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how to handle finances in new marraige?


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so, my fiance and i will be getting married next year, and although we are both very communicative and practical people, we haven't figured out how to handle our finances once we're married.

 

it's not like we disagree or are awkward about talking about it, we just are really clueless as to the best way to handle things! i know that legally the state will view our finances in a particular way (like if god forbid we got divorced and had our assets divided), but i'm just talking about what arrangement we want between ourselves...

 

so here's the deal. he's a grad student, i'm an attorney. i don't have a ton of money, but i have been working for a couple of years and have saved up a bit... he'll be in school for at least a couple of years after we're married and then will be working in a job. i'll probably always make about 1.5 times what he does....

 

so, obviously, i feel like for the most part we'd want to combine our assets. i'd have no problem using the money i've saved for a down payment on a house someday and clearly- esp. while he's in school- i'm going to be paying the vast majority of rent, bills out of my salary.

 

however, i do think there are advantages to keeping money separate in some ways. for example, my mom isn't in the best financial position and i'd like to be able to continue to help her out occasionally without my fiance feeling like i'm giving her "our" money. also, i think it's nice for each of us to be able to feel like we can spend some money (within reason) without feeling like we have to check with the other person...maybe i shop more than him, or maybe he spends money going out with the guys...if we had some separate money i don't think we'd resent each other's purchases the same way as if it was coming out of "the pot"

 

so, what do we do? suck it up and put it all in the same pot? each contribute the same amount to "the pot" (after he's working) and i just have more separate money? contribute to the pot in an amount proportional to our salaries? we just want to know what our options are and what arrangements have worked for other people...

 

thanks!

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well, if that were the case, i still wouldn't know what to do! the issue isn't that i'm making more...although i suppose that makes it easier for me to help out my mom, etc...but if the roles were reversed (or we were making the same), i'd be asking the same thing!

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Personally in any situation, I would have money shared, BUT put a small percentage of your earnings into your own account for spending, and/or helping others out.

Or another way to do it, is just have a shared account to pay bills etc, and a little extra.

But you have to decide how you and your Hubby to be is with financess, and also talk to him about the pro's and cons for YOU in having a joint and separate finance.

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I doubt I will ever mix finances with anyone again, but if I were to I would negotiate to employ the "yours, mine, and ours" method where each person contributes to the combined fund an agreed upon percentage of their income and keeps the rest. All of the mutual bills are paid from the combined account and if it's underfunded the percentage goes up. If it's overfunded it's time to invest or go on vacation.

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Before I came to this board I would have said "pool your money.. joint bank accounts.. the whole shabang".

 

Now I think it depends on your circumstances and personalities. We pool but are both responsible, both have our little things we like to spend on (books for him, expensive choccies for me, dinners our for both of us).

 

Our income can vary significantly from year to year. The year before last I earned a little bit more than him. Last year he earned 4 times what I did. Who knows what this year will bring.

 

I have always felt that pooling and sharing was the way it should be between husband and wife. It's what my parents always did. His parents have never pooled. Before we got married we spoke about it and I told him why I liked the idea of pooling (just another gesture/symbol/structure of togetherness and shared fate) and he agreed.

 

If my parents needed financially help I feel confident he wouldnt begrudge us helping them. I know without a shred of doubt that if his parents needed it, I wouldnt begrudge us helping them.

 

I am happy to have the transparency in my spending and don't feel like I need to hide anything. I trust him with money. I trust myself with money.

 

In those circumstances - sharing/pooling seems the easiest and obvious choice.

 

But if that's not your circumstances then don't do it. Seems that different attitudes about money and spending can cause so many problems in the future.

 

In your case perhaps having both shared and separate bank accounts is the solution.

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I have always favored 1 shared account for shared bills, such as housing, food or whatever else. In addition to the shared account each person should have a separate account. Enough money is deposited into the shared account to pay the shared bills and the rest goes into the individual accounts.

 

I think the best way to view the money earned when married as neither his or yours but both of yours (even though you are dividing it up), that gets rid of the feeling feeling that something is his or yours.

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My partner and I are going to keep our own accounts for our money to go in too from jobs each month. And are going to be getting a joint account/savings account. So what ever we don't use on bills will be going in to the joint accounts. (Or thats what I think is going to happen... otherwise we'll most likely just get a joint account and use that .. not sure though.)

 

He has always earned more than I did (and I'm not working at the moment either), but it never bothered him. He also put my name on the mortgage, even though all my savings went on our daughters memorial rather than on a depositive for a house. I always gave him the option to just put himself on, with no hard feelings from me.

 

He always says we're buying a house together, we want to be together. Who cares about money. It's ours. Everything bought, or brought in to the relationship is shared. Except my rabbits... There all mine..

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