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Combining bank accounts?

My fiance and I have been talking a lot about combining bank accounts. It seems to make the most sense since we are constantly transferring money to each other for different bills, and helping each other out with other things (wedding accessories, groceries, gas, etc...). We are both very for it, but both are still a bit hesitant. I just wanted some outside perspective. Are seperate accounts better than combined? Should we wait until after the wedding?

Re: Combining bank accounts?

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    If you search the board at the bottom of the page, this topic has been discussed. BUT I will answer it.

    We combined about a month before. You should do what works for you two.
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    We opened a joint account about a month after we moved in together (we were engaged at that point).

    Our paycheques are deposited into the JA and all the household expenses come out of it (mortgage, insurance, groceries, gas, etc). We also both withdraw a set amount of discretionary money into our personal accounts that is used for whatever we want - shopping, dinners out with friends, etc.
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    After we moved in together (about a year and a half ago), we opened a joint account. We each contribute the same amount to that account each month, then use it to pay rent, groceries and other combined expenses (e.g. cleaning lady, cable bill, vet bill for the cats). The remaining money in our own accounts is for us to use as we choose. This has worked really well so far, but it's also missing the future planning. Now that we are getting married, we have started to discuss future savings plans and where we want to be financially in 1 year, 5 years etc and we are working towards that together.
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    While we were engaged, we opened joint accounts but still had our seperate accounts. Since we are both still students and are getting loans, we left our personal accouns open since that is where loan money deposits. It was too much paperwork with the government, the state, and school to go through changing a bank account. Since we only have one more semester, we are closing our seperate accounts after graduation. I understand being hesitant! If you want to try it out, open up a joint account but don't completely merge your money until after the wedding.
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    When we first combined accounts, we each kept a separate chequing account. We are now completely joined at it works well.
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    DH moved here, so I just put him on all my accounts (checking, savings, CCs etc). He still has his account from where he moved because he is still getting money deposited into that one, but when that stops he will just close it. DH isn't very budget conscious, so it works for us that I manage the bills and such.
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    we will have a joint account once we are married. rightnow we are just using money out of each of our accounts for wedding things. its working just fine.
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    katiebean1katiebean1 member
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    edited December 2011
    We have had joint bank accounts since about 5 months after we started dating (that is when we moved in together). I know that is crazy but it worked for us.  We have had joint bank accounts for 3 years now and I handle all the money/bill paying.  It works for us but I know that definately wouldnt work for everyone.
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    redheadfsuredheadfsu member
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    edited December 2011
    We have a joint and also separate accounts.

    A certain % is for bills & it goes to joint, then a certain % is for fun money & it goes into separate. 

    I like having MY fun money, and he has his. If it was all joint, then I would feel like I would need permission to buy something, which would cause resentment (for me at least). But we are both only children so sharing isn't something we like (J/K kind of).

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    My FI and I each have our own accounts. We don't live together. We each have a debit card for the other one's account for emergency purporses or bills. It just depends on what day we get paid. Like, our cell phone bill (joint) is due the 13th of every month, so I might borrow the money from his account to pay it. Then he'll take money out of my account for gas, especially since we don't see each other everyday.
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    DeadUtopiaDeadUtopia member
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    edited December 2011
    My FI and I have pretty much always had a joint account. I didn't have an account and he did, so once I moved in with him (before we were formally 'engaged') he added me to his account and it is still that way today. Both of our checks go to the same account with a certain dollar amount that goes into a joint savings account. I handle all the bill payments, etc, but they come from our combined income, we don't divide expenses.

    That's what worked for us. If both of you are uncomfortable with having only joint accounts, then consider having a set amount go to a joint for bill payments and the remainder to go to seperate ones for personal use. This really needs to be an open and frank discussion with your FI because money is one of the most argued about subject in a relationship. GL!
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    You definitely don't have to combine.  We're completely separate, except for a joint account we used to save for the wedding, that we now use solely to transfer money back and forth.  We divide bills in a way that works for us.  We like it this way.

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    We both have our separate checking and savings accounts, a joint account, and a joint account for wedding expenses.  We opend the joint accounts about 3 years ago, before we were engaged.  Do whatever works beest for you guys.
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    Every couple has their own way of managing their money; you have to find what works for you. The most important step is to talk to your FI about what he is comfortable with and how he would feel if all of your finances are joined. Many people feel a loss of independance once they no longer have their "own" account and if the issue isn't properly addressed, it can effect other areas of the relationship.

    In my case, my H and I combined checking accounts when we moved in together (about a year before the wedding). He still had his own savings account and we each still had our own credit cards, but seldom used them. At first, H struggled with that loss of independance and feeling that I was scrutinizing his every purchase (I'm definitely the saver in the relationship). We had a long conversation, and in the end I had to learn how to change my behavior and way of thinking and he cut back on random, miscellaneous purchases.

    Once we were married, we transfered all of our money into a new PNC Virtual Wallet account (it's actually 3 accounts in one). We still each have the credit card for emergencies. We are completely open with our finances and have come a long way in terms of compromising on large purchases and money management. Next step for us  is to start investing :)
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    Everyone is different, just discuss it and see what works for you two, there is no right or wrong way to go. We are older and decided to keep our accounts separate (we both own our own businesses so it is just easier that way.) We do have a "wedding fund" savings account that we will keep after the wedding for activities, travel, etc. Good luck !!
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    We combined all of our accounts. We own our home together and pay all our bills as a couple and buy everything as a couple so it works out great for us. We both know exactly how much money we have. We discuss any kind of large purchases we make, but we did that before we joined our accounts anyway.
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    We each have a personal checking and savings for our individual use (This way we can put gas in the cars and not have to worry about whether or not the other one left enough money in the account to cover it), and then a joint checking and savings that we pay the bills out of and save for things like vacations and home improvement projects.

