Not Engaged Yet

How do you and SO handle money?

FI and I have been discussing this lately, and I think we're going to combine pretty much everything, but still each maintain the long-term savings we've started. We'll each have a weekly "allowance" for personal expenses, although we haven't really nailed down specifics (this won't be an immediate shift).

We've been living with separate chequing, short term and long term savings, with a joint chequing account since we bought our house, and while it works, it's not ideal. It's a pain to maintain that many accounts and determine what expenses should come out of where. We'll stick with it until I have a full-time job though, because until then, our incomes are really unequal and I'm living partially on savings (being a student = totally lame financially). 

So, what do you and your SO do (if you live together, and if not, what do you plan to do)? How does it work? What are the pros and cons? We're not totally sold on combining, but we agree that what we're doing now isn't working for us anymore.
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Re: How do you and SO handle money?

  • BF & I each have our own checking and our own savings accounts. We also have a joint savings account.

    I agree - it's a huge pain in the butt sometimes. Currently BF pays all the bills. I have a set amount automatically transferred into his account every Monday. We flip flop between who pays for things when we are out and about, and most of our bills are paid online as well - so if he forgets something, or doesn't have time to pay it - I can go in and choose which account I want the money to come out of. We do a lot of transferring of money lol.

    To be honest, we may keep our accounts separate even when/if we get married. It's all the same money in our heads, but for whatever reason - having it separated is still nice. Plus he loves it around birthdays and Christmas since I do online banking all the time, I can't see where he is spending money.
  • msuprincess04msuprincess04 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited June 2012
    We haven't combined anything. He transfers to me his part of the mortgage/HOA each month. He pays the cable bill, and I pay the electric bill. We pretty much just take turns buying other household expenses.

    Though, we've lived together for only about a month, and I'm not sure how long this arraignment will last. I'm desperately trying to avoid setting up another bank account. I already have 4!
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I have my own personal checking account & then we have 3 joint accounts (2 of which we use).  FI uses the checking account in our joint account as his own & we share the savings account for our wedding & whatnot.  I'm able to transfer money from my personal checking account to all of our accounts. He can only transfer between the joint accounts.  

    As far as bills go, I pay the rent from my mine, he pays the utilities & car expenses from his. It works well for us, however, I'm supposed to be in the process of transferring everything over to our joint accounts so we just have that once we're married next year. It's just feels like such a hassle to me right now, to transfer all of my auto-pay bills (student loans, direct deposit at work, etc) over to a new account. But it'll be done eventually. 



  • When we move in together we are keeping everything separate.  We each have our savings and checking accounts.  So we'll have certain bills we will each pay and be saving a certain amount per month for a wedding and a house.  I didn't want a joint account until we were at least engaged.  We will each pay for things like car and insurance separately.

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  • peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    Since we aren't living together, we each have our own separate accounts.  When we talked about trying to move in together this year, it came up, but has been tabled until I get a raise.  Lame.  We plan on keeping our separate accounts, but also opening a joint checking in order to pay joint bills from - rent, utilities, and probably groceries.  We'll probably figure out how to make things work best, but I think we'll keep enough in our checking to pay our student loans, cars, insurance, etc, as well as our weekly allowance, and the rest will be split between the joint account and savings.
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  • edited June 2012
    We each have our own checking and savings accounts, and we plan on keeping it that way. Of course this was kind of a pain in the rear when we were trying to deposit checks we received for the wedding that were made out to both of us- I didn't realize that both of us had to physically be present if we wanted to cash or deposit them (me endorsing the check isn't sufficient if DH goes in by himself to cash or deposit it). And of course, the teller at the bank looked at us like we had two heads when we said we didn't have a joint account. But whatever, it works for us. We will probably add each other to the accounts just so that we can have access for emergency purposes, etc.

    Right now FI makes more than me and pays the rent, and I get utilities and groceries and most other expenses. -Unless those other expenses add up to more than rent, and then he will pitch in. It's all the same money so to us it doesn't really matter that things are 'separate'. It just seems like more of a pain to combine everything.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_how-do-you-and-so-handle-money?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:04b4f0f3-ff98-48e7-a98f-00f09834ee4cPost:706ff173-b86b-4503-a0e1-eb86fc657b97">Re: How do you and SO handle money?</a>:
    [QUOTE]We have our own checking accounts and savings account and transfer money back and forth.  We plan on using his account as a joint account but until we have kids it's not really a high priority change.  We both pay for things out, and all the joint bills are paid out of H's account.  All of our personal things are out of our checking account.  It would be IMPOSSIBLE to balance a joint checking with how independent we are and <strong>it's not like I'll remember to tell him every time I get gas or go through Sonic for a diet drink.  And he shops on Amazon way too much for me to keep up with.
    Posted by hellotarra[/QUOTE]
    </strong>
    Okay substitute amazon for other stores, and diet for non-diet slushies and corn dogs... and I agree with all of this! LOL
  • I also do it like a lot of you. My SO and I each have our own savings/chequing accounts, I transfer money over whenever rent etc. needs to be paid, transfer money over to various savings/investiments accounts.

