Poll

couples - how do you manage finances?

it's all one big pot - I manage bills and investments, partner doesn't want to know or isn't interested
72 (31%)
it's all one big pot - we manage our money together
98 (42.2%)
completely separate - we each pay 50% of costs
32 (13.8%)
completely separate - we each pay 50%, I don't even know what they have
6 (2.6%)
completely separate - split finances prorated based on income
24 (10.3%)

Total Members Voted: 232

Voting closed: March 01, 2018, 04:06:22 PM

Author Topic: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses  (Read 9430 times)

mspym

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #50 on: February 01, 2018, 12:25:17 AM »
We keep our finances separate, but contribute a set $ to a joint account to cover our shared bills - and our mortgage. We also talk candidly about money, so we each know each other's savings and investments, but it's up to each individual to decide what to save and how to invest. It works for us because we make comparable incomes and we have similar, relatively frugal approaches, shared financial goals and similar investment styles.

This is closest to our approach but we don't have a shared account, just bills in each of our names and occasionally we re-balance between us. We also don't split on the basis on income but expenses- he has children from a previous marriage so he covers more of the food/utilities. Maybe at some point we may end up with shared accounts but right now we both enjoy having our own investments and deciding how we want to invest.

Laura33

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #51 on: February 01, 2018, 08:01:48 AM »
Going into something that is meant to be together but then running it apart seems counter-intuitive and a lot of added stress to making things work.  We've just found as we have conversations with people with split finances that there is a lot more they are separated on in their relationship as well, and that is just not a comfortable place for us.

OK, this is an example of what bothers me:  I really, truly don't care how anyone manages their money -- but it bugs the shit out of me when people infer things about the health of a relationship based on how the money is managed.

People are different, relationships are different, what feels completely natural to one would be alien and forced to another.  My mom and stepdad had completely separate, 50/50 finances, and had the happiest marriage I've ever seen for almost 40 years until his death.  My SIL and BIL share everything and make even the most minute financial decision together after much discussion and analysis, and they have been happily married for almost 25 years.  Either one of those approaches would drive me and DH batshit.

But you know what's really funny?  They both think we're crazy!  My mom couldn't believe that we were pooling most of our money*; meanwhile, my SIL expressly told me that she was worried that our decision to keep $200/mo separate meant that we weren't really dedicated to each other and to the marriage. (!!!)

There is no objective "better" or "worse" that suits every relationship, because all relationships are different.  The only question is whether the system serves the needs of the people in that relationship.

*But at least she was smart enough to keep her mouth shut about it; I know only because I can read her like a book.

rockstache

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #52 on: February 01, 2018, 08:22:31 AM »
Laura33 with the best post of the thread per usual.

We do things jointly because it makes sense to us for our very specific situation and personalities. To each their own, absolutely.

caracarn

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #53 on: February 01, 2018, 09:15:34 AM »
Going into something that is meant to be together but then running it apart seems counter-intuitive and a lot of added stress to making things work.  We've just found as we have conversations with people with split finances that there is a lot more they are separated on in their relationship as well, and that is just not a comfortable place for us.

OK, this is an example of what bothers me:  I really, truly don't care how anyone manages their money -- but it bugs the shit out of me when people infer things about the health of a relationship based on how the money is managed.

People are different, relationships are different, what feels completely natural to one would be alien and forced to another.  My mom and stepdad had completely separate, 50/50 finances, and had the happiest marriage I've ever seen for almost 40 years until his death.  My SIL and BIL share everything and make even the most minute financial decision together after much discussion and analysis, and they have been happily married for almost 25 years.  Either one of those approaches would drive me and DH batshit.

But you know what's really funny?  They both think we're crazy!  My mom couldn't believe that we were pooling most of our money*; meanwhile, my SIL expressly told me that she was worried that our decision to keep $200/mo separate meant that we weren't really dedicated to each other and to the marriage. (!!!)

There is no objective "better" or "worse" that suits every relationship, because all relationships are different.  The only question is whether the system serves the needs of the people in that relationship.

*But at least she was smart enough to keep her mouth shut about it; I know only because I can read her like a book.
Laura, totally agree that what works best for one couple may not work for another and they need to figure that out.