    It's not for everybody, but it works really well for us-we've been doing this for almost 4 years, we've been married for almost 2 and we've never had a problem with it.


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    I suggest doing it at least 3 months before the wedding. It gives you an idea on how to manage the funds.You know how you are with managing but how is he? And it also helps to find out what bills you both have coming out at the same time so that you can adjust dates if needed. We have two joint accounts and it has taken some getting used to because you must communicate but thankfully after two months we have gotten into the swing of things.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_combining-bank-accounts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:14Discussion:ff359ce4-edf9-484f-afe5-3b8de4f22130Post:b49ae8cf-7e41-4f07-a075-e9aaa43973e0">Re: Combining bank accounts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You definitely don't have to combine.  We're completely separate, except for a joint account we used to save for the wedding, that we now use solely to transfer money back and forth.  We divide bills in a way that works for us.  We like it this way.
    Posted by J&K10910[/QUOTE]
    This exactly.
    Married 5.6.11

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    When we were getting married - I too was hesitant about combining accounts, but it was only because it was a change from the familiar.  Once we combined accounts and started paying everything from one account instead of two - it was much easier and didn't take long to get used to at all.

    That being said, you should do whatever you and your fiance' are most comfortable with.  Good Luck!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_combining-bank-accounts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:14Discussion:ff359ce4-edf9-484f-afe5-3b8de4f22130Post:b9417cce-fd46-4471-9365-81d8abccdf65">Re: Combining bank accounts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]What works financially is different for each couple. Prior to the wedding, we only had a joint savings account and that was where our savings for the wedding was.  He paid certain bills out of his personal account and I did the same with other bills. After we got married, we kept the joint savings and opened a joint checking. We also both have a personal checking account. This is where our "fun" money is deposited each month and we can spend that money as we see fit. 
    Posted by ILoveMilkDuds[/QUOTE]

    This.

    Well, this is our plan. We have a joint account now that is used for the wedding. We plan to move in together about 6 weeks ahead of time and we already decided to do a joint account and then have small side accounts for extra stuff and for around special occasions, the ability to purchase presents without the other knowing (darnit!! <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif" border="0" alt="Tongue out" title="Tongue out" />)
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    We opened a joint checking account a little over a year ago.  I like knowing what money is mine and that is what I spend; he isn't that concerned about it, to him it is "our" money.  So, to keep things straight, I created a simple spreadsheet in excel that keeps our money seperated even though it is in the same checking account.  I can make the budget for the bills in the spreadsheet and when it come time to pay eveything I can take the money the appropriate person.  Some people think I am weird but, I like to know where I stand at all times.
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    We have a joint and seperate personal. Works best because you never know what will happen in life and that way you ensure there is always at least one source of money for each person.
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    We're not engaged yet, but my boyfriend and I have joint accounts as well as our own checking accounts at separate banks. The way that my paycheck goes is that 85% of my income goes into our joint account and 15% into my account. He does a flat $200 from each paycheck into his account and the rest into our joint account. The mortgage, utilities, pet insurance, Netflix, gas, et cetera come from the joint account and then things that are personal (such as my YMCA and Massage Envy memberships) come from our personal accounts.

    It works out super well for both of us, but especially for me because prior to this, I was paying everything and he was horrible at paying me back, so I was always despondent because I thought that I was a terrible budgeter... but then I realized that he owed me like $1500 and really, it was just him :X.

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    Here's another - Do what works best for you.  Not all financial plans work the same for each couple.   If you two don't agree upon money issues/financial goals, then it can lead to many fights.

    We didn't combine incomes until:
    1) we were engaged
    2) I moved into his house
    3) I paid off all my student loans
    4) I sold my house and got on his house title

    That pretty much all took place between May-Oct 2011.  So November 2011 was our first combined income month.

    I was married previously and we did everything separately.  He was not good with money.
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    I dont think we will join accounts for a couple of different reasons:

    1) If your spouse has bad credit..when you join finances you also join into their debt. I have worked hard to maintain good credit. We will work (separately) on cleaning up his credit.

    2) I make a more than my FH, and am very independant. I dont want to have to ask permission to buy a pair of shoes. I will so resentful on so many levels..

    3) I am better with money, so we will discuss the amount of bills each month and pay 50% accordingly. He currently hands me the money to take care of bills now so that probably wont change.

    4) My only dilemma is that I own my own home and have for 5 years already. I have to figure out how to work that out, since I dont want him to contribute to MY mortgage. its not joint property..hmm.

    I think the best course of action is to discuss with your FH what you are comfortable with, try it out and tweek it if neccessary. I dont think there is a right or wrong...just what works for you

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    I think everyone is different..do what works for you, but i find that building your life together, and part of being totally..married, requires your finances being together..being married means it stops being "mine" and "yours" and becomes "ours"...and part of combining your lives means finances as well.
    My fiance and I got a joint bank acct when we moved in together, that was for joint expenses..rent, bills, etc.
    when we had our son...everything we bought sorta became a joint expense.. how do you decide whos responsibility it is to pay for diapers? :s
    So we nixed our personal accts and got one together, so everything is jointed now and its the easiest for us, im better with money than FI is, so i take care of everything financially related and we decide together and compromise on any big purchases. Plus when you make big purchases together (a car for example) it just makes it easier.
    we have friends who dont have a joint acct, and she is always having to call her DH and get him to transfer her money for this or that (shes a stay at home mom)...its so inconvenient for them. :s
    do what works for you, but in my experience, it makes things 10x easier and 10x less complicated if you just have joint banking
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    That is what my fiance said too

     
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