    We've been doing this for years now, so we probably won't change it after our status changes.

    'Just my 2 cents.
  • we combined everything, except for an emergency savings account in my name.  I handle the bills and budgeting, but we both access the online account to check on it every day.  we use mostly cash for groceries and eating out, after all the bills are paid, and occassionally the debit card for a surprise purchase (wedding gift, a new pair of shoes, whatever) or gas.
  • We don't live together so we each have our own checking and saving accounts, but we do sit down and budget everything at the begining of the month together. We put it on a google-share spread sheet so that both of us can change it at anytime, ie if we get more on a pay check then we thought we would.  We've been doing this for a while now but I like the idea of a joint savings account...
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  • suzie211suzie211 member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2012
    BF and I just had this conversation.  We move into our new place in August and I wanted to have the who pays what part clear before the move.

    We both have checking accounts with the same national bank and can send electronic payments to eachother for our half of the rent. So it's just a matter of one of us sending in the payment.  For utilities, we'll each have a couple we pay seperately.  Dinner out is on him and groceries are on me.  We both have seperate savings accounts and are very open about what's in them and saving for a future house or wedding.

    In about 60-90 days I'll know if this needs to be re-worked!

    ETA:  I forgot this part!  Beads-  I have had a joint checking/savings with my ex-H before.  It can be done, but you have to communicate with eachother about balances, bills paid, and can you make purchases.  My ex-H and I weren't great about this and lesson learned.  If you communicate and are on the same page a joint account makes all the money handling a little easier on where its coming from and going into.
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  • FI and I have our own seperate checking and savings accounts. We will move everything into one account after we are married.
    Used to be bourgehm. +1,500 posts. Silly knot
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  • We have separate accounts except we have a joint account under FI's main account for the wedding that I can add and take out of.

    He pays mortgage and electric/water. I pay insurance, gas, and random stuff like cleaning supplies. We split food.

    We will join everything when we get closer to the wedding or after the wedding but for now I want to pay off my car and down my schooling before we join anything.

     

  • We joined our checking accounts about six months ago (added him to my account). He has two savings accounts in just his name (we need to get me added to those, but just haven't gotten around to it). I have a savings account as well, but there isn't much in there.

    We are both very good about putting our purchases into our check register. It's no different than what you'd have to do with an individual account. I'm in charge of balancing it. I don't love being able to see everything he spends money on, and I sometimes think twice before I make purchases that I wouldn't have blinked at before, but it works for us.

    We went through our entire budget and determined what our weekly allowance was. I'm pretty good at sticking to it, he's still getting used to it. We're a work in progress :)
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  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We maintain joint checking and savings accounts at a credit union and then each have a checking account at our personal banks. On payday, 85% of my income goes into the joint checking account and 15% into my own. Since Tyler makes less than I do, he has a set amount go into his personal account each payday. When our paychecks go in, I pull a set amount from the joint checking and transfer it into the joint savings.

    I control our joint finances and make sure the utilities, mortgage, car payment, etc. are paid. If there's some big purchase he wants to make, we sit down and discuss it. He always makes sure he has my permission before buying large items.

  • Anyone else notice that Mookow referred to her H as "FI?"
  • Right now we have everything combined.  I like it that way, however, we really aren't in a RL money situation yet.  He plans on handling the budget and the bills. I think it will work out ok but I am sure it will take some getting used to.

    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_how-do-you-and-so-handle-money?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:04b4f0f3-ff98-48e7-a98f-00f09834ee4cPost:a1d29b96-08b1-46b3-b232-da64fe26ce3c">Re:How do you and SO handle money?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Anyone else notice that Mookow referred to her H as "FI?"
    Posted by Elle1036[/QUOTE]
    Haha oops :)
    image
    Married! :) 5/19/12 The Domesticals

  • We have our own accounts for all personal expenses (student loans, cell phones, clothing, food out, vacations, etc.).  We have a joint checking that we use for all joint expenses - mortgage and maintenance fees, cable/internet, groceries, meals/nights out when we go out together and gifts for weddings and birthdays.  We also have a savings account for the wedding, and we do a transfer once a month with the excess in our checking. 

    Once we're married, I want to combine it all and have just small personal allowances or whatever.  Personally, I'd rather it all be combined except for some personal savings set aside for gifts for each other or something like that.  I don't care if "our" money pays for his dry cleaning or clothes or lunches or whatever.  I don't think he feels the same exactly, but we're open to talking about what will work best for us.  We have a while to figure it out, so we're just now starting to discuss it.  He makes double what I make, so I personally hate our system now.  He puts twice as much as me into our joint account, but he still has twice the amount of spending/savings money.  That annoys me only because we do so much as a couple, and I hate that it's sometimes a struggle for me (like going on vacation).  This income difference is new because he only started this job a few months ago.  

