Author Topic: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?  (Read 4387 times)

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3416
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2021, 04:21:35 AM »
I feel that it makes no difference whatsoever whether or not we have joint accounts precisely because we do trust each other. Why bother with the complication of new accounts when we can just communicate regarding the accounts we already have? We created a joint account when it made sense for us, not when we signed off on the marriage certificate.

To me, insisting on joint accounts could just as easily be a way of keeping tabs on each other as a proof of trust. In reality, the important issue is that the partnership agree, not whether or not they perform a symbolic gesture that is only seen by their bank manager and people who receive a check with both names on it.

One of the earliest financial arrangements we came to involved him gifting me money for an IRA because when we split expenses my mortgage and utilities outweighed what he took on. Swoon, his first thought was to give me money to lock away for the future; he must really intend to stick around for it.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2021, 07:04:30 AM »
Your points make sense, but I have to say that the main reason I answered as I did was that OP is a week (now less) from getting married and they haven't figured this out yet. Instead of discussing it with their soon-to-be spouse, they have turned to this forum for advice. To be blunt, that's fucked up, which makes it very much a trust issue and a red flag of the highest order in my opinion.

I totally agree, and my main motivation in sharing so much detail was not primarily to argue with you or steve, but to demonstrate to OP how dynamic and complex an issue this is, and why communication is so important. All of the scenarios I described above could lead to divorce if the couples didn't have excellent alignment on money values.

Money is the main source of conflict in most marriages because literally every single life decision involves money, even if it's the absence of spending money.

So even though OP seems to have been scared off their own thread, hopefully they're still reading and getting a sense of the things that they should start talking about.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3416
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2021, 09:02:21 AM »
Your points make sense, but I have to say that the main reason I answered as I did was that OP is a week (now less) from getting married and they haven't figured this out yet. Instead of discussing it with their soon-to-be spouse, they have turned to this forum for advice. To be blunt, that's fucked up, which makes it very much a trust issue and a red flag of the highest order in my opinion.

I totally agree, and my main motivation in sharing so much detail was not primarily to argue with you or steve, but to demonstrate to OP how dynamic and complex an issue this is, and why communication is so important. All of the scenarios I described above could lead to divorce if the couples didn't have excellent alignment on money values.

Money is the main source of conflict in most marriages because literally every single life decision involves money, even if it's the absence of spending money.

So even though OP seems to have been scared off their own thread, hopefully they're still reading and getting a sense of the things that they should start talking about.

It is one of those things that folks got caught up in planning a wedding and forgot to plan at all for the marriage.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2021, 09:50:52 AM »
Your points make sense, but I have to say that the main reason I answered as I did was that OP is a week (now less) from getting married and they haven't figured this out yet. Instead of discussing it with their soon-to-be spouse, they have turned to this forum for advice. To be blunt, that's fucked up, which makes it very much a trust issue and a red flag of the highest order in my opinion.

I totally agree, and my main motivation in sharing so much detail was not primarily to argue with you or steve, but to demonstrate to OP how dynamic and complex an issue this is, and why communication is so important. All of the scenarios I described above could lead to divorce if the couples didn't have excellent alignment on money values.

Money is the main source of conflict in most marriages because literally every single life decision involves money, even if it's the absence of spending money.

So even though OP seems to have been scared off their own thread, hopefully they're still reading and getting a sense of the things that they should start talking about.

It is one of those things that folks got caught up in planning a wedding and forgot to plan at all for the marriage.

I think it's more that people don't know what they don't know. And it's hard to know what kind of financial issues can come up if you've never had reason to deal with it.

Most people don't talk about money openly because it's really easy to get away with not talking about it until you have to, but by the time you have to, you're in a crunch and have no basis of understanding upon which to discuss complex, often urgent matters.

I can't tell you how many people I've seen struggle to decide what to spend on buying a house, and they've never once talked about their long term financial goals in any kind of tangible way, so they just go on what they want and what the bank is willing to lend them.

This is how so many people end up in bad financial situations.

A radio poll in my city before covid revealed that couples admit to fighting about 3 times a week, almost entirely about money.

obstinate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #54 on: September 19, 2021, 11:01:10 AM »
Depends on your preferences. Even if you have separate checking accounts, in many states the contents of both are legally joint property. We found it simpler to be joint.

maisymouser

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 444
  • Age: 30
  • Location: NC
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2021, 11:38:04 AM »
Your points make sense, but I have to say that the main reason I answered as I did was that OP is a week (now less) from getting married and they haven't figured this out yet. Instead of discussing it with their soon-to-be spouse, they have turned to this forum for advice. To be blunt, that's fucked up, which makes it very much a trust issue and a red flag of the highest order in my opinion.

Agreed, though I don't think OP explicitly said that they *hadn't* discussed it, maybe OP is just looking for additional perspective.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 19257
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2021, 11:51:47 AM »
I think it's more that people don't know what they don't know. And it's hard to know what kind of financial issues can come up if you've never had reason to deal with it.

Most people don't talk about money openly because it's really easy to get away with not talking about it until you have to, but by the time you have to, you're in a crunch and have no basis of understanding upon which to discuss complex, often urgent matters.

I can't tell you how many people I've seen struggle to decide what to spend on buying a house, and they've never once talked about their long term financial goals in any kind of tangible way, so they just go on what they want and what the bank is willing to lend them.

This is how so many people end up in bad financial situations.

A radio poll in my city before covid revealed that couples admit to fighting about 3 times a week, almost entirely about money.

I'm not a huge fan of the Catholic church for a variety of reasons but was married in one largely to make things easier with my wife's super Catholic filipino family.  Credit where credit is due though - to get married we needed to complete a marriage course that directly forced us to discuss and answer a lot of questions (some uncomfortable) about money, family, expected roles after marriage, and children . . . and I think that going through that process would be a significant benefit to most married couples.  It was a great idea to get all that stuff out on the table and to make sure we were on the same page for it.

youngwildandfree

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 191
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #57 on: September 20, 2021, 06:46:06 AM »
We got married extremely young, and had neither money nor debt, so we brushed off the idea of prenups and dumped everything together in joint accounts. We have walked down the Yours, Mine, and Ours approach several times since then, but things inevitably keep getting mashed back together because our income and expenses have been wildly inconsistent over the years.

