Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's not MY money it's OUR money

One of the biggest adjustments I've had to make being married is the idea of merging finances, it's no longer just MY money it's OUR money and vice versa. I've always been a very independent person financially, I got my first steady job at age 15 and have been working every since. I had a job all through college, at one point I worked 2 jobs but after getting a 2.0 GPA that semester I decided to quit one. It's always been very important to me to have my own money and be able to support myself financially and up to this point I have, with very little assistance from my family.

Before we got married Kristian and I discussed what we would do about merging finances. Because of how he grew up and watching his parents he felt that we should completely merge everything and share all accounts and credit cards like his parents do. After watching my parent's messy divorce and the financial toll it took on my mom I felt strongly about having at least some of my money separate. He wasn't happy about this, he viewed it as my planning for a potential divorce which really wasn't my intention, I just think it's smart for ALL women to have some level of financial independence even if they are married.

After talking to some married friends and going back and forth we decided we would have one main shared account which all our bills would be paid from as well as a shared savings account to save for trips, new cars etc. In addition to that we would each keep a separate personal account. This way we would have our own fun money to spend how we wish. Now I can't bitch at him if he wants to buy a new fishing pole and he can't bitch at me for buying new shoes whenever I want. This is also the money we would use when buying gifts for each other.

We went on Friday to open up our first joint checking and savings account and it was definitely a surreal experience, after all I've never shared an account with a boy before!
Sidenote- we have a shared credit card and another shared savings account with a different bank that we set up strictly for wedding expenses but Kristian's never used either so even though his name is on both I feel like they are both just mine.

We still need to figure out the logistics of how much of each paycheck will go in the joint account vs. our personal accounts. It's hard since his job is commission based so instead of a bi-monthly paycheck he'll get one big commission check every month or so.

It's going to be a big adjustment for me. I'm not good at sharing, either my food or my money. I don't mind spending money on things for us or writing him a check to pay my part of the bills but knowing he has full access to my money at anytime does admittedly make me a bit uncomfortable. It's not because I don't trust's not that AT ALL, it's just a change and I don't like change. Like I said I've always been very independent and protective of my finances and sharing money I think is one of the biggest forms of trust you can have with another person.

Share time- How do/will you handle sharing finances with your significant other?


Summer {Bisfor...} said...

darling girl.

first off - i love the new name! you need to also change it in the settings bc your old name is still showing. ;)

do not get my started on this subject. we started out with joint everything and now I have a personal bc it was getting nutso!

all i can say is good luck!

Salt said...

I LOVE the new blog name!!! So cute!
Ahhh money is always such a difficult adjustment. My husband and I decided to keep our separate accounts and then get a joint for bills. Of course we've been married for like 200 days and haven't gotten around to it yet, but that's just the procrastinator in both of us. :)

Jen said...

Such a tough topic! I think almost every couple struggles with the money issue at one point or another. It sounds like you two came to a good compromise, and I can imagine my boyfriend and I will do something similar, because we both tend to buy things the other thinks is a little ridiculous.

I'm sure everything will work out fine, but I wish you luck anyways! Just remember that it's only money... your love and your marriage is priceless, and it's just not worth worrying or fighting over (not that you are).

Bicoastal Bride said...

I think you made a great compromise, but I can understand how it might be difficult to get used to. Stephen and I are both used to having our own accounts, and we decided that creating an additional joint account would be too confusing for us. We share the expenses between our two accounts so that everything works out.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I know this is a hard topic for a lot of couples...but for us it was a no brainer. Merged everything. In fact before we were even married. My husband stupid so it made the most sense for me to handle all of it. Maybe that's what made the transition so easy for me, because basically nothing changed...I continued to pay all the bills except now I had a whole other paycheck to use!

bananas. said...

the thought of sharing ALL accounts scares the living crap out of me. not sure i could ever do that, at least not in the beginning. i mean, it's not just a minor's a HUGE mothereffin change! so don't be ashamed that you're scared. i think it's only natural.

Sara said...

We are in the middle of this *right* now! Our plan is the same as yours... joint and his and mine (gots to have my shoe money lol)

I would be interested in learning how you decide to divide up the pay checks. A percentage or an even amount is the back and forth we will decide next.

(p.s- I am glad I found your blog, and am following now! Looking forward to reading more!)

april said...

I'm glad you kept your blog! I think you'd miss blogging, too. :)

We were young when we got married so we always had joint everything from the time we moved in together. I do have a teeny tiny account at a credit union, but it's got like $100 and it's near impossible to take money from it. Occasionally, I throw money at it, but it's rare. Plus, when we got married, neither of us had any money so it was more that we shared debt more than we shared money. :)

aapuzzanchera said...

My guy and I aren't currently married, but when we do tie the knot I plan on doing exactly what you are doing. We have been together for a very long time and while he sees it as our money, I tend to be more, it's MY money and I have to stop that. It is an adjustment. I also think the fact that I work for a divorce atty has changed my perspective. I don't want to have to ask him if I can buy this or that and I don't want him coming to me for my permission to buy things either. Good luck!

EmilyB said...

Josh and I opened joint accounts before we were even married (but living together). We do it pretty much the same way as you. We each have our own separate checking accounts, one joint checking account for bills/groceries/etc, a joint savings account, and Josh has a personal savings account. It's a lot to keep track of, but I'm ADAMANT about having separate finances. Plus, I have a large stock portfolio that is completely separate from him, but I think eventually we'll do something with it together. It works for us :)

bekapaige said...

Awesome compromise. This is exactly how I've always felt too... about both food and money! :) Sounds like a great compromise though, and on money- such a huge issue- I think it's so important to find something that you can both be happy with. S and I did almost the same thing when we got engaged several years ago- since getting married, we have ended up closing our separate personal checking accounts and merging into just one because it was so much easier, but we each have a separate credit card. We never, ever use them- but it's nice to have in my wallet anyway! :)

...longest comment ever. Sorry.

KLaw said...

Um, I'm with you. I think you should maintain some independance. But I think as a married couple, and possibly one with children in the future, its a necessity to have a shared account. We STILL don't have any shared money and its annoying to write checks to each other every month.

d.a.r. said...

We share everything. I was in school for the first part of our marriage so he earned the most money. Now I do. It is never "my" money or "his" money, though and I never feel like I have to justify purchases (nor does he), though we do always run planned expenses by each other prior to making them. I don't know. If I didn't trust him with my/our money, I never would have married him.

Mrs T said...

Mr B & I have had a joint account for about three years. Living together it just makes sense. Both our pays go into the joint account and then we both get spending money into our personal accounts. It works out great. Although I am the one that does the majority of our bill paying/ finances etc - so I do like having a bit of control over it.

My Dad always handled my parents expenses - to the point where my Mother had no idea how much money they had, or even how to budget. Was a very steep learning curve when they got divorced. So I understand your reserve on the issue - and it doesn't mean you don't trust your husband or you want to get a divorce.