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Joint financials...when did you?

FI and I are into full blown discussions about finances. Around December we sat down and took an inventory of all our debt so we could be on the same page. I would really like to start talking about joining accounts now so that we're pulling from the same place for wedding funds. When did you merge your income/bills?

Re: Joint financials...when did you?

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    edited December 2011
    We are going to merge accounts after the wedding.  I guess there was no real reason for it, that's just what we felt like doing (maybe a little laziness in there!)

    After we decided on a budget amount, we agreed on how much each of us needs to contribute a month and we are putting it into one of my accounts.  For accountability purposes,  i've been printing the account balance and sticking it on the fridge.

    It seems to be working for us.  To each their own :)
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    edited December 2011
    We are going to right after the wedding, there is just so much going on right now, it is the last thing I can think about having to do! I just am going to do all my paperwork afterwards, name change, update all my accounts, etc. We both have too many autopay things that we don't have time to change. You could create a new joint account though and both contribute to it before, I would think that would be really easy. I thought about it, but just never had the time to do it.
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    edited December 2011
    We are getting married in May and opened a joint checking in February to take care of wedding things. I am paying for most of the wedding since my FI has other bills to pay and I live at home, and I hated having to give him money to buy something we needed or repay him.  Now we have a joint account and it is so much smoother.
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    duckie1905duckie1905 member
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    edited December 2011

    What we did merge, which wasn't much, we didn't do until after the wedding.  Both of us had a huge problem with the merging of assets before marriage so we kept everything separate.  To this day the only thing we really share is a joint checking and savings.

    We had a separate account for the wedding (in my name) and we both put the same percentage of our paychecks into it every month.  Then, all wedding expenses came from there.

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    jbll326jbll326 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I opened a wedding savings account through HSBC Online as soon as we got engaged. We each contributed a certain amount on auto-transfer each month and added anything additional that we could afford. We put all monetary engagement gifts and help from our parents that we received in there so that all wedding money was kept separate from our individual accounts. It worked out really well for us and we received a lot more in interest than a normal bank checking account.

    We have decided that we will not be comingling our financials completely. We'll have a joint checking account that we will each contribute to for paying bills and a joint savings account that we will each contribute to according to a percentage of our salaries. But we will each maintain our own individual checking and savings accounts. I'm a financial analyst, so my husband has asked me to be in charge of managing our total financial situation; I'll look over our debt and advise husband what he needs to be focusing on paying off, etc But he'll still have his checking account that he'll have virtually complete freedom with.

    We had spoken to a number of married couples throughout our engagement and the best advice we received is that it is very important to maintain our independence while being a couple - emotionally, mentally, and financially. The biggest cause of fights people have when they get married is regarding finances. It's difficult to get used to sharing fiscal responsibility with someone when you've been in charge of your own finances and purchases for your entire adult life and haven't had to answer to anyone else.

    We felt that the setup we have is very comfortable for both of us and gives us flexibility while equitably sharing responsibility. Figure out what your financial goals are together as a couple and explore the different ways of structuring your finances so that you can achieve them without either of you feeling like you have no more freedom.
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    edited December 2011
    We would do it now, but just haven't had the time.  We are considering changing banks as well because we have been so unhappy with Bank of America.  We will be joining all our accounts, but will each have our own credit card.  We both believe strongly in keeping our finances together.  When we have kids I will stay home with them, and both believe that we each contribute a lot to our home and relationship even though our salaries will be vastly different.
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    edited December 2011

    Shortly after we got engaged last October we went and opened a joint account that right now is the "wedding account".  We're both putting in an amount there every week as well as additional funds (Christmas money, tax returns, bonuses etc). We felt this was best for us so we could see exactly how much we have saved for and spent on the wedding.  I think we'll keep that account after the wedding and use it as the "honeymoon account" (we aren't going anywhere until a few months later) as well as the bill account.  I agree with jbll that FI and I need to keep our separate accounts as well.

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    edited December 2011
    We opened a joint checking acount about a year ago (after we had already been living together for 2 years).  We both deposit a certain amount into every time we get paid.  Our joint expenses come out of it and we pay our individual expenses (shopping money, car payment, credit card bills) out of our individual accounts.
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    HinajHinaj member
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    edited December 2011
    We will be merging everything after the wedding, but we opened an savings account in my name that we will put in the money for the wedding.  So we know how much we have saved for the wedding, etc. But everything else in terms of bills and everything we are keeping seperate for now. 
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    edited December 2011
    we will merge everything post wedding because i figure that's when i'll have to work on changing so many other things.  until then, i just ask FI where he wants to send money when we get paid and then we both write seperate checks.  to be honest, i could care less if he used my account for anything and vice versa, but we have that kind of trust/openness in our relationship.  i made a promise to him to be out of bad debt (d@mn credit cards) before our wedding and luckily with my past promotion i've already been able to do that, so now we take our extra extra cash (post all bill) and put it in our house fund.  I've been advocating to combine that early so that the interest can build more quickly - i just think we've been so busy we keep forgetting.  i definitely don't think there is a right/wrong answer, it is just how you and FI operate.
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    NoronNoron member
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    edited December 2011
    We merged nearly immediately after our engagement.  We would've done it sooner, since we already had a mortgage together and (for us) it is much easier to have combined accounts, but I didn't want to know when he bought the ring.
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    edited December 2011
    We merged after our engagement, i still have my own accounts, we just put so much in the merged accounts for the mortgage and combined payments, then we each put some in our own accounts as "fun money" this is used for vacations or if things go wrong and we need to fix something we have it.
    I think that it is whatever your comfortable. The key is to talk about finances and get everything on the table so there are no surprises.
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    edited December 2011
    we already have our money together but we created a wedding checking account so we could keep track of our wedding budget, and when we run out.... thats it LOL
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    edited December 2011
    We are a bit older than you all and this is our second wedding. This is a great question and a very important consideration as you are getting ready to marry.

    We are keeping our finances separate. I established a wedding savings account out of my own savings. When I asked him about creating a budget for him, he said he already had all the money in savings. Great. He is great with money, has NO DEBT, owns his house, (and I mine) and over 800 credit score.

    We each own our own home, and have our own assets in savings and retirement, stock etc.  We will continue to pay for each of our own bills and we are going to do a pre nup to protect each of our assets. 60% of second marriages end up divorcing.
    We are not combining households until 9 months after our wedding. Then my house will be rented out, and I and my son will move in with him. We will continue to pay our own bills (I'll will make sure that my mortgage taxes etc will get paid even though it will be rented, and go joint on his household expenses which will be ours when I move in).

    I cannot stress enough to women how important it is for you to establish and keep your own credit. Don't create credit card debt. If you cannot pay cash for it or get a zero percent card until you can pay off the debt, then you simply cannot afford that item. Save for it. My portion of the wedding is in savings with only a few thousand left to save, and my potrtion will be paid entirely in cash.

    That is why we didn't crumble with the current economy. We don't have credit card debt and we live within our means.  We have emergency saving funds for living 6 months in case one of us becomes jobless.





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