Sometimes checks arrive with both our names specified, and depositing them in anything besides a joint account requires both of us to show up at the bank in person with ID in hand. I understand it is a measure to protect the person that is on the check but not on the account. Still a pain in the ass.

Sometimes one of us will want to buy a surprise gift for the other and a joint account will spoil the surprise.

There are no wrong answers as long as you are on the same page. I will second that pre-marital counseling was great for us and in hindsight I wish we had done a longer course. Don't be afraid to hold off on signing official marriage documents until you have a chance to get on the same page about how to approach finances. Many people do the social ceremony/religious ceremony first and then spend a few weeks getting the paperwork in order.

Now that we have significantly more complex lives and finances neither of us would dream of getting remarried without a prenup. 

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1431
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2021, 07:03:21 AM »
I'm not officially married yet, but have been living with and sharing expenses with my common law spouse for several years. We each have our own accounts and we each pay different bills and use an app to work out each share of shared expenses, based on our incomes.

This works for us because we like having our own paychecks and personal expenses and investments, but household expenses are split according to our relative earning powers. We do have a shared credit card and we are on the same page about which type of expenses get paid jointly.

Maybe eventually we will combine finances further, but for now the system works so we haven't bothered to change it. We never argue about money because we are both aligned in our goals and talk about income /expenses /investments regularly.

soulpatchmike

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 122
  • Age: 46
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #59 on: September 20, 2021, 08:04:58 AM »
I think the overarching theme on whether or not to combine accounts is...it depends.

For me and my DW of 20+yrs, I took over her finances about 6 months before we got married.  Paid off her credit cards before we walked down the aisle.  She quit work to be a SAHM in 2002 and has been a single-room schoolhouse homeschool teacher for the past 16 yrs.  She probably would have a hard time knowing how to find our account number for the bank at this point and I know she doesn't know where the brokerage accounts are(even her own tIRA).  I have a FLOP(Financial Life on One Page) in our fire-safe in case something happens to me that I update annually.  She trusts me with finances and I don't give her a reason not to.  I wouldn't recommend this plan to anyone else unless it is what you and your spouse come up with together.  We decided early that what works best for us is to divide our specialties.  She specializes in the education of our children, is a master chef, and is the general household manager.  I specialize in financial management, home maintenance, and upgrades/changes to physical things.  Together we have fun and actively raise the kids.  It is not always sugar and spice and everything nice, but at the end of the day, we would never wish to trade our lives for anyone else's.

dcheesi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1131
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #60 on: September 20, 2021, 08:34:23 AM »
I would say it depends on the laws. Here banks can block a joint account as soon as one partner dies until it is clear who inherits the money. So worst case is your partner is dead and you can't pay the bills because you don't have access to the money.
Definitely look up the local laws and bank rules. My dad tried to set up separate accounts for him and my mom, based on a fear of this happening. As it turns out, there was no problem for the survivor to access the joint accounts, but that individual account was a pain (one of a very few assets in only his name, which collectively led to an estate needing to be established where otherwise everything went to mom automatically).

Scio5

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #61 on: September 20, 2021, 09:39:12 AM »
DH and I are team everything separate. No one goes into marriage *wanting* to get divorced, but we both know it's a statistical possibility. My parents are divorced. He had a first marriage that was able to be ended financially amicably (he kept his retirement accounts in exchange for paying alimony for a set period, etc.). I had a solo side business and a house with an ex-boyfriend that hadn't sold yet by the time DH and I got married, so we had a prenup to outline that these sources of money were mine and not shared, and that our different retirement accounts are separate as well. My ex-BF was financially controlling, so having "my" money without someone else reviewing and judging my spending is important to me.

On the outside it probably looks like, financially, we're just room mates splitting rent, but we do absolutely have frequent talks about money and savings and the future and are on the same page. This system might not work for couples with big differences in debt or income, etc. We have password access to each other's accounts if we really need them, and we are the beneficiaries on each other's bank and retirement accounts. We may merge things down the line more if/when we buy a house or other life circumstances change (like one person losing income before FIRE).

But like others have said, your mileage may vary and you should be having these discussions with your soon-to-be-spouse! Just wanted to chime in with an example of why some couples might keep things separate.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2021, 09:44:12 AM »
DH and I are team everything separate. No one goes into marriage *wanting* to get divorced, but we both know it's a statistical possibility. My parents are divorced. He had a first marriage that was able to be ended financially amicably (he kept his retirement accounts in exchange for paying alimony for a set period, etc.). I had a solo side business and a house with an ex-boyfriend that hadn't sold yet by the time DH and I got married, so we had a prenup to outline that these sources of money were mine and not shared, and that our different retirement accounts are separate as well. My ex-BF was financially controlling, so having "my" money without someone else reviewing and judging my spending is important to me.

On the outside it probably looks like, financially, we're just room mates splitting rent, but we do absolutely have frequent talks about money and savings and the future and are on the same page. This system might not work for couples with big differences in debt or income, etc. We have password access to each other's accounts if we really need them, and we are the beneficiaries on each other's bank and retirement accounts. We may merge things down the line more if/when we buy a house or other life circumstances change (like one person losing income before FIRE).

But like others have said, your mileage may vary and you should be having these discussions with your soon-to-be-spouse! Just wanted to chime in with an example of why some couples might keep things separate.

This really drives home the point that I try to make, that separate finances are basically meaningless and can be downright dangerous without a matching prenup.

So many people have separate finances as a way of just avoiding dealing with difficult money conversations. They just keep things separate, work out a ratio of expenses to contribute, and leave it at that thinking that that's fair, equitable, and safe.

But the truth is, unless you have a prenup, then that just keeps you blind to half of what's happening in your financial world. Because the law doesn't give a rat's ass what the couple thought was fair back when they got along well.

davisgang90

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
  • Location: Roanoke, VA
    • Photography by Rich Davis
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2021, 10:50:56 AM »
My wife and I have always had a joint account. We each get an allowance to our own account we can spend however we want, otherwise, any big purchases get discussed.

It's worked for us for 30 years so far.

CNM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 629
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2021, 12:28:47 PM »
My spouse and I have 2 joint checking accounts.  We have 2 because each person is in the one primarily in charge of a certain account and certain joint expenses come out of one account versus another, based on who is primarily in charge of paying what. It is a wacky system and one that we will probably change soon for simplicity's sake to one big account. 