While your SIL's comment does infer about the health, the personal examples I was talking about that my wife and I have had conversations with, are couples that did indicated to us to they were having issues in the relationship (some due to baggage from previous ones, others to worrying about things that 'could' happen etc.) and this was also driving their decision to keep finances separate as a hedge.  Certainly was never saying that split finances can infer anything, but when people share more about how they are split in other ways and the relationship is not in great shape, not inferring in those cases.   I was just sharing my wife's and my view in our relationship that marriage is joint effort across all facets, including finances.  I'd never assume anything about another relationship just from how they manage their money.

rubybeth

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2018, 09:15:44 AM »
It's all "our" money and I manage it, with big purchase decisions being a discussion (really anything over $100 is still "big" to us), and investment decisions we talk about prior but he usually agrees with me. We've been married nearly 10 years. We had separate accounts in the beginning of our marriage, but within about a year, we opened joint accounts.

I think a lot of it comes down to your values related to money, and how much you brought to the relationship in terms of debt, income, etc. Neither DH or I had high incomes when we got married. We both had debt. We mutually agreed that killing the student loan debt was a priority, and so tackled it with both of our incomes. I had more debt but then also got a much better job. I enjoy working with spreadsheets and he does not, so it's worked well for us to have me manage mostly everything.

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2018, 09:50:43 AM »
Separate finances would've been a huge headache for us due to my wife's total lack of interest in money management and our massive disparities in income and debts. (She will out-earn me considerably for most of her career, but also brought significant student loan debt to the table.) Combining finances helped us both sleep easier.

It was a natural fit for us but we feel no moral superiority to anyone who does things differently. It's like separate bedrooms or stay-at-home spouses -- each couple has to do what's right for them.

LawMustache

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2018, 04:03:50 PM »
Hello folks, I do have a question relevant to this topic.

First, a bit of background. My dear girlfriend of 11 years now (getting married is quite optional in our beautiful Canadian province of Quebec) and I have been on the same expenses sharing system since we moved in together 10 years ago: all day to day and jointly beneficial expenses are shared 50/50 (food, gas, utilities, etc.). As we are co-owners of both a rental property and a piece of land (farm), all expenses related to these properties are also shared 50/50 (mortgage payment, repairs, etc.). We have a joint account in which we each deposit the same amount to cover all these. A joint credit card is also used, which I pay at the end of each month and for which my GF repays me her share of the common expenses and the total of her personal expenses. In summary, we split common expenses and each pay for our own personal expenses so that nobody is tied by the spending habits of the other. We are both professionals with similar paychecks. I get to put more money on the side for FIRE as I am a bit more frugal than she is, although she's quite frugal by extension as well, especially when compared to our colleagues. One of her main expense center is horseback riding: she owns a horse and will most likely own multiple at some point. The plan behind the piece of land (farm) mentioned earlier is that we will one day move there and enjoy a nice little early retirement, while having the horse(s) at home.
The farm already has a barn, but that's about it. In order to have horses there, we will need to invest a bit of money (and DIY time) in order to fix the barn, install some fences and other horseback riding equipment. Nothing big, but still enough to require certain capital investments.

Second, and sorry for the long background, here's my question to you guys: I don't know what to do with these expenses - it's not something I have an interest in and would normally fall into her personal expenses, but at the same time, if ever we would sell the farm, there would most likely be some added value tied to these "investments" (if I may use that term). Of course, my GF would want these expenses to be split 50/50, but I'm having a hard time agreeing as it would somewhat push back my FIRE date. OTOH, if I agree to share these expenses 50/50,  I don't want to be the one always trying to cut costs in things that solely pertain to her passion. And as we're talking about important expenses, I understand that she would want me to cut in... So I feel kind of stuck there, I don't know how to approach this situation.

What would you guys do with this?

Side info: we plan to spend our life together, no kids at the moment but it's in the plans.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2018, 04:58:51 PM »
Technically all our money goes into one pot, but we have some separate pots. Basically, I take care of the small everyday stuff, and she the bigger stuff. All is recorded in a spreadsheet we both have access to.

Our incomes go straight to the offset account for our mortgage. My wife's basically stays there, except 10% which she takes out for day-to-day stuff. She'll pay the big bills from there, like council rates and car registration and so on.

Mine is split as follows,
Mortgage 40%
Utilities 10%
XP account - Personal development and business stuff 10%
Kids' savings 10%
Charity 5%
Everyday 25%

I pay the utilities ahead of time in installments, which is not financially any better than just paying them when due, but reduces stress for me - "shit, $452, that's big."

