contribute to the joint account. For instance, you each would contribute 35% of your monthly income. The amounts would be different, but the share of the responsibility is the same. It is a very equitable solution. I hope this makes sense.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

S. J.
Combine means joint. We struggled for years with the idea of "mine and yours." To me, separate accounts put couples in a control arena. If you are one, having one account is not "being stuck with one more thing."

I have always earned more than my spouse. However, it was not until we opened a joint account that the "control issue," which I could not see at that time, disappeared.

I still have a personal account, and he has one also. However, all of our household bills are paid from the joint account and each of us have agreed to how much goes into that account.

It does not matter who pays what and that thought will disappear when you decide together. Remember 85% of your income and 85% of his is 85% even though the exact amounts differ. You will either rise together or fall together.

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C.C.

answers from Washington DC on

We have his, hers, and ours. Our household expenses are paid from the "ours." My employer is able to split my direct-deposit among more than one account; my husband's is too much in the Dark Age to do so, but we get around that by having him pay for daycare, and the reimbursements from his FSA go into the joint account.

In case you're not familiar with FSA (Flexible Spending Account): FSAs, set up under the Internal Revenue Code Section 125, allow you to have pre-tax deductions to save for dependent care and medical expenses not covered by health insurance (such as office visit copays). It's probably too late for you to sign up for 2008, but you should consider it for your 2009 Open Enrollment. Ask your HR department about it.

I recommend that you meet with a financial planner. Because you work for a school system, this service may be one of your employee benefits. Having a neutral third party look at your income & expenses may help you budget more effectively and objectively. Software such as Quicken could also be helpful.

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M.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Since you are married and one family now, my idea would be to close the separate accounts and open a joint account where all monies are deposited and considered family monies. All expenses can be paid from this account and considered family expenses. Depending on your budget and needs, each individual can have a certain amount of spending money. It shouldn't matter who makes what amount, since you're working towards the same goal, one happy family!

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F.S.

answers from Washington DC on

S.,

Congrats on the new bebe!

We went through something similar when our twins were born. I unexpectedly ended up quitting my job b/c our twins were born 2 mo early and couldn't go into daycare. We have three accounts. Mine, his and ours. We figured out how much money we needed for bills, groceries and then 'fun' money. I pay all the bills, groceries and toys from one account. My husband has his account to pay for any lunches he goes out for, his gas, and his toys. My account pays for little splurges on me or the kids. That's not to say he doesn't come home with toys for the boys that he paid for. He spoils them rotten. But in general, all the need items come from the joint account, which I 'govern'. He has to check with me before he goes shopping to know how much he can spend. My suggestion is that whoever pays all the bills keep an eye on the acct with the understanding that the other will check before spending on that account. We discuss monthly whether or not there is enough money coming into the joint account and adjust it as needed.

GL,

F.

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M.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,

We handle finances that way at our home and what we did was take out a credit card that is only used to pay for the things our girls need/want. At the end of the month we split the bill and everything is taken care of. Although we completely trust each other, keepig separate finances just makes things easier for the both of us. I saw my grandparents do things this way and it has worked out for them after 58 years of marriage. Good luck!!

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R.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hello,

Congradulations to you and your family,but I would like to repond, I had the same situation in the past. Truthfuly,My husban and I ,we would split each bill down the middle unless one of us were out of work for a big major reason. If he need to have more money to help out ,he would need to get a 2nd job to make ends meet. Women do it evey day. Our Cars , we pay our own car notes unless again there is a major reason why he ,or myself could not work. You choose a vehicle according to what you can afford , but take into consideration your main responsabilies* . What ever our Lux are we pay our selfs ,or if we want to give to one another which we do if we have . With the children , We do the same unless we are spent out ,and the other person will reimburse the xtra that that person had to pay out .Now the children are now much older ,and it worked out fine . Women we need to be honest with one another!

Good Luck to you
Missiey

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L.S.

answers from Norfolk on

There will always be someone who makes more than the other in the household. When you were married in the eyes of God, you became one. It should not matter who pays more, but how you manage the money you have together. My husband has always made more money than me, but has never once complained about paying for more things. Things are just things and family is family.