It is the way it is because it evolved over a long period of time as we were together and cohabitating for many years before we got married. And, the time we opened the accounts they were interest bearing, but only up to a certain amount, and we had too much cash for one account to maximize the interest at that time, so we opened up two.



PDXTabs

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3620
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #65 on: September 20, 2021, 06:24:51 PM »
There is some evidence that joint finances correlate with happier couples: Joint Bank Accounts Make for Happier Couples, UCLA Anderson Review

With that said I did it once and I would never do it again. I prefer a hybrid model with some separate and some joint finances. But my preferences don't dictate what you do in your marriage. I also prefer an iron-clad premarital agreement, but most Americans don't have one of those.

PDXTabs

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3620
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #66 on: September 20, 2021, 06:29:09 PM »
But the truth is, unless you have a prenup, then that just keeps you blind to half of what's happening in your financial world. Because the law doesn't give a rat's ass what the couple thought was fair back when they got along well.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice: but in non-community property states it can make some difference when it comes time to divorce. That is, a judge very well may look at commingling all your finances as having meant something and commingling almost nothing as something else.


Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2021, 06:40:04 PM »
There is some evidence that joint finances correlate with happier couples: Joint Bank Accounts Make for Happier Couples, UCLA Anderson Review

With that said I did it once and I would never do it again. I prefer a hybrid model with some separate and some joint finances. But my preferences don't dictate what you do in your marriage. I also prefer an iron-clad premarital agreement, but most Americans don't have one of those.

That article specifies that it's the general pooling of resources that matters, not the structure of the specific accounts.

So your preference may actually fit with that if you see all of your resources as pooled, but each person gets a private amount that they can control and spend as they see fit.

Truly separate finances is where nothing is pooled. The money earned by each partner remains the property of that partner, and each partner contributes to the bills according to a preset arrangement, and the remainder of their money is theirs to do with as they see fit. This requires a prenup for it to be safe, because otherwise one partner is totally blind to what the other is doing, and if one partner saves all of their money and the other accrues debt, then the courts will just even it all out in the end.

Other couples see resources as pooled, but each like to retain a private allowance. For some this amount is equal, for others it's proportional to what they earn. The rest constitute pooled assets and gets managed collectively. In this arrangement, what's happening in terms of allotment of money is transparent, it's just the spending details of the allowance that are separate and private.

Then some people like DH and I pool everything, all money belongs to both parties, all spending is agreed to. Everything is transparent.

Any of the above can be done with any combination of separate or joint accounts. The arrangement of names on the accounts isn't what matters, it's the perception of who the money belongs to that really matters.

Fire2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: LA LA Land
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2021, 12:21:37 PM »
OP hasn't been back, so I'm not going to feel bad for highjacking this thread.  I had a little snit fit/ knee jerk reaction to this thread and thankfully deleted it, once I got over myself.

But now I honesty want to ask.

Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

We keep our finances totally separate.  I like knowing that I'm doing this thing together, but also as individuals. I'm a big fan of the two trees in a forest thing, together but as individuals. (yes I've read the research on tree symbiosis, but the metaphor still works, lol)

My partner and I talk about money a lot, a lot a lot.  I love to talk about my FIRE plans and go on and on.  I convinced him that he had more than enough to FIRE 4ish years ago.  He was grateful to have my support and to give him the push he needed to not OMY.  I'll fire end of 2025.

What am I missing that we would get from pooling?

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2021, 12:45:25 PM »
OP hasn't been back, so I'm not going to feel bad for highjacking this thread.  I had a little snit fit/ knee jerk reaction to this thread and thankfully deleted it, once I got over myself.

But now I honesty want to ask.

Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

We keep our finances totally separate.  I like knowing that I'm doing this thing together, but also as individuals. I'm a big fan of the two trees in a forest thing, together but as individuals. (yes I've read the research on tree symbiosis, but the metaphor still works, lol)

My partner and I talk about money a lot, a lot a lot.  I love to talk about my FIRE plans and go on and on.  I convinced him that he had more than enough to FIRE 4ish years ago.  He was grateful to have my support and to give him the push he needed to not OMY.  I'll fire end of 2025.

What am I missing that we would get from pooling?

Pooling, to a certain degree, by default matches the laws as they apply to marriage.

If you want to keep things separate, your arrangement is in opposition to most jurisdiction's marriage laws, so you need to customize those laws with a prenup to make a separate finances situation safe and reasonable.

Otherwise, as I have said repeatedly in this thread, separate finances are INCREDIBLY dangerous, as it leaves each person totally blind to what's happening in half of the financial affairs of their own legal financial entity.

This would be like two business partners running different departments and acting like each is a separate company when in fact, they're one legal financial entity. One side can take both sides down.

If you want to operate as separate financial entities within a contract that is designed *not* to work that way, then you have to customize that contract.

That tends to be a lot more work and hassle. Hence why it's not the default.

Also, the VAST majority of people who keep separate finances do so to avoid talking about money. So the behaviour tends to correlate with poor financial relations while also dramatically raising risk.

It's GREAT that separate finances works for your marriage, but I don't think the generally judgement against it has anything to do with couples like you and your spouse.

It has to do with the overwhelming number of people out there who avoid talking about money at all costs, and who actively hide their personal finances from their partner, which is far, FAR more common than your situation.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4546
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2021, 01:09:54 PM »
OP hasn't been back, so I'm not going to feel bad for highjacking this thread.  I had a little snit fit/ knee jerk reaction to this thread and thankfully deleted it, once I got over myself.

But now I honesty want to ask.

Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

We keep our finances totally separate.  I like knowing that I'm doing this thing together, but also as individuals. I'm a big fan of the two trees in a forest thing, together but as individuals. (yes I've read the research on tree symbiosis, but the metaphor still works, lol)

My partner and I talk about money a lot, a lot a lot.  I love to talk about my FIRE plans and go on and on.  I convinced him that he had more than enough to FIRE 4ish years ago.  He was grateful to have my support and to give him the push he needed to not OMY.  I'll fire end of 2025.

What am I missing that we would get from pooling?