My XP account is for small purchases for my business, things like chalk or weight plates for the gym. It's also for courses I go on to further my learning.

Kids' savings is for their health and education. Technically these are free in Australia, but there are sometimes small charges like uniforms, and optical and dental aren't covered. As well they get some extra things like my son's swimming lessons. If when they finish high school there's some left, they can have it for uni or a gap year or something.

Everyday is for the groceries and fuel and if I want to buy a book or have a coffee out or whatever.

Small or ongoing expenses we tell each-other about, but don't consult on. Bigger things like when I renovated the garage gym by tearing the cupboards out, or when she went on an overseas trip, we consult each-other on and discuss a bit.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2018, 06:47:13 PM »
Married here.  We have separate bank accounts, but of course all money is shared.  I had most bills set up in my name before we moved in together, so most bills have just stayed coming out of my account.  I added up all our fixed expenses and we divided that about 60/40 at the time, with me paying 60%, since I made/make more money, and it's stayed this way for the last 15 years.  I should also add it helped that I enjoy reviewing the finances/bills, so in that way it made sense most bills come out of my account.  We have a joint account that makes transferring money very easy, and actually the way we do it is my wife transfers me $x out of each paycheque month, rather than 1/2 the mortgage, 1/2 utility bill etc, so just 1 transfer per paycheque, done. 

Just a note to add that each person in a relationship should review and ensure that the partner is indeed keeping everything up to date, bills/loan payments.  I'v heard more than one example of partner A saying that all the bills have been paid etc, only to take the money and blow it on who knows what, partner B never bothered to actually check the bills were being paid (and destroying their credit in the process).  Also beneficial to get a free credit statement each year to verify that your partner isn't hiding loans that could also come back to haunt you, I've seen this more than once too.   


galliver

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2018, 01:05:03 AM »


Of course, my GF would want these expenses to be split 50/50, but I'm having a hard time agreeing as it would somewhat push back my FIRE date. OTOH, if I agree to share these expenses 50/50,  I don't want to be the one always trying to cut costs in things that solely pertain to her passion. And as we're talking about important expenses, I understand that she would want me to cut in... So I feel kind of stuck there, I don't know how to approach this situation.

What would you guys do with this?

Side info: we plan to spend our life together, no kids at the moment but it's in the plans.

So...from a purely practical advice perspective, there's no rule that says all things must be split 50/50, 100/0, or income based. You could talk through your reasoning with her re: property value vs active enjoyment of the amenities, and discuss what sounds like a fair split to both of you. Or if you're more concerned about being a "party pooper," you could agree that any upgrades you don't both find worthwhile, she will cover the difference). You could do a mix of both, eg 60/40 split and she covers "extras".

However, from a philosophical perspective...2 things. First, a wise person once told me, life is better when you live from a position of generosity...try to contribute 60%, rather than 50%, where relationships are concerned (esp effort, but can apply to money, too). Treat the extra 10% as an expression of love*. Second, you say home planning to have kids...how will that work, financially? Because figuring out the split now if you'll just pool your money later doesn't make much sense, and kid expenses seem to be something that pushes couples to pool resources more. So, from those two perspectives, I think if you can make peace with it (vs holding resentment), I think 50/50 is the better option...

*The more boring explanation for the "aim for 60%" rule is that we people can be terrible at gauging our contributions relative to others' (overvalue our own, neglect or discount the importance of what others do), so if both aim for 60, they might actually and up doing their full 50, if that makes sense...

Astatine

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #60 on: February 22, 2018, 01:34:44 AM »
DH and I got married in our early 40s. I'd previously been in a LTR for 18 years and when I separated from my ex (de facto partner), family law made it abundantly clear that our relationship was very much financially based, even though we'd lived with 50/50 separate finances. I also reflected that in my 18 year de facto relationship, part of me did separate finances because I wasn't all in emotionally. (not saying this is the case for everyone who does split finances but it was very much the case for me)

So when DH and I decided to get married, I wanted to be all-in with our finances together. Individual debts were our debts. Individual assets were our assets. Bills were our bills. It was hard to start with but now it just feels natural and safe to be all-in on our finances.

