questionsif you are married, how do you handle your bills?

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vote-for11vote-against

I used to be married. I paid all the bills. I got divorced. I still pay all the bills, but they are a lot less. Adios FTW.

vote-for5vote-against

married. 50/50 for bills. We also pay our own Student Loans.
I usually take care of vacations and going out for diners.
Together for 3 years, no kids.

vote-for12vote-against

I'm not married, but I've seen various ways from family and friends, and by far the most successful way I've seen is to have both incomes go to a single account, and all bills paid from that account. Then both each have their own separate account for "play" with a monthly allowance. This seems to lead to much less in the way of arguing over money.

vote-for6vote-against

we each have our own accounts-checking, savings, creditcard. bills are for whoever opens them. we don't let ourselves get to the point of "i can't afford this bill". if we charge something, it's because it's safer than paying. we have the money available at the time it's bought. as for the electric, etc bills it's a known factor ahead of time and is planned for.

it makes a difference if one earns more than the other. but really it sounds like your mom wants you to have a sugar-daddy (use that phrase and i bet she stops nagging).

vote-for20vote-against

When my husband and I had day jobs he made twice as much as I did so we split the bills three ways, he paid 2/3 and I paid 1/3. Then we would take turns paying when we went out. I had my account for "fun stuff" and he had his, any major purchases we discussed. Now all our money goes in one account and he writes the checks for the bills.

Not to be a beyatch but your mom needs to stay out of your business. This is 100% between you and your husband (and really should have been discussed before the wedding).

vote-for6vote-against

My wife and I (for the first 2 years of our marriage) seperated the bills based on our income. I made much more than she did because she was part-time, so I paid the mortgage and both car payments. She paid the utilities and the cable bill. When we went out to eat, I always paid and she normally picked up the groceries, but I would help with that if needed.

We talked about it and decided it would be better and easier to just have one account and have never looked back

Another thing that makes it all easier to keep up with (we were both bill collectors in college, so we learned what NOT to do) is I created an excel spreadsheet with a list of all of our bills, the amount owed, the payment amount, the website, the username, and the password. You can even click a link to go directly to the site. Once a bill is paid, you just check the box. At the end of the month, you save it as the month (April, May, etc) and print a copy and put it into our filing cabinet. It's so much easier that way.

vote-for6vote-against

All our accounts are shared. I physically pay the bills. Not much of a big deal. Aside the cars and house, we have no debt. I pay off anything we spend, every month, if it wasn't on a debit card.

vote-for5vote-against

I'm a SAHM, much as I hate that acronym and a lot of people who use it. So, he pays the bills, I feed him, and only occasionally grouse about finding underwear hanging out on the floor somewhere. We discuss large purchases prior to making them. It really helps that we are and always have been similar in our thriftiness. His "splurges" usually involve food, and he'll wait months for Steam games to drop to such a low price that even I think he's being cheap. I use Woot to get things I want at prices we can both feel good about, and try to employ the same deal-seeking in everyday life as well.

vote-for4vote-against

My wife and I have our own accounts (checking/savings/credit card accounts) and several joint checking and saving accounts. From our joint checking account, we pay our mortgage, utilities, joint credit cards (1 major joint credit card used for air miles, and a joint Target card for their 5% discount), and kid's school/daycare costs.

Our personal accounts are used for buying personal stuff (i.e. clothes, our own car registration/maintenance fees), fun expenses and separate savings.

If we go out to dinner, that goes on our joint credit card.
If I go out with friends, I charge all expenses to my cards.
If my wife throws a party for her friends (i.e. a baby shower), she spends her money.
For gifts for our respective families, the gifts are funded by our own respective accounts, and not the joint account (I have a much, much larger family than she does so it wouldn't be fair to her).

After 10 1/2 years of marriage, this is what works for us. No arguing. Love it.

vote-for-1vote-against

she makes 'em, I pay them, really is there any other way?

vote-for8vote-against

There are any number of ways of handling it and no "right" way.

What's important is that your Mother should stay out of your finances!

vote-for8vote-against

Absolutely none of your mother's business. We've been married 43 years. All the money goes into one checking account. When he was still working, I worked part time, so I was the bill payer. It's just stayed that way. But I make sure he knows what's going in and coming out.

vote-for7vote-against

What @ohcheri said was particularly on point. These issues really need to be set out prior to getting married. Most couples don't. It isn't romantic, isn't fun, and it is just to easy to kick the can down the road and worry about it later.

That is water under the bridge, though. It isn't to late to start. Sit down with your spouse, and as calmly as you can come up with a plan, then stick with it. There are many ways to do this, and how really isn't as important as setting the rule explicitly out.

vote-for5vote-against

I'm not married but my boyfriend and I live together. The way we handle our expenses is to have 80% of each of our paychecks go into a join account and the other 20% into each of our own personal accounts. We use the join account to pay rent, bills and groceries and then our personal accounts for "fun stuff". This works well for us and even when we aren't making the same amount we are still contributing equally.

vote-for8vote-against

Married, and no individual's money is "their money". Our bills are paid out of the joint account.