I justified pooling and I don't think separate needs to justify anything.  But when people are considering separate--in whatever form--I do generally ask what their reasoning is, only because depending on that answer, separate may or may not do anything.  If they are keeping things separate in the hopes of not having to deal with a messy divorce or 'losing' their money to a spouse, then it's probably pointless.  If they aren't doing a prenup, it probably doesn't matter if partner A's pay check goes into an account with only A's name on it.  If they divorce, it most likely won't matter. 

And if they are doing it so they don't have to talk about money, or as a way of dealing with entirely different spending styles and without any additional agreements  because they think that it won't matter if one person spends more since they have "their money", then I'd also point out that it is unlikely to work.  Because in the end, there is going to be a vacation to agree on when one wants 14 days five star in Monaco, and the other wants a 4 day camping trip. 
 
In other words, I think many times the *reasons* people do separate are actually not going to be accomplished by keeping money separate.

If they are doing it for the purposes of ease of bills or for privacy, then cool beans. 

Fire2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: LA LA Land
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2021, 01:10:43 PM »
OP hasn't been back, so I'm not going to feel bad for highjacking this thread.  I had a little snit fit/ knee jerk reaction to this thread and thankfully deleted it, once I got over myself.

But now I honesty want to ask.

Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

We keep our finances totally separate.  I like knowing that I'm doing this thing together, but also as individuals. I'm a big fan of the two trees in a forest thing, together but as individuals. (yes I've read the research on tree symbiosis, but the metaphor still works, lol)

My partner and I talk about money a lot, a lot a lot.  I love to talk about my FIRE plans and go on and on.  I convinced him that he had more than enough to FIRE 4ish years ago.  He was grateful to have my support and to give him the push he needed to not OMY.  I'll fire end of 2025.

What am I missing that we would get from pooling?

Pooling, to a certain degree, by default matches the laws as they apply to marriage.

If you want to keep things separate, your arrangement is in opposition to most jurisdiction's marriage laws, so you need to customize those laws with a prenup to make a separate finances situation safe and reasonable.

Otherwise, as I have said repeatedly in this thread, separate finances are INCREDIBLY dangerous, as it leaves each person totally blind to what's happening in half of the financial affairs of their own legal financial entity.

This would be like two business partners running different departments and acting like each is a separate company when in fact, they're one legal financial entity. One side can take both sides down.

If you want to operate as separate financial entities within a contract that is designed *not* to work that way, then you have to customize that contract.

That tends to be a lot more work and hassle. Hence why it's not the default.

Also, the VAST majority of people who keep separate finances do so to avoid talking about money. So the behaviour tends to correlate with poor financial relations while also dramatically raising risk.

It's GREAT that separate finances works for your marriage, but I don't think the generally judgement against it has anything to do with couples like you and your spouse.

It has to do with the overwhelming number of people out there who avoid talking about money at all costs, and who actively hide their personal finances from their partner, which is far, FAR more common than your situation.

We aren't legally married, but we've been together 20+ years.  Weird works for us I guess.

Okay, I see were everyone is coming from, pooled is shorthand for on the same page.  And separate implies that the couple is not in communication about finances.

This is why it's so important to ask questions, and not go all snit fit.  Talking to myself here.  Thank you so much for the reply.

In my mind the shorthand works the other way.  I have known so many women, of my age and older, who's partners did all the money stuff.  Everything was pooled and when the shit hit the fan, they had no idea what hit them.  This was not always relationship ending or at the end, but it was always difficult and scary for them.

I totally agree with any and all points about knowing the legal ramifications of your actions, so you can protect your wishes, outside of the legal "norms".

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2426
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2021, 01:21:26 PM »
It probably wouldn't benefit you to pool, given what you said. But many young couples get married with very little of their own assets in community property. So having separate finances in that situation isn't really separate so why pretend that it is?  In my experience many couples have one person who is financial-minded and one who is less invested or interested in tracking finances.
So it can help to have one person oversee the financial big picture, which is easier with joint accounts and central access. Neither person is less an adult or contributor to the financial situation because everything is pooled. I think it's fairly pragmatic, and makes sense if you're working toward FIRE as a couple, have kids, and/or your incomes are not similar.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2021, 01:33:21 PM »
OP hasn't been back, so I'm not going to feel bad for highjacking this thread.  I had a little snit fit/ knee jerk reaction to this thread and thankfully deleted it, once I got over myself.

But now I honesty want to ask.

Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

We keep our finances totally separate.  I like knowing that I'm doing this thing together, but also as individuals. I'm a big fan of the two trees in a forest thing, together but as individuals. (yes I've read the research on tree symbiosis, but the metaphor still works, lol)

My partner and I talk about money a lot, a lot a lot.  I love to talk about my FIRE plans and go on and on.  I convinced him that he had more than enough to FIRE 4ish years ago.  He was grateful to have my support and to give him the push he needed to not OMY.  I'll fire end of 2025.

What am I missing that we would get from pooling?

Pooling, to a certain degree, by default matches the laws as they apply to marriage.

If you want to keep things separate, your arrangement is in opposition to most jurisdiction's marriage laws, so you need to customize those laws with a prenup to make a separate finances situation safe and reasonable.

Otherwise, as I have said repeatedly in this thread, separate finances are INCREDIBLY dangerous, as it leaves each person totally blind to what's happening in half of the financial affairs of their own legal financial entity.

This would be like two business partners running different departments and acting like each is a separate company when in fact, they're one legal financial entity. One side can take both sides down.

If you want to operate as separate financial entities within a contract that is designed *not* to work that way, then you have to customize that contract.

That tends to be a lot more work and hassle. Hence why it's not the default.

Also, the VAST majority of people who keep separate finances do so to avoid talking about money. So the behaviour tends to correlate with poor financial relations while also dramatically raising risk.

It's GREAT that separate finances works for your marriage, but I don't think the generally judgement against it has anything to do with couples like you and your spouse.

It has to do with the overwhelming number of people out there who avoid talking about money at all costs, and who actively hide their personal finances from their partner, which is far, FAR more common than your situation.

We aren't legally married, but we've been together 20+ years.  Weird works for us I guess.

Okay, I see were everyone is coming from, pooled is shorthand for on the same page.  And separate implies that the couple is not in communication about finances.

This is why it's so important to ask questions, and not go all snit fit.  Talking to myself here.  Thank you so much for the reply.