That said, while his money is my money and my money is his and all financial decisions are joint decisions, we still have separate bank accounts. Because laziness and mutual dislike of paperwork. Joint accounts would require redirection and timing of a gazillion and one automatic payments (every payment and bill we have is automated, except for land rates on the house we own). We just shuffle money back and forth between accounts once a fortnight or once a month as needed (bank apps on our phones make this very quick and easy).

I'm the equivalent of a CFO in our relationship. I set the short term and long term strategies for us as a couple and set the tasks that need to happen to enact the strategies. DH pulls his weight in doing some of the financial tasks and I keep him in the loop on the long term planning. I find the short and long term planning easy and intuitive to do; he doesn't. The split of the financial work works for us.

LawMustache

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #61 on: February 22, 2018, 06:17:20 AM »


Of course, my GF would want these expenses to be split 50/50, but I'm having a hard time agreeing as it would somewhat push back my FIRE date. OTOH, if I agree to share these expenses 50/50,  I don't want to be the one always trying to cut costs in things that solely pertain to her passion. And as we're talking about important expenses, I understand that she would want me to cut in... So I feel kind of stuck there, I don't know how to approach this situation.

What would you guys do with this?

Side info: we plan to spend our life together, no kids at the moment but it's in the plans.

So...from a purely practical advice perspective, there's no rule that says all things must be split 50/50, 100/0, or income based. You could talk through your reasoning with her re: property value vs active enjoyment of the amenities, and discuss what sounds like a fair split to both of you. Or if you're more concerned about being a "party pooper," you could agree that any upgrades you don't both find worthwhile, she will cover the difference). You could do a mix of both, eg 60/40 split and she covers "extras".

However, from a philosophical perspective...2 things. First, a wise person once told me, life is better when you live from a position of generosity...try to contribute 60%, rather than 50%, where relationships are concerned (esp effort, but can apply to money, too). Treat the extra 10% as an expression of love*. Second, you say home planning to have kids...how will that work, financially? Because figuring out the split now if you'll just pool your money later doesn't make much sense, and kid expenses seem to be something that pushes couples to pool resources more. So, from those two perspectives, I think if you can make peace with it (vs holding resentment), I think 50/50 is the better option...

*The more boring explanation for the "aim for 60%" rule is that we people can be terrible at gauging our contributions relative to others' (overvalue our own, neglect or discount the importance of what others do), so if both aim for 60, they might actually and up doing their full 50, if that makes sense...

Thx for your point of view! You bring up quite a valid point with the upcoming kids. I think the easiest solution to this will be to keep our split as it makes sense based on salary (50/50 for now, might go to 100/0 when GF gives birth) and mutually agree on important expenses and upgrades.

PoutineLover

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #62 on: February 22, 2018, 08:05:19 AM »
This is going to be a concern for me soon, as my partner and I have decided to move in together. Up until now we've gone basically back and forth or split on expenses together, like wine or dinners out, or weekends away. He tends to pick up the bill more at restaurants but I tend to cook more for us and it ends up being pretty equal. I currently pay more for my rent (850 all in), he has a good deal in a building owned by family (500 all in), so when we live together I'll probably save and he'll pay the same if we can find a place in that range (~1000 ideally). We earn similar amounts, but he has a few thousand left of student loans that he is paying off quickly, and if all goes well it should be pretty much gone by the time we move in together. We've talked about how to split bills and whether we want to use a joint account. I don't really want to pay for his loans, but I'm fine with covering a bit more bills in the beginning so he can pay them faster and avoid interest, since I'll be saving compared to my current situation anyway. We are planning to make this a forever thing, and if all goes well we will probably buy a place together and start a family, so then everything will be shared. We'll probably both take parental leave, so at one point or another one of us will cover all our costs. I can't plan too much in advance, but I'm doing my best to make sure we're on the same page financially so there are no unexpected surprises down the road.

caracarn

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #63 on: February 22, 2018, 12:28:54 PM »
The differing perspectives are interesting, but of the most interest are the variations one "we had always done it that way, so we just left it".

I on the other hand always looked at it as merging of two corporations.  We opened new accounts and moved everything into them and close the other ones.  We did not run His Inc. and Her Inc.  Made the books simpler after a little work, versus avoiding a little work and keeping track of what goes where forever. 

