questionsdo you and your significant other share a bank…

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My husband and I had a joint "house account" for quite a while. We each put in x amount of dollars on pay day and then would pay for groceries, household expenses, etc., out of that account. After awhile it didn't really make sense to keep doing it that way so we made that our full time joint account.

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My fiancee and I are separate, and I'm cringing about about the process of consolidation. It really depends upon the personalities of the people involved. Some couples want everything combined, all the way. They discuss everything. Others go the complete opposite way: keeping nearly everything separate.

The difference, I think, is the match on how the couple deals with finances. If both are very tight and controlled with spending, they can combine everything and not have many problems with one going off and spending a chunk on something that wasn't discussed. Likewise, if both are very free, then there won't be a problem (except getting overdrawn). The problems arise with one is controlled and the other isn't. Separate accounts can save a marriage.

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We do it the same way that @magiclela used to do it, we have one joint checking and savings account that we both contribute to each pay that is used to pay for any household expenses (mortgage, utilities, taxes, groceries, etc.).

Then we each have our own checking and savings accounts that we maintain. That way we can each buy what we want and don't have to worry about the other complaining about how much we spend.

I grew up with parents who had 1 account for everything and my Mom handled all the finances. It worked great for them, but my SO and I realized after we got married that it just wasn't practical for us.

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My wife and I have joint checking and savings accounts that we put most of our paychecks into. We use these accounts for things like rent, utilities, vacations, gas, going out to dinner, etc.

We also have smaller individual accounts for things like gifts, impulse buys, etc.

This works out pretty well. The key is figuring out how much to put in the joint accounts vs. the individual accounts.

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@wilfbrim: They can also ruin one. Going through marriage counseling, it seems like one of the things that came up was that by becoming "one person/unit together" we could leverage the best sides of each of us. For example, if one is better/more controlled with financial matters, let them handle the finances.

It would seem to me that if you have one controlled person and one loose person each with their own accounts, eventually the more controlled person will find out something that the more loose person did/spent money on/forgot to pay the bill for and get angry. Granted, haven't been married long, but with separate accounts it seems like more of a marriage for convenience/roommate setup.

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We share. I hand her the paycheck and she pays all the bills. We do discuss the expenditures over $1000 and we have joint and individual credit cards.

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Now I am not married, but I feel like those that keep completely separate finances are the type who are expecting divorce are at least seeing it as an option. Since I believe that marriage is for life I think I would put the finances together with my spouse, except for maybe an account just for gifts or something.

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@chellemonkey: I agree. A marriage should entail a level of trust. If you don't trust the person with your life (and money) maybe it's best to stay boyfriend/girlfriend.

That's just my opinion. I'm not saying anyone is wrong here.

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We've combined everything since we got married. It's never been an issue with us, and I really don't understand why anyone would do differently. When you're married, you're married.

When we were not married, we were 100% separate, and I wouldn't do that any other way either.

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I cannot imagine being married to someone who was irresponsible with money, I don't think any combination of joint or individual accounts would help. (In my case, we have joint checking and savings, but seperate credit cards (one each)).

I highly recommend that everyone do Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University if you're on the verge of getting married or have been married for awhile. Going through it with my wife was the single most helpful thing for our first year of marriage, but there were couples that had been married for 20 years that benefitted.

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Thank you so much for asking this question!! I've been wondering the same thing. I'm about to move in with my BF, and have been considering opening a joint bank account for bills.

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@kmeltzer: Ditto. Plus, don't you think it's just easier to have joint accounts?

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A lot of level heads here at deals.woot, so different from the rest of Internet land.

It's nice.

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No "other" has been THAT significant. I mean, Paypals maybe, under protest. heeheehee

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@czarkingkaiser: Yeah, I do. I pay the bills from one account. I see who is spending what, where. I don't wonder what our actual liquid assets are, since there aren't accounts I can't access.

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I've never understood married people that keep separate accounts. It's like you're going into it with an exit strategy. Open and honest about money is the best policy, and nothing does that better than shared accounts.