In my mind the shorthand works the other way.  I have known so many women, of my age and older, who's partners did all the money stuff.  Everything was pooled and when the shit hit the fan, they had no idea what hit them.  This was not always relationship ending or at the end, but it was always difficult and scary for them.

I totally agree with any and all points about knowing the legal ramifications of your actions, so you can protect your wishes, outside of the legal "norms".

No, pooled means resources are shared, separate means resources are separate.

But you are absolutely right, pooling resources can be very dangerous if one partner is basically just taking the other person's money and controlling it. It's still in line with the law though, because all of the money is still a shared pool of assets, and would be split evenly in a divorce. But yes, any approach where one or both partners are blind to all or half of the finances is extremely high risk.

If you aren't married, then different laws apply to you.
Also, it's not weird that it works for you, it just happens to be what works for you after discussing your finances in detail.

You asked why pooled is the default though, and I explained it.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 01:36:53 PM by Malcat »

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 19257
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #74 on: September 21, 2021, 01:38:24 PM »
Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

I view marriage as a sharing/merging of my life with that of my wife.  Marriage is when you stop being an individual and become a couple.  We share a home, a bed, responsibilities around the house, duties raising our child, our thoughts/feelings, etc.  Pooling money seems like the "of course" thing to do because we share everything.

With pooled accounts, if my wife wants to buy something she buys it.  If I want to buy something I buy it.  We plan our spending based upon our shared plans for the future though . . . so spending by either of us takes that into account.  We both have full access to all accounts.  If a bill comes, it's paid from our shared accounts.  If we have extra money kicking around, then one of us will invest it according to the investment policy we've been following for the last two decades.  We rarely talk or think about money issues these days though, and I don't think we've ever argued about finances.

Fire2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: LA LA Land
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #75 on: September 21, 2021, 01:47:16 PM »
OP hasn't been back, so I'm not going to feel bad for highjacking this thread.  I had a little snit fit/ knee jerk reaction to this thread and thankfully deleted it, once I got over myself.

But now I honesty want to ask.

Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

We keep our finances totally separate.  I like knowing that I'm doing this thing together, but also as individuals. I'm a big fan of the two trees in a forest thing, together but as individuals. (yes I've read the research on tree symbiosis, but the metaphor still works, lol)

My partner and I talk about money a lot, a lot a lot.  I love to talk about my FIRE plans and go on and on.  I convinced him that he had more than enough to FIRE 4ish years ago.  He was grateful to have my support and to give him the push he needed to not OMY.  I'll fire end of 2025.

What am I missing that we would get from pooling?

Pooling, to a certain degree, by default matches the laws as they apply to marriage.

If you want to keep things separate, your arrangement is in opposition to most jurisdiction's marriage laws, so you need to customize those laws with a prenup to make a separate finances situation safe and reasonable.

Otherwise, as I have said repeatedly in this thread, separate finances are INCREDIBLY dangerous, as it leaves each person totally blind to what's happening in half of the financial affairs of their own legal financial entity.

This would be like two business partners running different departments and acting like each is a separate company when in fact, they're one legal financial entity. One side can take both sides down.

If you want to operate as separate financial entities within a contract that is designed *not* to work that way, then you have to customize that contract.

That tends to be a lot more work and hassle. Hence why it's not the default.

Also, the VAST majority of people who keep separate finances do so to avoid talking about money. So the behaviour tends to correlate with poor financial relations while also dramatically raising risk.

It's GREAT that separate finances works for your marriage, but I don't think the generally judgement against it has anything to do with couples like you and your spouse.

It has to do with the overwhelming number of people out there who avoid talking about money at all costs, and who actively hide their personal finances from their partner, which is far, FAR more common than your situation.

We aren't legally married, but we've been together 20+ years.  Weird works for us I guess.

Okay, I see were everyone is coming from, pooled is shorthand for on the same page.  And separate implies that the couple is not in communication about finances.

This is why it's so important to ask questions, and not go all snit fit.  Talking to myself here.  Thank you so much for the reply.

In my mind the shorthand works the other way.  I have known so many women, of my age and older, who's partners did all the money stuff.  Everything was pooled and when the shit hit the fan, they had no idea what hit them.  This was not always relationship ending or at the end, but it was always difficult and scary for them.

I totally agree with any and all points about knowing the legal ramifications of your actions, so you can protect your wishes, outside of the legal "norms".

No, pooled means resources are shared, separate means resources are separate.

But you are absolutely right, pooling resources can be very dangerous if one partner is basically just taking the other person's money and controlling it. It's still in line with the law though, because all of the money is still a shared pool of assets, and would be split evenly in a divorce.

If you aren't married, then different laws apply to you.
Also, it's not weird that it works for you, it just happens to be what works for you after discussing your finances in detail.

You asked why pooled is the default though, and I explained it.

I totally understand the pooling means sharing.  I was more interested in the assumptions that come with saying pooling vs separate and why I had my reaction vs, what is really being said by the assumptions of others using those same terms.

Also, the VAST majority of people who keep separate finances do so to avoid talking about money. So the behaviour tends to correlate with poor financial relations while also dramatically raising risk.

As for the law, we live in CA, long term couples with regard to assets are treated a little funky here.  But we are fine that the legal understanding and our practical handling of finances may be a miss match, but this will not negatively effect either of us.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #76 on: September 21, 2021, 01:52:08 PM »

As for the law, we live in CA, long term couples with regard to assets are treated a little funky here.  But we are fine that the legal understanding and our practical handling of finances may be a miss match, but this will not negatively effect either of us.

As long as you are informed and comfortable with the risk of a mismatch with the law, and understand that in the event of a divorce, that your assets may be split totally differently than they were during the relationship, then that's fine, that just means that you have risk assessed your particular situation and accepted it.

Most people have no fucking clue as to what contract they're signing when they get married. None.

Christof

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Germany
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #77 on: September 21, 2021, 01:54:23 PM »
In Germany our tax code does not know anything like ‘our money’. Each partner has their own taxable income. Money hitting a joint account that is not used for basic cost of living is technically a gift to the other partner. As such it is subject to reporting regulations and gift tax once you exceed the deductible.

