Getting Married Doesn't Have to Mean Sharing Every Dime With Your Spouse

Love & Learn 16

bride groom cake toppers cashWhen you're a bride-to-be, fun, fluttery, bubbly pre-wedding talk seems to fall into one of two categories: "OMG, tell me about the wedding!" or "Ooh, what a fairy tale!" (Things like the proposal, the dress, the future spouse in general can all fall into the latter.) No wonder that after tying the knot, some couples experience a total freakout/reality check. Like it or not, there's a lot more to marriage than happily ever after. Like paying the bills.

Then again, lots of couples live together and pay the bills together for a long time before getting married. My now-fiance and I lived together for five years before getting engaged. So what could really be all that different once we say "I do"? As I'm learning, nothing necessarily, but there are a bevy of financial possibilities and responsibilities -- both positive and negative -- associated with becoming Mr. and Mrs.  

For instance, we're going to open a joint checking and savings account FINALLY. But then we have to discuss what -- after the wedding gifts, of course -- goes in there. A percentage of our paychecks? A particular amount every month no matter what? Is it necessary to get a credit card in both our names, or should we just continue to use our own individual cards? One thing's for sure: I'm not going to want to be writing my husband a check for half the rent or cable bill.

At the same time, I completely expect that we'll have separate individual accounts to do with as we please. As independent-minded, hardworking people who are used to managing our own money, there's no reason we shouldn't maintain our own personal accounts in addition to the joint one. I'm not sure I could ever imagine pooling all of our assets -- seems so old school. Though I'm sure it's right for some couples with a different outlook and/or situation, it's not right for us. At least not right now.

And yet, I'm sure there are people out there who would say what's the point of getting married if you aren't marrying your money? Or that it's selfish or unnecessary to keep individual accounts. To that I'd say my future husband and I happen to have our own preferences. We're both more comfortable with the idea of sharing with a bit of space. The financial equivalent of twin beds in a guest room we can nap in, and sharing a queen-size bed in our bedroom at night.

Maybe our attitudes will evolve as we settle into being married, but in the meantime, this is what works for us. All newlyweds should do what works for them and not necessarily what's been done by anyone else.

How did/will you handle joint and individual finances with your spouse?


marriage, love, finances


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nonmember avatar blue

Yes, we share. I have both feet in the door. Your biggest problem, is that you've been playing house. You think it won't change, and that's sad. Marriage SHOULD be different, but you decided to play married, before you actually made the commitment. Good luck with your second account. You can be individuals WHILE sharing, and that's what marriage is. You are already making excuses for a division in your marriage, and you both only have one foot in the door.

mommy... mommytojack0524

What was (formerly) his is ours. What was (formerly) mine is ours. It's all ours now, and that's how we both want it. We are pursuing our financial goals as a couple. My hubby makes a lot more than I do, but I do a lot of the running of the household (which doesn't draw a paycheck but is necessary). Does that mean he deserves a lifestyle that I don't get to share? Or that he kindly bestows some of his (much bigger) paycheck on me? I don't see how that could ever work.

Smoke... Smokeygirl

We went wholely into joint finances when we got married. We lived off his salary and put mine into savings. We were able to afford a house and a baby this way. Now I'm a sahm (for the time being) and we look at it as my job is managing the home and baby and his is working outside the home. The nice thing is, be ause we only lived off his salary to begin with, we can afford for me to stay home.

To each their own in regards to finances, but I can't imagine his money/my money- it's all our money.

Kaela Wheeler

It's hard to say it without sounding condescending and judgy, but yes, getting married means everything is ours. What are you going to do when you have kids? Decide who's paying for what from separate accounts? You should be 100% financially committed to the marriage, as you should be 100% committed in the other aspects of your lives together. Everyone does things differently, but my husband and I put all our money into the same accounts and agree on the big purchases before we make them. Now shared FB accounts are a different story...that's just weird (yes, I know quite a few).

nonmember avatar Ero

Me and my boyfriend decided the joint accounts cause too much issues. My parents are separate accounts on the same bank so it transfers fine. Me and my man have the same credit union right now and they remain separate. The only thing we LEGALLY need to join is car insurance. (WA law)

I don't think joint accounts work for all people. Ive seen a failure of it on my family on the dad's side. Too many fights. And there are successes with friends of mine that can't support a bank account with one person cause they are sahm.

2cent... 2centsCDN

You've lived together for 5 years and everything is still separate? Good luck with your marriage, it sounds as if you think its going to magically change your relationship.

nonmember avatar N

We have never had a joint account and never will. We have been together for 13 years and married for 6 years. He pays certain bills and I pay others. We have never had a fight over money and love having thing separate.

MsRkg MsRkg

My husband and I have been married for close to 11 years now and we still have our own seperate accounts and joint accounts. The joint accounts get a percentage of our checks to pay for bills and household/family expenses and for savings, the rest we keep independently and for ourselves. That way we both know we have the necessary stuff is taken care of and money put away for rainy days , and that we can spend the rest on what we want freely and without judgement. . Hubby and I have been together for close to 13 years altogether and we've never had a fight about money.

Knitt... KnittyTina

We've been married 10 years now and have a joint account and savings plus our own individual accounts that we had before we were married.  My husband has a steady job and puts a certain amount in the checking to cover the mortgage and other bills, while I'm a SAHM that also works freelance projects, but those checks only come once every 8 weeks or so, so I normally pay for "extras" such as kids after school activities, Christmas and birthday presents, my car insurance, gas for my car, things we need for the house and yard, and other things that pop up. Plus, we both like that we can buy things for ourselves or for each other and not have arguments about what was spent.  We've never once fought about money and we like it that way. 

We both have different views on money - he wants to tie up every spare penny in investments, which he probably does with whatever he keeps for himself, and I like to save and spend for home remodeling projects because we live in a bit of a fixer-upper that needs some TLC.  So, the way I see it, we have the best of both worlds and as long as all the bills are paid, there's food on the table, and we are all decently dressed we don't have any problems.



belon... belongs2Jesus

marriage is 100% both ways otherwise ruined marriage.

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