Sylly

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #64 on: February 22, 2018, 10:25:36 PM »
I didn't vote, because I didn't feel any of the options applied.

DH and I have separate accounts, except for joint brokerage account. Though I guess technically our separate accounts are "ours" as they're listed as part of our trust. We both keep track of our own accounts and handle our own retirement investments.

We split the fixed expenses roughly equally. Not sure if it still is. We don't split individual expenses -- rather, he takes care of some bills, I take care of others. Because we have different cards, I buy the groceries and he pays gas and restaurants. When we first moved in together, it was close to 50/50 (our income is probably 45/55). We keep saying we should 'rebalance', but neither of us really cares all that much because ultimately, it's all "our" money.

He can buy whatever he wants whenever he wants, and same with me. Fortunately, neither of us is a big spender, or much of a shopper, really. We generally know when the other is buying something. And we always discuss 'larger' items, and by that, I mean $100 is 'large'.

I think the most important thing isn't the details of  how the finances are managed, but that both people in the relationship are on the same page.

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2018, 02:14:14 AM »
We use the three pot system.  We each have our own accounts from which we have set up automatic payments to joint accounts to cover our mortgage payments and savings for specific joint goals.  Bills are all put on a joint credit card, which we each pay half of each month.

Everything left in our individual accounts is for us to spend/save as we wish. We each run our own savings accounts (in addition to the joint one for joint goals), which probably does complicate things a bit, but it suits us because while neither of us are particularly spendy we have very different risk tolerances and investment profiles, for example I'm currently investing into ETFs, while my husband is contributing to an investment in a forestry plantation and also tends to accumulate cash in his transaction account.

I track my own spending (including what my contributions to the joint expenses) and net worth, but he has zero interest in doing that. 

Ultimately it's not as "optimised" as if we had all of our money working MY way, but we both need to be comfortable with where we put our money, and our marriage is built on much more than just our investment philosophies :-)

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #66 on: February 24, 2018, 02:37:25 PM »
Just a thought for those with separate accounts that act as one big pot. My mum has been working towards making sure separate accounts have both partners/spouses names on them - even if they operate as just one person's account. All in case one of the spouses dies, that way the other spouse still has immediate legal access to it. (Of course, this all depends on the relationship.) But definitely something to keep in mind, to make that process easier if one spouse dies suddenly.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #67 on: February 24, 2018, 04:33:13 PM »
We have more of a hybrid approach.  In theory, it’s all one big pot, and we create the budget and longer-term plans/goals together.  But part of that pot goes directly into separate accounts as our personal fun money (my solution for him wanting to spend more and me wanting to save more).  And we both manage our own retirement accounts and investments and make our own decisions on that.  And finally, when we get bonuses, we talk about any big decisions (like if I want to throw money toward the mortgage, or he wants a new toy), but it would take a lot for me to say no to his decision, and vice-versa - bonus money just sort of “feels” like personal money, because it’s not part of the budget, and it is due to personal effort.  So on the one hand, it’s all “ours”; on the other, we each have a lot of autonomy over how we manage our part of it.

I'd say something like this. we both pay bills (e.g. his paycheck pays the mortgage, mine pays everything else). We both save separately for retirement & manage our own investments. There was no perfect voting option above, as we do track our finances together (on a spreadsheet) & know how much we have available as "family funds" at any given time. Also, aside from gift giving, we don't really keep fun money separate. When we bought a house, we both just dumped in all available funds. As we look at other financial goals, we will both contribute 100%. I make slightly more than my husband, but we are both high wage earners.

Imma

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #68 on: February 25, 2018, 02:52:19 AM »
Just a thought for those with separate accounts that act as one big pot. My mum has been working towards making sure separate accounts have both partners/spouses names on them - even if they operate as just one person's account. All in case one of the spouses dies, that way the other spouse still has immediate legal access to it. (Of course, this all depends on the relationship.) But definitely something to keep in mind, to make that process easier if one spouse dies suddenly.

I've been talking to my s/o about this. I'd like him to have access to my accounts (and vice versa) in case of emergency, and I'd like that to be arranged formally. Not just in case of death, but also in case of sudden illness etc. We know each other's pincodes so we could take out some cash if necessary, but that's it. He says I shouldn't worry about things that are unlikely to happen, but I think that's a stupid argument. We have fire insurance on our house as well that we'll probably never use. I'm not sure how many more times I should bring it up: I have way more easy-to-access funds than he does. He's the one who would get in trouble if something happened to me, not the other way round. He hates thinking about these doom scenarios, I just like to be prepared.