Fire2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: LA LA Land
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #78 on: September 21, 2021, 02:05:54 PM »
Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

I view marriage as a sharing/merging of my life with that of my wife.  Marriage is when you stop being an individual and become a couple.  We share a home, a bed, responsibilities around the house, duties raising our child, our thoughts/feelings, etc.  Pooling money seems like the "of course" thing to do because we share everything.

With pooled accounts, if my wife wants to buy something she buys it.  If I want to buy something I buy it.  We plan our spending based upon our shared plans for the future though . . . so spending by either of us takes that into account.  We both have full access to all accounts.  If a bill comes, it's paid from our shared accounts.  If we have extra money kicking around, then one of us will invest it according to the investment policy we've been following for the last two decades.  We rarely talk or think about money issues these days though, and I don't think we've ever argued about finances.

GuitarStv, I really like this description of a relationship.  Shared responsibility equals a shared life, but the merge part is were I guess I'm not as all in.  We're similar on the sharing responsibility, but it's just worked for us to keep the money stuff totally separate.  We even paid for our house very differently.  SO paid his half in cash and I have a mortgage.  He does have to sign papers saying he knows I have taken a mortgage on the house.  But the mortgage is only in my name. 

We've also never had an argument about money in our 20+ years together.  Even when I try to, with my latest refi, I asked him to try to talk me out of it, to see if his debt aversion strategics would be more helpful to me than my own assumptions.  In the end he sided with me and said he thought the refi was a good idea, given my risk tolerance and investment strategy. 

Thank you for responding, I really appreciate everyones engagement.  It really helps me see the pooled point of view as the "assumptive choice" from your angle.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #79 on: September 21, 2021, 02:07:14 PM »
In Germany our tax code does not know anything like ‘our money’. Each partner has their own taxable income. Money hitting a joint account that is not used for basic cost of living is technically a gift to the other partner. As such it is subject to reporting regulations and gift tax once you exceed the deductible.

So in the event of divorce, there's no equalization of assets? How is housing treated?

Fire2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: LA LA Land
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #80 on: September 21, 2021, 02:12:01 PM »
In Germany our tax code does not know anything like ‘our money’. Each partner has their own taxable income. Money hitting a joint account that is not used for basic cost of living is technically a gift to the other partner. As such it is subject to reporting regulations and gift tax once you exceed the deductible.

Wow, that is so interesting.  So the entire system is based on the concept of separate money.  I feel a fall down the German monetary system rabbit whole in my future.

Thank you for posting this.  I really appreciate this perspective.  Both legally and societally.  I'm so used to the legal definition, that has been a part of this thread, being normative.

youngwildandfree

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 191
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #81 on: September 21, 2021, 02:16:04 PM »
Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

I view marriage as a sharing/merging of my life with that of my wife.  Marriage is when you stop being an individual and become a couple.  We share a home, a bed, responsibilities around the house, duties raising our child, our thoughts/feelings, etc.  Pooling money seems like the "of course" thing to do because we share everything.

With pooled accounts, if my wife wants to buy something she buys it.  If I want to buy something I buy it.  We plan our spending based upon our shared plans for the future though . . . so spending by either of us takes that into account.  We both have full access to all accounts.  If a bill comes, it's paid from our shared accounts.  If we have extra money kicking around, then one of us will invest it according to the investment policy we've been following for the last two decades.  We rarely talk or think about money issues these days though, and I don't think we've ever argued about finances.

GuitarStv, I really like this description of a relationship.  Shared responsibility equals a shared life, but the merge part is were I guess I'm not as all in.  We're similar on the sharing responsibility, but it's just worked for us to keep the money stuff totally separate.  We even paid for our house very differently.  SO paid his half in cash and I have a mortgage.  He does have to sign papers saying he knows I have taken a mortgage on the house.  But the mortgage is only in my name. 

We've also never had an argument about money in our 20+ years together.  Even when I try to, with my latest refi, I asked him to try to talk me out of it, to see if his debt aversion strategics would be more helpful to me than my own assumptions.  In the end he sided with me and said he thought the refi was a good idea, given my risk tolerance and investment strategy. 

Thank you for responding, I really appreciate everyones engagement.  It really helps me see the pooled point of view as the "assumptive choice" from your angle.

But see, it really has less to do with what we feel and more to do with how the government views it. I also have a mortgage only in my name, but if we got divorced half of the net worth on that house belongs to my spouse. It doesn't matter at all how we have the financing set up. I also have one bank account that is only in my name because I set it up wrong. My spouse has the password, but cannot withdraw money from it at present. In the event of death or divorce that money still legally belongs to my spouse.

Christof

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Germany
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #82 on: September 21, 2021, 02:37:00 PM »
So in the event of divorce, there's no equalization of assets? How is housing treated?

In Germany every person has their own income and their own assets. You only ever are liable for your partners debt, if you co-signed a contract, thereby turning it into joint debt, so usually only new debt like a joint mortgage.

In case of a divorce the default is to look at each partners net worth when they married and when they filed for divorce including pensions rights or other future payments. The difference in gains during marriage is then split in half. The person who gained more has to compensate the other to make up for the difference. You can contractually define something else, but that arrangement has to be fair for both.

With houses you usually own an unspecified half of the house. That is, you have the same rights of living there as your partner and you will get 50% if the house is ever sold. During a divorce, the partners either agree on who is living in the house which means technically they buy the half from their former partner or the house is either sold or auctioned off and the proceedings are shared equally.

Christof

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Germany
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #83 on: September 21, 2021, 02:57:38 PM »
Wow, that is so interesting.  So the entire system is based on the concept of separate money.  I feel a fall down the German monetary system rabbit whole in my future.

In people's day to day life it probably doesn't make a lot of differences. We have couples with joint accounts and couples with separate accounts. Separate accounts are probably more common than in the US, but joint accounts are still pretty common.

Most people spend a lot of their income on everyday purchases and therefore never get close to paying gift taxes. For married couples the deduction is 500,000 Euros every 10 years. It's more likely to be an issue for unmarried couples at 20,000 every ten years. It's only the legal default that to me appears to be different from the US.

Things like this become an issue if you either already own more than the average, or if you are hit by an "unexpected" event like divorce, death (gift tax and inheritance tax share the deductible) or a tax audit. I put unexpected in quotes, because they aren't rare, people just don't consider them until they happen or just don't know about these issues.

