Money Match-Up: Should Married Couples Combine Finances?

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Last modified: April 24, 2019

8 Responses to :
Money Match-Up: Should Married Couples Combine Finances?

  1. Interesting view points! I really enjoyed the one with the spender vs saver who are later in life – definitely a new perspective for me there.

    My girlfriend and I have talked about money at length, probably until her ears drums wanted to hear me stop talking about it lol! We’ve landed on in the future combining our income into a family account, working on a budget, life goals together, and then each of us having a separate “fun spending” checking account. We both wanted this to be separate so there was no way we could judge each other for it. If she wants a massage every month – she can do it. If I want a new MacBook then I can save up then get it. We both want to be wealthy in our lives, so we balance each other out with the ways of how!

    Great post and will be sending the link to her!

  2. There are reasons. Then there is reality.
    It comes down to comfort and personal happiness.
    What works for one couple may not, and probably does not, work for other couples.

    My wife and I have been married twenty years and we have separate finances. In reality, her income was so lower than I (she previously emigrated here from another country), and my income was so much higher that hers that it was normal for me to carry the financial responsibilities. She likes having her own finances, and so do I. So it works for us.

  3. Xrayvsn says:

    Really love this series and this is a topic that is about to hit close to home for me.

    I’m 47, a high income earner (physician) and have gone through a DEVASTATING divorce (no lie, the senior judge said it was the worse one he has ever seen)that decimated my finances and emotions right before I turned 40.

    I have a 12 year old daughter from the marriage. I slowly picked and climbed my way up from the depths I was in (again both emotionally and financially) by discovering finance and making good choices along the way (high savings rate and investing). Now I am sitting on a multi 7 figure net worth and feel the need to protect it having been burnt by the court systems before.

    There is definitely a large discrepancy in salary (close to 19:1 ratio) and she brings 2 adult children into the mix, so definitely would be a blended family.

    The passive income I have created has given me the real possibility of leaving my work (fatFire would be age 53-55 if not earlier) but once I leave it would be hard to come back to work having been out of medicine for any extended period of time. Therefore I feel it is vital to protect this income stream (which would be outstanding for 2 people to live on combined but would be a drastic downward change in lifestyle if it was to be divided equally in divorce for 2 people to live on separately.

    Knowing how the court system has a prejudice against high earning men, I do not want to leave anything to chance especially if I want to leave something meaningful for my daughter.

    1. Bryan says:

      DO NOT COMBINE FINANCES! I did this in my younger years and it was the worst mistake I ever made. When the partnership was dissolved, splitting everything was even more difficult mainly for the fact that I was the only one financially contributing. But, we learn from our “costly” mistakes and that is what I have done. I have moved on and rebuilt.

  4. Lisa says:

    This was a great article! I was really wary of the idea of split finances but those are really good reasons. Really eye-opening and informative. Congrats to you both!

  5. I’ve had the experience of both arguements. In my first serious relationship, we pooled our finances. I had no control over my own money, and used to be given an “allowance” of what I could spend. It was an uncomfortable position to be in. It meant that I didn’t really learn how to manage money on my own, and after we broke up I went crazy and overspent to enjoy the “freedom” that I know had. In my current relationship, we have a joint account for our bills/mortgage, but everything else is ours to do what we want. I have a lot of debt to pay off, and it’s not my partner’s responsibility to do this with me. He knows about it, but I will pay it off myself. If we want to go on holiday/buy things, we discuss it and splint it evenly. I feel like I have control, and we still communicate about what we want. I’d say it was the best of both worlds. Thank you ladies- it’s a great post!

  6. Connie says:

    Hi
    I see that both types have their merits but realistically couples will need to develop their own financial arrangement that may be a version of either.
    I agree that it is essential no matter what arrangement, that the couple seriously discusses, reach a consensus and be open to reshaping the model as time goes by.
    In traditional Japanese households where the man works and the woman stays home, the woman manages the entire household budget and household expenses. The man may or may not pay his own credit card bills and the woman may have an allowance out of that monthly sum to spend on herself or save, it entirely up to her.
    I believe it gets complicated when both work and have incomes. Of course it’s a great idea to pool all the money, but both have to seriously let go of the self and the “belonging” factor in order for the model to be successful.
    And that’s super hard to do.
    The other annoying thing about household expenses is that it’s a full time job staying on top of it all. The regular expenses, the surprise expenses, the accidental expenses, the plan expenses and so on.
    My husband and I agreed that while I’m working, he devotes 1.5 times of what I put into our joint account. Our household expenses and expenses as a family are set up to go out of the account, but we each retain our own savings and investment accounts cos we have a competition there about who better times the market and uses the better financial instruments.
    My mother who is always very good with practical advice wants me to have my own safety net, and I agree. The day that I quit my job and be a stay at home mom for our children the last thing I want to be is anxious about money.
    Connie

  7. Laura Pilkington says:

    Love reading both takes!

    We’ve combined accounts and found it to be an easier way to handle our finances and keeps us accountable with spending.

    I think a crucial key for couples, whether they merge it all, some of their accounts, or keep things separate is to approach your finances together. Even if it’s just on a spreadsheet, I feel like part of being a team is working as one with your goals.

    Finances are a tool to help you build the life you want together. It’s tough to be on the same page if you’re in the dark about key accounts.

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