IMHO, anything else is just selfish.

vote-for4vote-against

I agree with those saying mothers (and mother-in-laws) have to keep out of this. Personally, 25 years of having a single account together has been fine. He doesn't complain if I want to buy something and I don't complain when he wants something. It's all "our" money. For many years, I made more than he did, then he got a "real" job and made WAY more than I made. Neither of us ever cared who made the money - it is "ours". If your system works for you and neither of you is unhappy with it, then it works. I have seen one system that was a colossal failure - the one where the husband paid the mortgage and the wife paid the electric, gas, phone and other bills. They added up ok - he was paying a little more than she was, but it was close. But in the end, he owned a house and she had nothing- I think she could have got half in the divorce, but I had to follow my own advice and stay out of her business once she said she didn't want to go after it...

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@mkentosh: That's pretty much the way it is here. My wife gets a check, but it's barely enough to make 1 car payment, much less 2.

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@caron7: Speaking of which, ladies (and gentlemen) you should have a bank account in your name and buy something on credit in your name and pay it off in a timely manner every once in a while. Both people in the marriage should establish a good credit rating. In a perfect world there is no divorce and no one pre-deceases their beloved. But this is an imperfect world, and in social services we see a lot of people, mostly women, who never established their own financial identity and can't get an apartment or a car or anything once they are on their own.

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@cccrcbosu08 Why does your mom think your husband should pay all the bills? Old fashioned values? Or does he make significantly more than you?

I am not married, but my boyfriend and I have lived together for over a decade. I pay all the bills simply because I am more responsible than him when it comes to these things (though he pays his own credit card bill). On the first of the month, he just transfers me money to cover his half of the rent & utilities (we're both BoA customers and the online transferring is easy and instant). He makes a bit more money than me so when we're out, he picks up the bill about 66% of the time, and I'm more likely to splurge on random gifts for him. It all balances out in the end.

vote-for3vote-against

We look at marriage as a with each other for life no questions asked situation... Therefore we keep one shared bank account. Everything is paid from the shared account. We keep each other accountable and make all large purchase together. There is no you pay for this, I pay for that. We're a team and we share the load no matter how much she puts in or I put in.

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MTM2: "Married, and no individual's money is "their money". Our bills are paid out of the joint account.
IMHO, anything else is just selfish."

I agree. We married for better or worse, became partners as well as lovers. Trust is important, and whose money is whose isn't. (Yes, we each have a small "private account" where we can buy surprise gifts for each other so the other doesn't know.)

vote-for2vote-against

We have a joint checking account and we have both our full-time paychecks direct-deposited into it.

I put together a web-based budget system that keeps track of our checking account register and all our bills. It subtracts our estimated bills for the week from our available balance and tells us what we have left to spend on things like dining out and extra grocery purchases.

The actual paying of bills is a joint responsibility. I pay most of the online bills, except old debt that's just in her name. She writes all the checks that go out, because I have lousy handwriting. We both see which bills our paid on the web-based system, so we can remind each other in case we forget.

It might help that we just don't have much money left after paying the bills and making a healthy payment on our debt, so there's not much money to argue about. We talk to each other for a long time before big burchases, and even if we make too regular a habit of small purchases that add up.

vote-for1vote-against

My husband and I lived together for many years before we got married. By the time we both got full-time jobs, I was making a lot more than him. We each paid anything that was only for us (he paid for his car, I paid for mine). He paid the Internet and TV bill and I paid everything else (mortgage, electric, gas, cell phones, most food). This worked out to be proportioned pretty close to the proportions of our incomes. He has always been more given to "fun" spending than me, and before we were married I often had to pay for an Internet/TV bill here and there or pay for repairs to his car because he wouldn't have enough at the time.

Before we got married, we talked over finances and agreed to have one joint account on the condition that he cut back his spending on comic books and action figures, and that we discuss all major purchases together. We've been married for almost a year now, and so far so good (though I'm keeping an eye on the money that goes out).

vote-for2vote-against

Your married, don't separate your money. If you each want a separate "play" account that you get a monthly budget for spending on whatever you want that's fine but if you can't agree to put most of your money into joint accounts then why are you married? It's not "his" money and "her" money any more its "our" money. Fully separate accounts just leads to mistrust and resentment, it's pessimistic and defensive and doesn't lead to good things.
I "pay" the bills but it comes out of our joint account, even our credit card is joint. There's no need to fight about money because it's completely transparent. It helps that we talk about major purchases and that we are both very thrifty.

vote-for2vote-against

Both of our paychecks go into one account. I, the husband, handle the actual payment of the bills just because I'm more OCD about it.
Why get married if you're not going to share everything equally? (money and bills)
For more input from the woot community, see this similar question I asked not but a month ago: http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/f96ef719-2fb4-4198-bc49-e202f1582258/do-you-and-your-significant-other-share-a-bank-account#38

vote-for2vote-against

The way it has been since even before we were married (we lived together for 3 years before getting married) has been we pay for our expenses with our money. There has never been My money and Her money (except for during a fight/argument ;) ). We do keep separate accounts for our paychecks, but whatever bill that needs paid gets paid from which ever account has the money in it at the time. Been this way for 14+ years and has worked well for us. I do have married friends that have always kept all their finances separate and honestly I've never understood it.