Fire2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: LA LA Land
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #84 on: September 21, 2021, 03:26:32 PM »
Why is pooling the "of course" and separate the "but why" choice?  I've never seen separate as something to justify, or fix, or like we're doing something sub-optimal.  I also don't see it as a choice that's about how we would divid things at the possible ending, but as the choice we made during the doing.  But will pooling our money really make us a happier couple?  My main goal for FIRE is to increase my happiness, so maybe I've been looking at this wrong?

I view marriage as a sharing/merging of my life with that of my wife.  Marriage is when you stop being an individual and become a couple.  We share a home, a bed, responsibilities around the house, duties raising our child, our thoughts/feelings, etc.  Pooling money seems like the "of course" thing to do because we share everything.

With pooled accounts, if my wife wants to buy something she buys it.  If I want to buy something I buy it.  We plan our spending based upon our shared plans for the future though . . . so spending by either of us takes that into account.  We both have full access to all accounts.  If a bill comes, it's paid from our shared accounts.  If we have extra money kicking around, then one of us will invest it according to the investment policy we've been following for the last two decades.  We rarely talk or think about money issues these days though, and I don't think we've ever argued about finances.

GuitarStv, I really like this description of a relationship.  Shared responsibility equals a shared life, but the merge part is were I guess I'm not as all in.  We're similar on the sharing responsibility, but it's just worked for us to keep the money stuff totally separate.  We even paid for our house very differently.  SO paid his half in cash and I have a mortgage.  He does have to sign papers saying he knows I have taken a mortgage on the house.  But the mortgage is only in my name. 

We've also never had an argument about money in our 20+ years together.  Even when I try to, with my latest refi, I asked him to try to talk me out of it, to see if his debt aversion strategics would be more helpful to me than my own assumptions.  In the end he sided with me and said he thought the refi was a good idea, given my risk tolerance and investment strategy. 

Thank you for responding, I really appreciate everyones engagement.  It really helps me see the pooled point of view as the "assumptive choice" from your angle.

But see, it really has less to do with what we feel and more to do with how the government views it. I also have a mortgage only in my name, but if we got divorced half of the net worth on that house belongs to my spouse. It doesn't matter at all how we have the financing set up. I also have one bank account that is only in my name because I set it up wrong. My spouse has the password, but cannot withdraw money from it at present. In the event of death or divorce that money still legally belongs to my spouse.

I think it has everthing to do with how we feel during the actual "living" of our relationship.  So you plan for how the government views it, but we live in a way that works for us.

For our house, I have enough other assets to cover my mortgage, when I didn't, I had life insurance to cover the difference.  If I die, my partner will get our house without debt.  If we end our relationship, he and I understand that the house has a mortgage, attached to its value, and this will effect division of assets.

mspym

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5727
  • Location: Downunder
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #85 on: September 21, 2021, 04:14:27 PM »
Side benefits of separate finances
- both of us being responsible for some of the bills keeps both of us engaged in the household finances. I think if it was merged, then it would be very likely that one of us would take over doing all of the work and it would be easy for the other to let them. This way, not only do both of us stay active in our finances, the chore of Paying Bills remains evenly split.
- risk management. No one wants to think a partner could be financially abusive but it happens and 'having open conversations pre-marriage' is not a surefire way to avoid this. Each of you having sole access to a pool of money can provide the ability to escape an intolerable situation and live while a fair and equitable split of the marital resources is in train.

Dreamer40

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #86 on: September 22, 2021, 03:50:07 PM »
We have only joint accounts. We have individual monthly budgets for our own hobby money, but it doesn’t actually go to separate accounts. We just keep track of who has how much left with our budget software.

I don’t really get the “two becomes one” language. We don’t share finances because we think we’re the same person. It’s because we’re on the same economic team. People have all kinds of complicated lives so different financial arrangements can make sense. But I’d definitely get on the same page about this before agreeing to get married to someone.

Geppetto

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #87 on: September 23, 2021, 03:35:09 AM »
Lots of different flavors of marriage being discussed here.

For anyone just starting out, especially if you expect to have kids, a few words of hard-earned advice:

Get married broke if possible. Meaning, early enough in life to build a life together from the ground up.

Combine your broke-ass finances. Fully and immediately the day you get married.

By doing so, you’ll force yourselves to confront (sometime in the first couple of years of marriage) whatever financial pathologies you are each bringing along with you. Which you are. Work hard to address these and to establish total transparency.

If part of the permanent arrangement ends up involving no-questions-asked “blowoff” spending, fine, if it’s in the budget.

Somebody said the German government doesn’t recognize combined marital finances. With all due regard for Teutonic achievements, it’ll be another few centuries before I’ll be ready to consider the government of Germany a suitable resource for humane values.

The combined wisdom of humanity, on the other hand, over millennia, is that marriage should be a covenantal and permanent union in which the contracting parties and the broader community all have vested interests. How you handle money as a family should represent what you think you’re doing overall. If your view of marriage is a private lifestyle accoutrement, then keep your money separate and have a good time, but you ought to avoid having children because you are operating as an individual consumer which is not a fit mindset for a parent. If you understand marriage covenantally, then your finances should be stewarded in service of the long range purposes of that union. Meaning not only combined, but the whole concept of “my money” goes out the window.

My extremely judgmental (and empirical) view of the matter.


MikeJones2001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #88 on: September 23, 2021, 03:04:23 PM »
Lots of different flavors of marriage being discussed here.

For anyone just starting out, especially if you expect to have kids, a few words of hard-earned advice:

Get married broke if possible. Meaning, early enough in life to build a life together from the ground up.

Combine your broke-ass finances. Fully and immediately the day you get married.

By doing so, you’ll force yourselves to confront (sometime in the first couple of years of marriage) whatever financial pathologies you are each bringing along with you. Which you are. Work hard to address these and to establish total transparency.

If part of the permanent arrangement ends up involving no-questions-asked “blowoff” spending, fine, if it’s in the budget.

Somebody said the German government doesn’t recognize combined marital finances. With all due regard for Teutonic achievements, it’ll be another few centuries before I’ll be ready to consider the government of Germany a suitable resource for humane values.