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N.P.

answers from Norfolk on

When my Husband and I first married I had a lot more money. Who cares!! Your salaries will change over time and your ability to contribute time & effort will ebb and flow. No partnership is 50/50. Would things change if either of you were in a car accident or lost your job? You both need to look at your commitment and maybe you need to look at it as your Daughter's money. It provides a happy, healthy family. My DH and I never spend more then $100 on a special item unless we BOTH agree on it. We are partners and share everything (except chocolate! I'm not crazy!).

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

Consider his, hers and ours. We sat down and figured out the joint bills and house expenses and contribute to the ours account (via direct deposit, you can deposit different amts. to different accounts) based on the % of income we each bring to the household. Then it's just a matter of paying those bills with the joint account card/checkbook, which is easy once you get used to it.

What's left of our pay is our own - for student loans, our own cars, gifts, etc. We also trade off weeks getting groceries, but you could budget that and put that in the "ours" list. If we are short, we help each other out, but generally we are accountable for our own accounts and bills.

Hope that helps.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

This is the way my hubby and I do it. Since he makes more than I do, he pays for the big items (rent, car note, insurance). While I pay for the other items (daycare, and other bills). We also have a joint savings account. If need be, we can always fall back on that to help us when we are in a crunch. Since, I put almost half of my paycheck in and he dontates only a few hundred I always know that no matter what we have a few dollars in savings for when times get tough.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

My husband and I have an account together and both of our money goes into it. We do not keep track of who puts what in where. As bills come to be paid, they do and whatever money is left is ours. There is no mine and his...it's ours.
You just have to share an account and pay the bills from the account. Both of you need to be aware of the amount in the bank when spending money, that way you can keep track of what's going out. Someone needs to be the primary financial record keeper of the account...the other always needs to provide the receipts or totals being spent and give them to the record keeper.
It is simple....I have known of couples that keep seperate accoutns and pay their bills that way...but I never understood it. I always thought once you get married that you share everyting!!
Good luck!

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V.D.

answers from Washington DC on

S.
Are you the strong one in the family? I am the one who handles everything. We have one account for the bills, his money goes in there also. We also use duplicate checks so I can track his spending and tell him when to lay off with the spending. I guess I don't really need duplicate checks now. I can look on line. It works out fine and I save as much as possible in a Money Market account. Just share w/him where the money goes. It works :)
V.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I am from the school of thought to keep separate accounts. I am married for life and we are one, but we are living between two countries. My husband handles everything abroad and I handle everything in America. He gives me a monthly amount for child expenses, since I do most of the shopping. Let's face it, you will probably buy the clothes, toys, food, haircuts anyway. And signing up for summer camps, art classes, etc. The expenses changes as your child grows. My guess is since you are a teacher you might have more time to spend on these things in the summer. My husband is grateful we don't have to discuss spending so much, and he trusts me with a budget for our son. It actually saves time this way, and having a third account to keep track of. Our home and cars are paid for, so we don't have those issues of mortgages. I am returning to work soon and that money is mine to do what I want with it. Of course if he has the money he would contribute more toward my expenses,since his income is higher than mine. It was a tough transition for us, as I was always working until one week before our son was born and always had my own money. Then my husband suddenly had two more to support. He didn't mind, but it was an adjustment. My point is that things change, life changes, go with it.

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E.E.

answers from Washington DC on

What we did was open up a joint acct and have a certain percentage of each of our paychecks automatically go there. This money is used for all bills and baby expenses - most of which we have set up for auromatic payment and the rest online bill pay. It takes my husband about 10 minutes to pay bills online. Since we dont use our check card from there, we always know that there is plenty of money there for our monthly expenses. I like it this way because I feel I can spend the rest of my money how ever I want without ever having to explain why, for example, I needed to spend $150 on a pair of jeans, and I never have to worry about over spending. This has worked well for us for 5 years. Recently, however, my husband,who makes almost 2x as much as me wants to close his acct and use our joint, because he feels that our money is in too many places (we also have an ing acct for savings). So that is what he will do, and I will keep my acct. I think I just dont ever want to have the problem of spending money that is not "mine". Hope that helps.