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My wife and I have joint checking, and savings. We also have joint credit cards. We use these to pay bills, buy things for the family or the house, etc.

BUT we each have a separate free (no fee) checking account at our bank. We both have direct deposit, so every week we both have $50 deposited from our respective paychecks go into them. We use these as our "slush" fund. Obviously everyone knows one of the biggest things couples fight about is money. So we both agreed after we got married to have the slush funds and we agreed that we could spend that money on anything (particularly those things that we don't need but we want). So if she wants a new pair of shoes, or if I want to go grab some beers with my buddies, we don't get mad at each other and accuse each other of wasting money, yada yada. The $50 also acts as a budget limiter. And if we want to buy something expensive then we have to save for a while.

So far, after 3 years of marriage and one child, it has worked.

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We consolidated our accounts right after we were married nearly 31 YEARS AGO!!! Each of us has one separate credit card for business expenses, but we have never kept our accounts separate. For many years I was the bill payer, but DH took that over about 10 years ago and I am happy not to have that burden any longer (of course, I took over the insurance stuff so I'm not sure it was a fair trade).

My concern now is my daughter. She had her boyfriend/fiance have consolidated their accounts over our objections. We don't dislike or distrust him, but they are not co-habitating, don't plan to marry for another couple of years, and, we're still supporting her! She lives with us, we cover her car, gas, insurance and cell phone, and more until recently. We pulled the plug on much of our support when she confessed that she had closed her personal checking account to set up a joint one with him. Our concern is the lack of legal standing in the event something should happen to one of them. ???

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She shares mine but I have no access to hers. :(

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@belyndag: Yeah, that's a pretty crazy idea on her part, especially since they are not co-habitating. Why did she want to do that, especially since she has no assets that you aren't providing her?

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My wife and I combine finances and we don't spend anything without the others knowledge. We each have an amount of fun money to do with what we want but it is all accounted for. We sit down at least once a month to do a household budget. It works out well no one ends up with any nasty suprises and if either of us were to become incompasitated the other knows where everything is and what needs to be paid.

@bsmith1: You said in your question that you have seperate student loan bills. Just as an aside I wouldn't combine those even if I could. If you both have your name on them your both responsible to pay the debt. If you keep them seperate and one of you passes away the debt is forgiven. Just someting to think about.

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@belyndag: That is odd... do they have a joint account so she has access to his cash or is it the other way around? If he is wealthy, I can see why he might want to let her use his account. That way she is taken care of and he doesn't have to give her cash all the time. If he isn't well-off, it doesn't make any sense to have a joint account at this point.

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@ruger9mm: That's a good point about the student loans. We were hoping to consolidate them because one of us has a much higher interest rate and the thought was we could get a lower rate if we "refinanced" them, so to speak.

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My wife and I not only have entirely separate accounts, we also have completely separate financial situations. I make a decent living and pay most of the household bills. She on the other hand lives paycheck to paycheck, sometimes asking to borrow money for gas to get to work.

As bad as it sounds, it's better this way. She is a huge spender and I'm kind of stingy. I keep multiple bank accounts and though she knows they both exist she has no idea how much money I have. If we had joint accounts, it would be only a short matter of time before I couldn't afford to pay the mortgage.

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@jjpnh: Smart man.

Even if you do have joint accounts, I think it's a good idea to have a separate stash on the side. I've had two friends in the last year whose wife/husband left them and cleared out the account. One friend couldn't even pay rent and ended up sleeping at work.

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@jjpnh: Do you think that perhaps your wife needs some counseling?

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@mikecris: Yikes! I feel bad for your friends. My wife and I were together 4 years before we got married and lived together most of that time. We didn't get joint accounts until after marriage. I'm a firm believer in living together before you get married. I know some religious and/or conservative folks frown upon this, but it's really the only way to get a true sense of the person you're about to spend the rest of your life with.
I'm curious, did your friends date their partners very long before marriage? Prior to the divorce (and bank account getting cleared out), did one of the people involved betray the other's trust somehow? I mean, even if I left my wife for some reason she would have had to tick me off pretty bad for me to leave her with no money like that.

