How do couples manage finances together?

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  • #91194 Reply

      Hello! Really curious how couples are managing their finances together. Please share!

      Some specific questions if you’re open to answering:

      1. Do you have a joint account or separate accounts? or both (where a percentage goes in the joint account and you each have some personal money the other doesn’t have access to)
      2. How do you as a couple pay for bills? (I have a more traditional relationship where the husband offered to cover most of our bills after we get married, however I’m worried that his savings are suffering (his $75k salary versus my $125k salary). If you are in a relationship with a traditional man (or if you are a traditional man), how do you manage this worry?)
      3. How do you save for future large expenses? Like who pays for it?

      Thanks for the input.


      An About To Be Married Young Person

      #91195 Reply

        It’s all ours, even though some accounts and assets say various things from over the years.

        Personally, I can’t imagine the complexity and relationship dynamics that would come from trying to keep things separate as a young married couple.

        We’ve had periods of each of us being the breadwinner, each of us being unemployed, going back to school, being a stay at home parent, workplace injuries and medical issues, and so on. We have shared money, and shared goals.

        #91197 Reply

          I’ll be answering this in context of us both working. But, now he’s a SAHD.

          Separate but thinking about adding a joint one because of ease.

          We went 50/50 with pretty much everything bill wise (but paid for our own separate bills when we had them) and made decisions based on what he (the lower earner) could afford. But I usually ended up just paying for groceries too. Anything extra like dates was the person who “wanted” to go lol. Mostly me. That worked for us for almost 5 years of dating and marriage before he left work to be the stay at home parent.

          No real advise on saving cash like that. But for large expenses usually I’d foot because I made more and if I ever felt like I needed help with it, I’d just ask him for however much.

          At the end of the day, it is all our money.

          Also, check out: For those of you who split expenses by % of income, does this include EVERYTHING house/child related? And do you use gross or net income?

          #91198 Reply

            We do joint everything like bank accounts, mortgage, any loans, etc. We just dump all of our money into one account and make our goals together. When we needed an emergency account started, we set a goal and auto transfered funds each month from our joint account.

            As for decision making, I make the day to day budget and track our spending. My partner does our investment management. So basically I break down how much we can afford to invest and he decides where it goes.

            #91199 Reply

              Start talking to your partner now about money how they feel about it goals and managing it.

              Try and get on the same page before you tie the knot. Get a software to track everything especially if you are not going to combine accounts.

              #91200 Reply

                Married 31 years. Everything has been joint since day 1. We are a team; we share similar values; we make decisions together (on big things). We started with nothing so I know the answer would be different if it was later in life with assets to protect or children involved.

                #91201 Reply

                  In my opinion, if he wants to pay for everything then you would help with his savings at the least to match yours.

                  There is no way on God’s green Earth that once entered into a covenant of marriage before God that my spouse would have less than me.

                  Don’t forget to take a look at: Not sure how to see at finances

                  #91202 Reply

                    Joint and separate. 90% into the joint and 10% into personal. All bills are paid out of the joint.

                    #91203 Reply

                      Before marriage: Everything separate.
                      After marriage: Everything combined.

                      I bought a house with my bf and lived together before engagement. I initially made more than him but after we got married and grew together, his income increased more than mine. We still have our own accounts but we also have our joint account to pay for bills, expenses and childcare.

                      #91204 Reply

                        Everything before marriage is our own, everything after marriage is combined. We work as a team for the greater good of the family and not our individual interests. This has allowed us to synergize based on our strengths and take risks we wouldn’t have been able to on our own. We are much better off today as a team than we could have been individually, and we rely on each other enough that it has made our marriage strong through the inevitable dips, but not enough that either of us feel stuck in the relationship. Every relationship works differently, but I am really glad we didn’t end up in a relationship where we were always nickle and diming each other.

                        For what it’s worth, I made a lot more than my husband when we were married, but having kids impacted my career greatly (we have a medically complex kiddo I ended up staying home with), and now he makes 10x what I make. So don’t make any hard or fast “rules” based on how things work now, your career and relationship will evolve. You are investing in, and insuring someone at the same time. Congrats!

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                        #91205 Reply

                          We are a “everything in one pot and shared evenly” couple.

                          We had combined finances in most ways before we were married since we owned a restaurant together.

                          We contribute exactly equally to assets that have to be separated, like IRAs.

                          #91206 Reply

                            100% separate for decades. Nothing changed financially due to marriage other than filing married filing jointly. You’ll never fight about money if it’s separate. His and hers everything keeps it clean if you are going to be equals. When you combine it’s more like a together journey which is nice, but 2 journeys diversifies it so not relying on each other or getting upset about mistakes. And if one person has spending issues, poor credit, makes big mistakes the other isn’t affected nearly as much if at all. Own checking, savings and investment accounts- at different banks/credit unions and for the first decades different brokerages! Agree on who pays what before marriage. Maybe 1 pays entertainment/dates, groceries, utilties, insurance. Other pays mortgage, home repairs and other expenses. Vacations tend to be split. Same as kids activities and needs- kid stuff just kind of worked out. Vactions 1 partner usually plans. books and pays travel while the other pays for food and entertainment, gas or whatever to make it about equal. Both invest as much as they are comfortable but this way if you both are not on the same FI journey ,and have slightly differing priorities, neither gets upset. If you want to be FI in 10 years you can be, if he prefers not to that is ok and he can invest less. Each can have their own equal toys they share with each other if spouse and kids if interested, boat, RV , 4 wheelers, horses, vacation home etc that they pay 100% of. If/when you have kids open a 529 for them and each fund it $100 a month/2400 per year and there should be around 100K in it just being in the S&P for 18/19 years. File married filing jointly for best taxes. Vehicles and toys are titled in 1 person’s name. Makes it so much easier when it’s time to sell them and change titles over. Both names are on insurance for driving and homeowners and all under same umbrella. Both names should be on real estate. That way if one is sued it can’t be taken from you since it’s in both names. Basically any expense over 1000 we usually mention to each other. But 10K is the agreed upon number that we do speak about, particularly if it’s a liability and there aren’t many of them. Assets that will make money we use that number as well and there are far more of them since we prefer assets. I’ve come home with a few horses, trailers, new saddles etc bc they were a good deal. And he’s come home with a small boat (large one we did talk about), small pickups, a few trailers and lots and lots of snowmobiles and ATVs and I just roll my eyes. His and hers baby. No fighting allowed.

                            #91207 Reply

                              Combine your money with no separate accounts and all 3 questions get answered real easily. You both pay.

                              We have the same gap in wages but reversed with husband/wife. I’ve never once felt my wife wasn’t contributing enough to our household. I’ve never once been annoyed that my personal miscellaneous fund took a significant hit to raise hers so that were equal. We make a budget and we have our own fun money line items, but one joint account. We choose to be married and live as a unit. My dad had 6 divorces so I know better than most what could happen to a person financially through divorce and I think people with separate accounts are just trying to brace for a divorce in my eyes. But we choose to live as one combined unit and it removes all financial questions such as those you’re asking.

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