    FI also likes to do stuff with the stock market, so I figure that a certain percentage of our income can be for that - no questions asked on my part about what happens to it.  I would feel bad making him use his personal savings or spending money for that.  
  • We combined out checking and savings when we got married. H is really good about using cash or telling me when he uses the card so I don't have to worry about balancing issues. I think it will also be easier when we buy a house hopefully next year and just in general for us.
    5/27/12
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Right now everything is separated. Once we move in together and are married we have discussed that we will combine everything with each of us having a separate account for savings. We haven't discussed it in depth though.



  • Stina51286Stina51286 member
    2500 Comments 100 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_how-do-you-and-so-handle-money?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:04b4f0f3-ff98-48e7-a98f-00f09834ee4cPost:a1d29b96-08b1-46b3-b232-da64fe26ce3c">Re:How do you and SO handle money?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Anyone else notice that Mookow referred to her H as "FI?"
    Posted by Elle1036[/QUOTE]

    I was going to mention it and then TK wouldn't let me so I had to come back.

     

  • At the moment, everything is separate. BF pays the mortgage and all the utilities, and I write him a check for half the mortgage once a month. I buy the groceries, and we generally switch back and forth as to who pays when we're out. We're planning on opening a joint account (like, yesterday, we just haven't gotten around to it yet), and using that for the household expenses, as well as dinners out, etc. We will also still both have our individual account for our personal expenses. 

    We also want to start a joint short-term savings account for vacations, bigger purchases for the house, etc.
    image
  • Everything is separate, and we pretty much plan to keep it that way. H pays most of the utilities (they were in his name before we moved in together), and we write two rent checks every month to balance it out.

    We attempted to create a joint checking account for rent and utilities, but it turns out H could not access it online unless I gave him my username and password. I was bummed, because I ordered checks and everything for it. So, in the end we're still separate. Maybe one day we will have the one joint account.

    I haven't balanced a checkbook in close to ten years. I'm surprised how many people here mentioned something like that.
  • Sounds like a lot of you are in a similar set up to what we have right now with or without the actual shared account. And most of you agree it's a pain. And then some of you plan to combine when you're married which is basically our plan too. Thanks ladies and sorry I've been absent from this thread all day I have no computer at work right now,
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  • Judge away - we've been married over a year and we still have no joint accounts. Mostly because we've been going back and forth over which bank to go with (his or mine) and we wanted to be debt-free (minus student loans) before we joined accounts.

    Currently, we each have our own checking and savings. DH pays the rent, most the utilities, insurances, and biweekly groceries (namely, Costco and the local butcher where we get our meats). I cover my health insurance and our Aflac, a portion of the utilities and the weekly grocery shopping (produce and general shopping). We mostly use my car, so we alternate filling the tank, and the hubs fills his tank on his own (maybe once a month). We tend to have enough left over to stash money in savings every month, and still have a little bit of fun money, to go do social things or go shopping.

    Our game plan is to have a joint checking and joint savings, and each have our own checking account. The majority of our paychecks will go in the joint accounts, minus some play money for each of our private accounts per pay period. This will let us be able to do gift shopping without the other one knowing. I also would feel better doing "fun" shopping (like a trip to HomeGoods) out of my "play money" and not our household account, but that's just me.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_how-do-you-and-so-handle-money?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:04b4f0f3-ff98-48e7-a98f-00f09834ee4cPost:3a373065-1d39-4645-b09a-9ca53882ba18">Re: How do you and SO handle money?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Everything is separate, and we pretty much plan to keep it that way. H pays most of the utilities (they were in his name before we moved in together), and we write two rent checks every month to balance it out. We attempted to create a joint checking account for rent and utilities, but it turns out H could not access it online unless I gave him my username and password. I was bummed, because I ordered checks and everything for it. So, in the end we're still separate. Maybe one day we will have the one joint account. I haven't balanced a checkbook in close to ten years. I'm surprised how many people here mentioned something like that.
    Posted by leia1979[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I used to keep my checkbook balanced until about 2 years ago, but I realized that half the time I was looking up my debits online just to write them in my checkbook register- and I wrote very few checks anyway. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't bother to balance it.  (Both FI and I are really good about checking our joint and individual accounts often and we will always notice if a check hasn't cleared yet.)

    </div>
  • We currently have no joint accounts and we don't really have any immediate plans to change that.

    We have different spending habits and different priorities, so it works for us to keep our incomes and expenditures separate.  As long as we can both be counted on to come up with the money for our portions of the bills and not amass a whole bunch of debt without the other's knowledge, I don't feel like we really need to know the details of each other's finances.

    The past 9 months have been a little different for us since I moved to MS without a job and we had a wedding to plan, but now that life is pretty much back to normal (me working again, no more vendors to pay), we're slowly transitioning back to our norm.
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