The combined wisdom of humanity, on the other hand, over millennia, is that marriage should be a covenantal and permanent union in which the contracting parties and the broader community all have vested interests. How you handle money as a family should represent what you think you’re doing overall. If your view of marriage is a private lifestyle accoutrement, then keep your money separate and have a good time, but you ought to avoid having children because you are operating as an individual consumer which is not a fit mindset for a parent. If you understand marriage covenantally, then your finances should be stewarded in service of the long range purposes of that union. Meaning not only combined, but the whole concept of “my money” goes out the window.

My extremely judgmental (and empirical) view of the matter.


well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 19257
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #89 on: September 23, 2021, 03:23:44 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #90 on: September 23, 2021, 03:44:37 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

I just think a lot of young, stupid people get married well before really knowing themselves, and then have a lot of shit to deal with that either brings them close together or rips them apart.

I don't think the level of conviction going into a marriage has all that much to do with its success. I've seen some total pricks swear up and down that divorce is not an option, and then totally fail to be vulnerable and generous enough to make that a reality.

Most marriages either end, hence the divorce rate, or really should end, hence all of the utterly miserable marriages out there.

A marriage staying healthy, strong, loving, and trusting for decades is the exception, not the rule.

It's about figuring out what tools you need to consistently grow together instead of apart through difficult times, not throwing down who has the biggest cock of commitment.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 03:47:53 PM by Malcat »

Morning Glory

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3600
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #91 on: September 23, 2021, 03:59:44 PM »
This thread got me curious so I checked Mint: at the moment I have two checking accounts and my husband has four, plus we have a joint one. There's also a mess of  separate savings accounts, brokerages, paypal, credit cards, etc., enough to make me feel sorry for whoever has to handle our estate if we both die.  We don't use the joint account often but it came in handy recently when they had to deposit our house proceeds into a joint account. Our approach to finances has evolved over time: first we were just splitting bills proportionally, then we tried having the joint account for shared goals but that didn't go well, so back to proportional, then he became a sahp so I transferred him a certain amount out of each paycheck for groceries and stuff, then we started churning so it got really murky and we just transfer back and forth as needed. Now we're back to using the joint account because we kept some cash in there from our house sale so that I could divert paychecks into my 457b.

If what you're doing is working I don't see any reason to change it until there's a need.

mspym

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5727
  • Location: Downunder
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #92 on: September 23, 2021, 04:55:52 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

I just think a lot of young, stupid people get married well before really knowing themselves, and then have a lot of shit to deal with that either brings them close together or rips them apart.

I don't think the level of conviction going into a marriage has all that much to do with its success. I've seen some total pricks swear up and down that divorce is not an option, and then totally fail to be vulnerable and generous enough to make that a reality.

Most marriages either end, hence the divorce rate, or really should end, hence all of the utterly miserable marriages out there.

A marriage staying healthy, strong, loving, and trusting for decades is the exception, not the rule.

It's about figuring out what tools you need to consistently grow together instead of apart through difficult times, not throwing down who has the biggest cock of commitment.
I think a lot of the danger of the 'divorce is not an option' school of thought is the unspoken coda "...therefore I don't have to do anything to make you want to stay." Divorce *is* an option, marriage is not a deathmarch.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4546
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #93 on: September 23, 2021, 05:20:29 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

I just think a lot of young, stupid people get married well before really knowing themselves, and then have a lot of shit to deal with that either brings them close together or rips them apart.

I don't think the level of conviction going into a marriage has all that much to do with its success. I've seen some total pricks swear up and down that divorce is not an option, and then totally fail to be vulnerable and generous enough to make that a reality.

Most marriages either end, hence the divorce rate, or really should end, hence all of the utterly miserable marriages out there.

A marriage staying healthy, strong, loving, and trusting for decades is the exception, not the rule.

It's about figuring out what tools you need to consistently grow together instead of apart through difficult times, not throwing down who has the biggest cock of commitment.

In addition, I think that the "divorce is not an option" people can actually end up more likely to divorce.  Since it is supposedly not an option, it *can* (but of course is not always) be an excuse not to do all of the hard work.  It's like people who swear up and down they could never have an affair.  That means they sometimes don't see warning signs or make alterations to be relationships that start to get a bit flirty.  Because they could *NEVER* have an affair so they don't need to maybe put a little distance between themselves and the office crush, and so on.  But that's maybe a tangent for another thread. 

The fact that divorce very much is an option is even more incentive to make it as strong as possible so that it can withstand the trials and tribulations that will inevitably come. 

Geppetto

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #94 on: September 23, 2021, 05:56:15 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

Not lowly my friend. And yes: There’s nothing peculiar to Christianity about covenantal marriage.

With nothing but love and peace to the divorced brothers and sisters, it’s a fact that no-fault divorce is a crime against humanity.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4546
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #95 on: September 23, 2021, 06:25:03 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

Not lowly my friend. And yes: There’s nothing peculiar to Christianity about covenantal marriage.

With nothing but love and peace to the divorced brothers and sisters, it’s a fact that no-fault divorce is a crime against humanity.

You know that when you preamble with "with nothing but love" or "with all due respect," it doesn't make a statement any less gross or offensive, right?   

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9478
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #96 on: September 23, 2021, 06:43:43 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

Not lowly my friend. And yes: There’s nothing peculiar to Christianity about covenantal marriage.

With nothing but love and peace to the divorced brothers and sisters, it’s a fact that no-fault divorce is a crime against humanity.

You have a weird definition of the word "fact".

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 19257
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #97 on: September 23, 2021, 06:56:30 PM »
Well, this conversation took an odd turn.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3416
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #98 on: September 23, 2021, 07:49:07 PM »
well said sir. Ill take heed to your advice as I am a Christian and marriage to me a convenant promise.

A covenant is just a formal promise, nothing to do with religion.  I'm a lowly heretic agnostic, and I view marriage as a covenant promise too.

:P

Not lowly my friend. And yes: There’s nothing peculiar to Christianity about covenantal marriage.

With nothing but love and peace to the divorced brothers and sisters, it’s a fact that no-fault divorce is a crime against humanity.

You have a weird definition of the word "fact".

Mmmhhhmmm

Geppetto

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Getting married next week, should we have 1 checking account or seperate ?
« Reply #99 on: September 24, 2021, 11:08:35 AM »
I meant the legal regime of no-fault divorce is a crime against humanity. Not anybody's individual life circumstances. I could've been clearer I suppose. And it's off topic. Apologies, and best wishes to the betrothed!