Thursday, November 4, 2010

Relationship Post: Finances


I know this is a personal or touchy subject for most people, but what works for you guys? Do you have one account for you both? Individual accounts only? Or a mix of both?

Right now the Fiance and I have our own accounts and a joint one we use for our wedding savings and purchases. I'd like to keep it this way or move to have our accounts all at one bank instead of three different ones. So what will we do after the big day?

Personally, I would like my own account along with our personal account so that we each can have a weekly "budget" to use or save as we please without getting any flack from the other, whether it's personal buys, lunches or gifts for each other. Then I would also like to have a joint account for us to use for everyday stuff, savings, etc.

The Fiance wants us to have just joint accounts. Nothing is wrong with that, but having my own account gives me a sense of independence still. He can have access to it, I'm not trying to hide anything from him, I just want something that's still "mine". Also, what if we don't communicate and we double pay the same bill, neglect a bill or over draw our account? Obviously, we don't do that with our individual finances now and don't plan on it in the future, but mistakes happen.

There's no rules for this, most people find what works best for them through trial and error. Here are some issues you need to discuss when combining your budget that I found helpful from article "Are your finances as strong as your marriage?". I've only touched on a few topics in this post, so you can check out the full article here. It's really good!

-Banking and Bill-paying
 Where to bank? What kind of accounts? Who is in charge of paying what and how?

-Joint Accounts
 Will you set one up to go along with your own separate accounts? Will you only use a joint account?

-Where will your paychecks be deposited?
 Will your paychecks go directly into your joint account? Will you take a sum of that and deposit it into your own personal account? Or vice versa, depositing your paycheck into your personal account and then transferring money to your joint account?

-How will you make spending decisions?
 Will there be a cap in which you can spend without having "permission"? I'm sure it's cool with the Fiance if I buy a cd, but I should probably consult with him before buying a new entertainment system.

-Credit and Debt
 You can try and keep your debts separate, but at some point you will have to combine debts, like when buying a home or car. Knowing your partner's strengths/weaknesses help you both in deciding what you need to do to improve your credit score and making a plan to pay of current debts.

-Future Savings
 How will you save for a home, retirement, children's college funds etc? How much will you contribute and how often? How will you save the money or invest it?

What works for you guys? How did you find a solution? What's your advice?
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