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Chit Chat

Money Discussion for Newlyweds!

Hey everyone! My fiancé and I are getting married in September, and we've been living together for years. We put our money together a long time ago: we have separate accounts but think of each account as both of ours, and whoever has money pays for things, we don't keep track at all, and it really works for us. 

As we move forward and I finish graduate school, we'll probably both finally be able to start saving money for joint things, such as vacations, properties, etc. My question to all of you is, how do you deal with money together? For example, do you have two separate accounts and a joint savings account for joint purchases? What do you do for retirement savings, do you have separate accounts? My fiancé and I disagree on investment strategy. And we will make a very disparate amount of money, should we both save a proportion of our paychecks each month? 

Finally, how do you deal with discretionary purchases? We both want to save up for expensive items, how do you deal with that? Do you have different accounts for saving for fun/recreational purchases?

Thanks in advance I can't wait to hear what you've all come up with!

Re: Money Discussion for Newlyweds!

  • My fiancé and I have our own separate accounts as of right now. We are in the process of buying a house and decided when we are married (in 3 months) we will open a joint account and transfer money into that account for bills/mortgage and this account will also have a savings where we will put in however much we can at the end of each month to save towards vacation and other recreational things. We have a deal where if we want to buy anything over 300 dollars we have to tell each other and make sure that we are able to do that with our funds. Anything under we don't need to sit down and discuss. Money can be tricky especially when one has more than the other. My fiancé makes more than me but we have an agreement that he pays for more and I do what I can to help. You just have to come to a compromise and make sure it works for the both of you.
  • OP - do you want this moved to another board? This has nothing to do with Wedding Parties.

    Ditto @thespeshulestsnowflake on heading to the "Chit Chat" board and clicking on the "Splitting Finances" thread. There are a ton of people who responded there with what they do in their relationships.
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    [Deleted User]lyndausvinovella1186
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    When DH (then FI) moved in we created a joint budget and we split living expenses 50/50 even though he made more.  Everything else remained with the person who owned it.  I paid for the wedding out of my savings and he paid for the honeymoon and the down payment for our new house.  After we sold the old house (which was mine before we met) the proceeds paid for a kitchen remodel in the new house plus moving expenses.

    As soon as we returned from the honeymoon all expenses and income became "joint".  Our retirement account are individual, but we are each the beneficiary of the other.  We have joint checking and savings accounts, both on the mortgage and property deed, etc.

    There is no "wrong" answer for this, it is all about what works for you guys as a unit.  Just be on the same page and revisit the plan as things change (pay raises, debt paid off, etc).

    As far as "fun" money, we each get a set amount of money each month to do whatever we want with, if we don't spend it all it rolls forward to the next month.  For saving up for bigger expenses (new tv, vacation, furniture) we look at our overall budget and decide how much we can afford to put towards the goal(s).

    We have one joint checking, then we have several different savings accounts to make sure the money doesn't get spent on something other than the goal by accident.  We have an account for General Savings, Retirement Funds, Vacation, Christmas/Birthday Gifts, New Car Fund.  We also keep a cushion in our checking account and a "sinking fund" in the checking account to cover annual expenses like car registrations, Amazon Prime accounts, my insurance policy for my e-ring and wedding band.  We add up those expenses and then divide the amount by 12 and save a little each month.
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  • l9il9i Ohio member
    Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Our finances are combined "officially" now that we are married.  Prior, we sounded a lot like you, we never kept track or who paid for what and when, just that bills were paid.  We have a joint checking where a majority of the money goes and is then directed there to pay for bills, living expenses, or into short term savings.  DH has a part of his money that goes directly to our long term savings account that we can use for a house down payment, or other large expense.

    We both contribute to our workplace 401k at different paces.  I contribute more to mine than DH does because I have a sweater deal.  Benefits are also paid from my salary because they're a better deal.  All of this just took us sitting down and discussing what are better options between our two employers.

    Discretionary spending is typically discussed between us if it's a larger amount.  If one of us goes out to lunch we just do, no need to run it by the other.  However, if I want to go shopping for some new clothes I typically run it past DH.  If DH wants to go by hunting stuff he runs it past me.  Recently DH wanted to make a rather large purchase for hunting and I we had talked about it.  We started putting a little more into our short term savings and when we had enough he could make that purchase.  A lot of stuff like that is just planning ahead for us so we can funnel/budget money to alot for it.  When we have joint expenses we talk about it, like a month ago when our dryer went out.  Or we wanted to take a big vacation so we planned ahead on how we were going to save for it.

    To me it works because there's communication and mostly when we want to deviate from our "usual" expenses or budget we sit down and discuss the how of making that happen.

    Hope that helps!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Really this is a couple to couple thing.  Everyone does finances differently.

    But H and I have a joint savings and checking account.  Plus we have our own savings and checking accounts.  For the joint checking we use this to pay our household expenses.  For our joint savings, we put a designated amount of money each paycheck into that for joint expenses such as vacations, furniture, basement remodel, etc.  For our individual accounts those are used to pay our individual bills (H pays his own school loan and car insurance, I pay my own car insurance and personal credit card bill) as well as money that we are free to use however we see fit.  So if I want to buy a $1000 purse and I have the money then I am free to do that without any input from H.  Our only rule about individual accounts is that the person must have the money to pay for the item.

