11/29/12

Q & A: Joining Finances or Keeping Things Separate


Thursday Q & A time folks. First, how about a small celebration that it is almost Friday. This week has been a week of readjusting. Sometimes I love vacation but then getting back on track and caught up afterwards can be tough. Like I mentioned, it is almost Friday. :)

What does that picture up above have to do with finances? Oh, nothing but isn't it the prettiest? I stumbled upon Our Labor of Love and am captivated. I scrolled through their work and love it and I know you will enjoy it just as much.

Today's topic covers finances. I always grew up thinking that couples automatically joined their bank accounts together when they got married. Rusty and I made the decision to create one account when we became engaged. Without hesitation we joined our finances but we did talk every scenario through. It wasn't until a few months later when I started asking girlfriends if they had joined accounts that I learned some couples keep things separate. To be honest, the concept blew my mind. Of course I listened to their stories and the more I learn about couples and finances and bills, I truly believe that each couple is a case-by-case decision.

I know finances aren't that exciting. Contain yourself but money is a big deal in relationships. A big deal. I have said this before but the only arguments that Rusty and I have had during our marriage is when it comes to our spending and bank account. One study I read stated that the term financial disagreement is one of the biggest reasons for divorce and that couples who disagree about finances more than once a week are at a higher risk for divorce. Now do not let that statistic scare you. Like I said, each couple is a case by case. Since money, bills and saving is a key component for each relationship I thought I would bring in Rusty for a little help with this post. He actually responded positively and took this blog post really seriously.

1. Talk it over then talk it over again. This may seem extremely obvious but communication with money is crucial whether you have one account together or separate accounts. Your decision is a big deal. There is just no way around it. The principles you have with money effect many aspects of your life and especially your future. Whether joint account or separate finances, communication is something that no couple should avoid. It may take a few chats but it is worth it.

2. Do what suits your lifestyles. If you decide to join your accounts then go for it. Try out what works best for you. It can be easy to be swayed by what others tell you to do. Everyone has the best advice in his or her mind but pick what fits into your every day life. Who knows? A friend may have some inspiration you didn't think of but your finances are your finances.

3. It is not long yours and his but ours. Or as Rusty corrected, it is no longer yours and his but mine and ours. So not true husband. Ha! All kidding aside, getting married brings in new bills and a different way of accounting. Regardless of which way you go (joint or separate banking accounts), it is no longer just you. Keep your partner in mind, what you will pay in bills, what you should save and where you want to enjoy.

4. Find what works. This was difficult for Rusty and I. It has taken us several different tries but we are starting to find the right balance for us. We have tried giving each of us a cash allowance to due what we want, we have tried separate "fun" accounts and we have tried to do everything from one account. Do not worry if it takes you a few times or tries. You are not failing but finding the right fit. That is so important!

5. Make sure you discuss spending and saving. You and your partner should have similar theories and practices when it comes to how you spend and save your money. If you do not see eye to eye, a joint account may not be the best idea for your relationship. You should at least agree on the basic principles. Talk, talk, talk.

I hope that these tips help. The biggest thing is talk about it all and find what works for you. What works best in your relationship? Joint accounts or separate finances? Any advice to pass long? Let me know your thoughts!

6 comments:

  1. We have been married 36 years and have been through all kinds of financial stresses. The checking accounts thing is important. Here is what works for us. Usually one person is the one that handles most bill paying, management, etc. And the other one doesn't. But if both are money earners, there is potential for arguments. Each money earner should have their own account to put their money in. Then, funds can be transferred to the account of the bill-payer as needed, but for us, each of us needs to feel that we have a little control over the money we worked for. Both members need to be somewhat responsible. If a member of a couple has very careless spending habits, then I don't know what will work for them.

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    1. Whatever works best for you! I agree that one person should handle most of the finances mostly because Rusty is soooo much better at it than I am! Lol Thank you for reading :)

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  2. Great advice! My husband and I both have our separate accounts, and a joint account. We also have shared credit cards and separate ones. I think most people like to have a little bit of autonomy with their finances...I know that I like to be able to buy a pair of shoes without my husband knowing exactly how much I spent on them!

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    1. I may keep that in mind especially when it comes to shopping. Ha! :)

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  3. What great advice! It's interesting to hear other people's insights on the less-than-fun topic of finances.

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I would love to hear from you! Let's encourage one another.