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B.B.

answers from Washington DC on

S. my husband & I put our finances together about 6 years ago and I think it was the worst thing we could have done. I don't know maybe were not doing it right and I can't wait to read all of your responds. Good Luck B.

Married for almost 8 years, 3 &5 year old girls, full time hairstylist and part time lia sophia advisor.

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J.G.

answers from Washington DC on

I was a little nervous when my husband and I combined all our finances (especially b/c at the time he had more debt than I did and I was nervous that I'd get resentful about that), but I've got to say that it was one of the best things we ever did. We got a joint checking account and picked one good credit card to use as our primary card. I create our budget and my husband is in charge of balancing the check book and paying the bills. We usually go over the budget once a month to reconcile and see where we've got over our estimate or under.

It's made everything SO much easier because we were able to tackle our finances as a team. We paid off his debt and school loans fairly quickly and were able to save for our house and now open a 529B for our son. Within a month or so, we both stopped thinking in terms of "my money" and "your money" (having a budget really helps with that).

I still keep a credit card in my name only -- mostly b/c I think I should for my credit score (don't know if there is any truth to that).

Good luck

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M.M.

answers from Richmond on

My husband and I have separate accounts. Our mortgage is the largest bill. He pays that and I pay the other bills. It basically comes out even. Hope this helps!

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A.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Seems there are two schools of thought going on here. Put me in the 'you're married - you share everything' group. In a relationship built upon trust, communication, and the constant need to look out for the well being of each other, not to mention your children, I do not understand where percentages of who pays what come in to play. I don't feel that I've given up my individuality as a person by sharing an account with my husband, but rather feel that we have become more cohesive as a team. I made more the first year of our marriage and now am a SAHM. My husband told me, before I gave up my career to be a mother, that his money would be OURS. Period. I pay the bills, we figure how much we have to play with and invest, and make it work together.

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L.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.

You can approach it from the perspective of child support. You would add all the baby expenses for the month divide them in half, he can give you his half and you can continue to pay the bills and purchase what's needed. Hope this helps.

L.

D.S.

answers from Allentown on

Hi S.,

Combine your accounts and make up a budget for yourselves.

Put your extra money into a money market account with Ed Jones and have equal money in the checking account.

Westbrook as a small business accounting service and see if they can help you make up a budget.

Good luck. D.

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J.N.

answers from Houston on

Hi S.,

I am a SAHM of 3 with 1 on the way. I have been married now for 2.5 years. I know that's not a long time, but we are very happy in our marriage, and have been together for over 5 years. What we did when it came to the finances was lose our independant checkings and only have 1 joint. When we married, we became husband and wife til death. That means that what is mine is his, and what's his is mine. At the beginning of our marriage, I made more money than him, but that didn't matter, because everything was ours. So, that's my advice. Have 1 checking & 1 savings account that you share. You will not be managing more than you are already. Good luck & God Bless!

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R.Z.

answers from Washington DC on

I am not a religious person. Although I believe that when you marry someone you do join in union. However, with that union you also need to maintain your own identity and sense of control over your own self. Therefore on my second time around now at marriage, my husband and I keep separate bank accounts. On the flip side we do in a sense pool our money and agree that we cannot look at things as you pay this and I'll pay this and we are even. We are a family and we both must provide for the family to the best of our ability. You can not look at it as I pay more than him--it's not fair. Part of a marriage and family is Sharing and supporting one another and lets face it in today's world that comes down to money being spread around and not necessarily 50/50.

As far as managing the bills, there is no right or wrong way to manage finances in a family. You just need to find what will work for your hubby and you. I read lots of great suggestions and am thinking of changing the way my husband and I get the bills paid and take our spending money once we get settled into a new place.

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K.P.

answers from Washington DC on

I would suggest that you open a account for your household expences. Just total up you and your husband monthly expences and divid by two. That way even though you make a little more your not obligated to put out more, you both will pay equally for everything. I feel it is less stressfull.