NorCal

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #69 on: February 25, 2018, 07:34:01 AM »
We kept finances separate when we first got married, and it worked well for us.  We each had an individual checking account for our own spending, and transferred $X/ month into a joint account for common expenses (rent, groceries, etc).  Non-retirement investments were pooled though.

As they say, kids change everything.  This arrangement become silly once kids were in the picture, so we consolidated into one single checking account. 

kimmarg

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #70 on: February 25, 2018, 06:11:29 PM »
When we first moved in together we opened a joint account and each contributed a set amount per month for fixed expenses (rent, utilities, food) and then retained our separate accounts for anything else. The system kept going for about a year after getting married. At that point we moved cross country for my job which left us needing a new bank and my spouse temporarily unemployed both of which pushed us to just merge to one account.

aspiringnomad

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #71 on: February 25, 2018, 07:22:58 PM »
Just a thought for those with separate accounts that act as one big pot. My mum has been working towards making sure separate accounts have both partners/spouses names on them - even if they operate as just one person's account. All in case one of the spouses dies, that way the other spouse still has immediate legal access to it. (Of course, this all depends on the relationship.) But definitely something to keep in mind, to make that process easier if one spouse dies suddenly.

I've been talking to my s/o about this. I'd like him to have access to my accounts (and vice versa) in case of emergency, and I'd like that to be arranged formally. Not just in case of death, but also in case of sudden illness etc. We know each other's pincodes so we could take out some cash if necessary, but that's it. He says I shouldn't worry about things that are unlikely to happen, but I think that's a stupid argument. We have fire insurance on our house as well that we'll probably never use. I'm not sure how many more times I should bring it up: I have way more easy-to-access funds than he does. He's the one who would get in trouble if something happened to me, not the other way round. He hates thinking about these doom scenarios, I just like to be prepared.

We keep all our finances separate except for one checking account, but we both have a durable power of attorney in place for each other. It's active, so that she can legally access all my accounts right now (even if I were to change the passwords) and vice versa, but you can set it up so that it's "springing" meaning it only becomes active in the case of your or your partner's incapacitation or death.

We set it up recently when we did our estate planning, but you don't need the full trust, will, etc. package just to do a durable power of attorney.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #72 on: February 26, 2018, 07:24:58 AM »
Just a thought for those with separate accounts that act as one big pot. My mum has been working towards making sure separate accounts have both partners/spouses names on them - even if they operate as just one person's account. All in case one of the spouses dies, that way the other spouse still has immediate legal access to it. (Of course, this all depends on the relationship.) But definitely something to keep in mind, to make that process easier if one spouse dies suddenly.

I've been talking to my s/o about this. I'd like him to have access to my accounts (and vice versa) in case of emergency, and I'd like that to be arranged formally. Not just in case of death, but also in case of sudden illness etc. We know each other's pincodes so we could take out some cash if necessary, but that's it. He says I shouldn't worry about things that are unlikely to happen, but I think that's a stupid argument. We have fire insurance on our house as well that we'll probably never use. I'm not sure how many more times I should bring it up: I have way more easy-to-access funds than he does. He's the one who would get in trouble if something happened to me, not the other way round. He hates thinking about these doom scenarios, I just like to be prepared.

We keep all our finances separate except for one checking account, but we both have a durable power of attorney in place for each other. It's active, so that she can legally access all my accounts right now (even if I were to change the passwords) and vice versa, but you can set it up so that it's "springing" meaning it only becomes active in the case of your or your partner's incapacitation or death.

We set it up recently when we did our estate planning, but you don't need the full trust, will, etc. package just to do a durable power of attorney.

It is likely different in Imma's country =) Although useful perspective for US users.

TVRodriguez

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #73 on: February 26, 2018, 11:57:23 AM »
Just a thought for those with separate accounts that act as one big pot. My mum has been working towards making sure separate accounts have both partners/spouses names on them - even if they operate as just one person's account. All in case one of the spouses dies, that way the other spouse still has immediate legal access to it. (Of course, this all depends on the relationship.) But definitely something to keep in mind, to make that process easier if one spouse dies suddenly.