    As for retirement accounts, we each have our separate accounts through work but we are beneficiaries on each others account.  We also have separate health insurance and car insurance.

    But really you have to decide what works best for the two of you.  You need to discuss finances and what you consider a lot of money to spend on something vs what the other person thinks.  You have to discuss how much each person is going to contribute both to the bills and to the savings.  It is a lot to think about and takes time to really figure out.  H has always been horrible with money so I knew that I was going to the "banker" of our family.  He trusts my decisions and knows that I would never put us in the red.  When it comes time for big purchases I talk to him about them and let him know what our accounts look like and we usually come to a joint decision on how to move forward.  So yeah, it really is a couple to couple decision on how finances should be handled.

  • I agree it is a couple by couple call, but the most important thing is to agree on something and stick with it. H and I bought a house about 8 months before we got married and combined our finances at that time in the following way: we each retained our separate accounts but created a joint account which we both put about half of our paychecks in. We pay all of our bills (mortgage, utilities, student loans, groceries, etc.) out of that account. We also used that account to pay for wedding stuff somewhat. 

    Our separate accounts are basically used for our own personal expenses, like clothes, etc, and to develop savings. I have been working on increasing my 401k contributions so that I am contributing 12.5% myself and my employer contributes up to an additional 6%. H says he maxes his contributions, so he is contributing more than me to his plan. 

    Right now H and I are very lucky. We make roughly the same salary and are pretty easy going on money. He is more of a saver than I am though and I am trying to work on that with myself so that our future is as good as it can be.
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    When DH and I first moved in together, we each had separate accounts and created a joint account for our combined expenses.  We figured out what our total monthly cost was for joint bills (rent, phone, cable, etc), added an amount for food and entertainment, and we each put that amount in the joint account each month.  Any extra in the joint account at end of month was considered savings for future trips or expenses. Then whatever we had left in our personal accounts was ours to do what we wanted with. We had big difference between his income and mine, but we still wanted to each cover our 1/2 of the bills, so that worked for us.

    About 2 years after we lived together, we both got laid off from work at same time and were out of work for about 6 months.  During that time, we ended up just putting all our money in the joint account and paying whatever bill was most critical.  Everything was completely joint because we needed every penny we had for our joint survival.

    After we started working again, it just didn't make sense to us to separate expenses again.  We had very similar views on finances and DH kind of liked just letting me handle all the finances, so we kept it all joint. I started working again before he did, so we got accustomed to living on just my income. When DH started working, we decided to continue living on just my income and we have his income direct deposited into a separate account that we utilize for savings or large expense items. That account paid for our wedding & honeymoon and is currently being saved for house down payment. But, we consider it all "our" money and don't really have any separation.  Neither of us spends a lot, so we don't run into issues with either overspending and we usually will discuss it if one of us wants a large purchase.  So, that works for us. 

    But each couple will have different ways that work for them and there is no right or wrong. You really just need to compare your spending and saving habits and find a method that works for you both.

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited July 2015
    If varies from couple to couple.  Also just because you start off with one was doesn't mean you can't change.

    DH and I started as 50/50 with only a joint saving.   Mostly because we were living in my condo that was bought with my much lower salary.    In the last almost 7 years we have moved 4 times (different states), both been unemployed at different times, DH's salary has risen and mine had decreased.    

    Currently we roughly contribute the same percentage as what we bring in as income.  DH dumps his percentage into the joint accounts.  I just add savings into the joint account and pay my percentage to the bills directly from my account.    Mostly out of laziness.  I pay all the bills, I do not see a reason to move money to our joint checking only to send it back out again.  Might as well just pay it directly from my own account.  DH doesn't care as long as it's paid.

    We have always thought of it as "our" money even though we still have separate accounts.  As each of our financial situations changed so did how we handled the money.  








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  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    lyndausvi said:
    If varies from couple to couple.  Also just because you start off with one was doesn't mean you can't change.

    DH and I started as 50/50 with only a joint saving.   Mostly because we were living in my condo that was bought with my much lower salary.    In the last almost 7 years we have moved 4 times (different states), both been unemployed at different times, DH's salary has risen and mine had decreased.    

    Currently we roughly contribute the same percentage as what we bring in as income.  DH dumps his percentage into the joint accounts.  I just add savings into the joint account and pay my percentage to the bills directly from my account.    Mostly out of laziness.  I pay all the bills, I do not see a reason to move money to our joint checking only to send it back out again.  Might as well just pay it directly from my own account.  DH doesn't care as long as it's paid.

    We have always thought of it as "our" money even though we still have separate accounts.  As each of our financial situations changed so did how we handled the money.  


    This is us. It makes no sense to me to go through the hassle of figuring out splitting all the bills. Based on what we make, we determine who pays what bill. I pay the mortgage and my student loans and DH pays everything else (cable, electric, water, etc). Since the bills I pay are usually higher, he has money left over for groceries, eating out, etc. Then we are both left with some fun money or money to save if we want. If either of us ever needed extra money for whatever reason we would give it to the other person because all in all it's "our" money.


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