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I just thought once you get married everything gets merged togther. Well when my husband and I were dateing and living togther we had sepreat accounts but now we put everything into one account. Sit down write a list of the bills you have. Write down how much you make. Don't for get to put down gas for both cars and food. I give us a food alowance of 400 a month for three people. That also in cludes papper goods. After thats all done and you have some left over give your selves a tip evrery paid week or everyother week. hen save the rest for vacation and so on. I am the one that pays the bills in our home but your hus band might want to be the one to do it in yours. But always have the other person who is not paying the bills take the things out that they spend. Say he bought gas well I would have my husband write it out so at all time he knows what is in the account. There was none of that his money and mine money stuff once we got married. We made a desicion to be one and that means everything!

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T.B.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi S.,
I don't have any first hand experience with this but I can tell you what my parent do and have done for many years. When pay day comes, my dad goes to the bank and deposits what he needs to pay his personal bills and keeps what he needs for gas and spending money. He gives the rest to my mom who then deposits it into her account to pay the bills. She then takes what she does not need for the week out of her check and puts it into her savings account. My mom hates the idea of having a joint account because of some things that my dad did many years ago. So now she holds the checking account that all of the bills are paid from except his personal bills, like his truck payments and credit cards.
I hope this helps a little.

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N.M.

answers from Dover on

First of all - combining finances is a state of mind and you need to change yours. If you really want to combine the finances, the first thing you need to understand is your money does not belong to you. It belongs to your family - everyone within the family. You don't have to have joint bank accounts to combine the finances - just change your attitude.
My husband and I have never had a joint bank account. I supported our family while he finished college and now he supports our family while I stay at home with our four month old. It shouldn't matter who pays for the groceries or buys the diapers.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S..
My hubby and I have a similar situation. We each have our own account. We just got a joint account after 9 yrs. Prior to that, hubby would just write me a check for the shared things (mortgage, insurance, etc) I would then deposit the checks into my account and pay the bill.

As far as paying for baby things: daycare, food, etc. We would each pay for two weeks of daycare - rotating so that each paycheck was only needed for one week of daycare - out of our own accts. A daycare provider doesn't care that the money comes from the same acct. all of the time,(unless is auto withdrawl) as long as the check is good. :-) As far as food, diapers, etc. it was whoever happened to be doing the shopping.

Hope this helps.
M.

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A.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I completely agree with Marjorie. That's the way we do it too. It was strange at first, but after a few months of adjustments, I realized it's soooo much easier. Bank of America makes it really simple to keep track of everything online and charges post to the account immediately. I pay all our bills online in minutes and never have to keep paper around for more than a month.

The way I see it, it has to be harder to keep 2 accounts than to keep 1. Right?!

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K.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My husband and I have been married for 10 years and we have had a joint account since we got engaged. Much easier to handle finances that way. The way I see it is, if you are married and sharing your lives you shouldn't worry about "my money" and "your money", it should be "your money" jointly together. If it weren't I would be on the street because I have been a stay at home Mom since my oldest was born 5 years ago. You just have to do what works best for you.

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C.B.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi S.! Now is a great time to take that next step with your finances and combine them to one household income. I, too, make a little more than my husband and what has worked for us is that we have one checking account, one savings account, and separate investments. The joint checking/savings only works because we are both open to being held accountable for our spending & saving habits. We agree to a monthly budget each year and revise as needed. Flexibility is the key, and the idea of 'our money' and 'our debt' also really helps. My investments grow a little quicker than his since my income is higher, but our household expenses and discretionary income is a reflection of our combined earnings.

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B.B.

answers from Norfolk on

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have been together for about 12 years. We have been sharing our money since we got together. We opened our first bank account together. I pay all the bills no matter whose credit card it may be or whose loan it may be. My husband had debt when we met and I helped pay on those debts. You get married for better or worse and I think that is the way it should be. I know many people do things differently, but this is what has worked for us. My husband has no clue even how much he makes each month which is sad since he is in the military and gets paid the same amount each month, but he trusts me enough that he does not care. As long as the bills are getting paid that is all that matters to him and I. I went five years with out working because I stayed home with my daughter. I did not have to work when she went to school, but I chose to and since we bought a house I have to work. It should not matter who makes more or who makes less all that should matter is things are getting paid and your happy. I would say put all your money in one account and assign one person to pay the bills each month. You and your husband can even sit down together and pay the bills each month together. It makes since to me.

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