I've been talking to my s/o about this. I'd like him to have access to my accounts (and vice versa) in case of emergency, and I'd like that to be arranged formally. Not just in case of death, but also in case of sudden illness etc. We know each other's pincodes so we could take out some cash if necessary, but that's it. He says I shouldn't worry about things that are unlikely to happen, but I think that's a stupid argument. We have fire insurance on our house as well that we'll probably never use. I'm not sure how many more times I should bring it up: I have way more easy-to-access funds than he does. He's the one who would get in trouble if something happened to me, not the other way round. He hates thinking about these doom scenarios, I just like to be prepared.

We keep all our finances separate except for one checking account, but we both have a durable power of attorney in place for each other. It's active, so that she can legally access all my accounts right now (even if I were to change the passwords) and vice versa, but you can set it up so that it's "springing" meaning it only becomes active in the case of your or your partner's incapacitation or death.

We set it up recently when we did our estate planning, but you don't need the full trust, will, etc. package just to do a durable power of attorney.

Please be aware that not all U.S. states allow springing powers anymore.  In my state, the law changed in 2011, and all durable powers of attorney are effective immediately upon signing.

aspiringnomad

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #74 on: February 26, 2018, 03:46:29 PM »
Thanks to the previous two posters for clarifying/pointing out both of those things - hadn’t realized either.

JuicyCrab

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #75 on: March 03, 2018, 06:47:01 PM »
We kept finances separate when we first got married, and it worked well for us.  We each had an individual checking account for our own spending, and transferred $X/ month into a joint account for common expenses (rent, groceries, etc).  Non-retirement investments were pooled though.

As they say, kids change everything.  This arrangement become silly once kids were in the picture, so we consolidated into one single checking account.

Amen to kids changing everything....

Myself and DW recently had a child with separate accounts, but after her getting into cashflow problems we finally merged.

It hasn't been smooth; as I'm very mustacheistic and she is very consumeristic. What advice could you pass along to help us with this transition? The biggest challenge we are facing is the way money is saved/spent as we have different values for things we want out of life currently (I'm wanting to save for FI, she wants to spend on cosmetics and fitness related expenses).

Kids do change everything.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 09:11:51 PM by JuicyCrab »

galliver

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #76 on: March 03, 2018, 07:17:42 PM »
We kept finances separate when we first got married, and it worked well for us.  We each had an individual checking account for our own spending, and transferred $X/ month into a joint account for common expenses (rent, groceries, etc).  Non-retirement investments were pooled though.

As they say, kids change everything.  This arrangement become silly once kids were in the picture, so we consolidated into one single checking account.

Amen to kids changing everything....

Myself and DW recently had a child with separate accounts, but after her getting into cashflow we finally merged.

It hasn't been smooth; as I'm very mustacheistic and she is very consumeristic. What advice could you pass along to help us with this transition? The biggest challenge we are facing is the way money is saved/spent as we have different values for things we want out of life currently (I'm wanting to save for FI, she wants to spend on cosmetics and fitness related expenses).

Kids do change everything.

First, recognize that both your feelings about wanting to reach financial independence and the security it entails, and her feelings about wanting to live up to a certain beauty standard are valid. We women are under a lot of pressure in the appearances department; admittedly some take it to heart more than others, but even I use more makeup than my bf (although I don't enjoy it or have fun with it; I just wear it for interviews, weddings, and the like). Appreciate the fact that she wants to stay beautiful and healthy for you, after having a baby (that's more re: fitness).

With that in mind, compromise and budget, possibly with his/hers/ours buckets or "allowances" (some people feel that word is juvenile but it's been applied to a lot more than just kids' pocket money...). You may have to back off your savings goals (you don't give a lot of info, but let's just guess 50% to 30% or something). She may have to keep her cosmetics/fitness expenses within certain bounds you both agree to. Maybe you get some of your own fun money; not that you *have* to spend it, but if it adds up to a sports car when you have a midlife crisis in 20 years, perhaps it will keep the peace to know it was exactly equal to her personal expenses over the years?

Talk. Discuss. Pitch your views as security for your family and freedom from the stress involved in being tied to a job; also recognize her feelings as valid and her needs/wants as deserving fulfillment, and whatever arrangement you come up with as maximizing the fulfillment of *both* your needs/wants/feelings.