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Here's a spin off question...For those of you who keep separate accounts, did you or your SO have parents that divorced? I was leery about having a joint account because when my dad left my mom he cleared out their account and left my mom with nothing but bad debt. For us it just came down to being easier. Granted though, our income is pretty similar so there isn't an issue of who makes more-like some people have described here.

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My husband and I keep completely separate finances. We each have our own checking/savings accounts. I have credit cards. The mortgage on our condo is in my name. My car is paid off. I make significantly more money than he does. He has poor credit and hospital debt.

We transfer money between accounts when needed, but we've simply split the bills between us. I pay the mortgage, my credit cards and all the utilities, plus cable and internet. He pays our cell phone bill, his car payment and his car insurance. His leftover money, if there is any, goes towards his debt.

If either of us needs something, we buy it for the other. If I forget my wallet, he pays. I may need to give him some money later in the month to cover that cost, but that's cool with me.

If we had a mortgage, credit cards together, we would be subject to much higher interest rates. No thanks on that.

We've haven't been married long at all (our second anniversary is July 2), but this is what works for us.

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I took over the finances for my boyfriend and I about two months before we moved in together, just to make sure we could afford being out on our own. I think the only time having joint accounts gets tricky is during Christmas and birthday time, because I check our accounts online almost daily to make sure the Quicken account balances with our bank statements.

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My wife and I have seperate accounts and our marriage is great. I think we would probably fight a lot more if she found out how much I spend on my girlfriend.

Before you downvote this, please know that I am joking. We actually have joint accounts for everything and are very happy.

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We share it all and have done so for many years.

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@magiclela: no. both my dh parents and my parents are still married (both sets over 40 years). me and dh are over 12years. we find it easier to balance checkbooks, etc if we are seperate. that way there are no "oh you put 500 on after i already had 500" when we have a 800 allowance (example). we are both listed on the other's accounts and are both willing to tell each other literally everything at any moment--no hiding, no secrets. bills are whoever open's the mail/finds it first, never a "i dont have it" fight--you only spend if you can pay. we openly discuss any spending that is over certain amount.

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Nah. Cats can't write good.

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We set up our accounts when we were engaged. So we each have our personal checking account and pay the bills out of the joint account. A set amount of money goes into the joint account every month and that is our household budget.
We maintain a decent level in our personal accounts and that is where frivolous spending happens - lunch with friends, impulse buys etc. At the start of each quarter, we "purge" any excess over $1k from our personal accounts into the joint and decide what to do with it.

This works out well for us. We are both fairly independent and do well with finance. We discuss any purchase over $200. We don't have problems with overdrafting or arguments about petty spending habits. It works out well. When we were both working, we made about the same - so we put in the same amount and ended up with similar amounts in our personal accounts. Now that I'm staying home, I draw a little from the joint and he keeps a little from his check. Works out.

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We are almost exactly the same as @moosezilla stated, except my income pays all of the bills. I make much more than my wife does(still not near what I am sure some here make), so I pay the bills, balance the checking accounts and she has her account that is basically "unattached" funds that she usually spends on clothes, gifts and shoes. Yes, I said shoes. I almost pop a vein in my neck everytime I look in our closet. I need a beer. Now.

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@bsmith1: One couple dated longer than they were married and I don't think the other couple dated for very long. Surprisingly enough, the splits didn't have anything with betrayal or leaving for another person. I think it got down to one person was unhappy in the marriage, the other person was oblivious, and the unhappy person (I'm guessing) took out their frustrations by skipping off with the money.

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@czarkingkaiser and @bsmith1: We don't like it at all. She has a job, but doesn't make much money, certainly not as much as he does. They each have car notes (although we co-signed hers and pay a portion of it), but he has more expenses, I believe, including student loans. There seems to no advantage to sharing an account, but they're doing it anyway. It just appears to us that her young man seems to us to have a control issue.