StiffUpperLip

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #77 on: March 04, 2018, 04:32:00 AM »
We have joint finances overall and our own accounts into which our 'allowances' get paid. I manage all things money related, bar small individual purchases, because I have the interest and he's aware of his spendy-ness and feels it's best if we decide mutual goals upfront then I work out the roadmap to get us there.

I earn over double what DH brings in but this has never been a factor and we get the same allowance, I never manage to spend all of mine at any rate...

We've been together for over 14 years and have had this system since before we were married. We have two small children with childcare being a major joint cost at the moment.

NorCal

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #78 on: March 04, 2018, 10:51:28 AM »
We kept finances separate when we first got married, and it worked well for us.  We each had an individual checking account for our own spending, and transferred $X/ month into a joint account for common expenses (rent, groceries, etc).  Non-retirement investments were pooled though.

As they say, kids change everything.  This arrangement become silly once kids were in the picture, so we consolidated into one single checking account.

Amen to kids changing everything....

Myself and DW recently had a child with separate accounts, but after her getting into cashflow problems we finally merged.

It hasn't been smooth; as I'm very mustacheistic and she is very consumeristic. What advice could you pass along to help us with this transition? The biggest challenge we are facing is the way money is saved/spent as we have different values for things we want out of life currently (I'm wanting to save for FI, she wants to spend on cosmetics and fitness related expenses).

Kids do change everything.

We've had similar issues in the past, but are on a similar page now.  The key to working through it is coming to a shared understanding of what your long term priorities are.  FI is important, but HOW important?  Coming to a shared understanding on this is critical.

In my case, I would have been comfortable with FI at a paid-off house, and $35K in annual spend.  After considering my wife's priorities, we're closer to $55K.  In the end, she's still on-board with the end goal, but I have to be comfortable that the goal line is much further away.

mbl

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #79 on: March 05, 2018, 01:00:14 PM »
I don't fully understand the "subsidizing another's lifestyle" comments.  DH and I live together.  We share a lifestyle.

I thought I explained it in my post:  I own three horses that my husband has no interest in.  If I lost my job or took a 50% pay cut tomorrow, I would get rid of the horses or seriously cut back even if, based on household income "we could afford it."  Likewise, if my husband decided to change careers and take a big pay cut, I would still expect him to prioritize contributing to household expenses at the current level, and give up taking expensive ski trips (I don't ski).

I'm sure I'd feel a lot different if we had kids, and one partner earned substantially less as a career choice that allowed more time to take care of the home/children; kids change the equation substantially.

Gonna chime in here as a 33 year married couple....we split everything and shared expenses are 50/50 and go into a joint account.  All else is spent as each sees fit.
That also applies to how much we save/invest.

I'm also a horse owner and God help me I only have one  :).   
DH has not even a remote interest and I don't share his love for the many things he does.
That being said, horse ownership and riding are a lifestyle more than anything else.
And, just like taking care of children, have many care and health related costs....(horsepoor....I'm really not trying to make you cry here..:) )
And sometimes unexpected costs like injury, illness and good old colic...which usually occurs in the evening so everyone can be up all night...lots of fun can kick the costs up to the thousands for one incident.
I'm not even going to include equipment and other tack.

I wouldn't ever expect DH to contribute to this or any number of other things that are only interesting to me.
To say that our marriage is somehow questionable because we don't throw everything into one pot is silly.
We know what works for us based on our personalities and independent natures.
It worked when our kids were young and now it's been in place so long that there are even fewer debates on fiscal issues.


BTDretire

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Re: couples - shared expenses/income or split expenses
« Reply #80 on: March 05, 2018, 02:17:19 PM »
I choose, "it's all one big pot - I manage bills and investments, partner doesn't want to know or isn't interested"

 My wife pretty much set a frugul spending mentality when first married (37yrs), I adopted to it quickly and now I'm
more frugul than here. My wife has no interest in the investments although I try to let here know what's going on.
  I have kept her updated on our NW progress, but she showed no interest.
 At the end of 2017, I printed a note with our NW 3 months previous, the amount our NW increased in 3 months, and
our total NW. I did a reveal of each number and then last was our total NW, we went over $2M.
 I got a half hearted fist shake out of her.  :-)
She continues to work 70 hours a week, me, about 15. I only do that to give her a day off.