Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Separate Bank Accounts Saved My Marriage

Okay that might be a little dramatic. But it has been a very beneficial step. When my husband and I got married we ahered to the philosophy that we put all of our earnings into one pot. As such we didn't see the need for having our own checking or savings accounts. We budgeted each month for us to have a set amount of spending money we could do whatever we wanted with.
Problem being this never really worked out. No one kept track of how they were spending and inevitably one person would spend more than the other. Then the arguments started. You spent WHAT on your haircut? HOW much were drinks with your friends?
The obvious solution is to get our own accounts which we finally did. They both link to our joint account, but we don't have access to each others individual accounts. It's been working great! I don't have to feel guilty about how much I spend on highlights and my husband is free to enter a poker game without me complaining about it being a waste.
Also having my own set of money has made me more conscious overall. When you are looking at a larger amount of money in a checking account a $10 lunch out doesn't seem like a big deal, but with my more conservative allowance, I'm starting to better understand and actually see how those small purchases add up. Now when I want to go out to eat, I make sure it's for something I'm going to really enjoy. I find these habits spilling over into the joint budget as well.
How do you and your significant other manage personal and joint money?


  1. We've had separate accounts all along. But we divided the bills so we are each responsible for an equal share. It's worked so far.

  2. My husband and I have been together since we were teenagers. When we finally got married we never combined out accounts. Our bills are also split. He pays for his credit cards & I pay for mine. We split the HH bills as well. I do pay all the bills out of my account so I transfer what is needed from his on payday to pay his portion. This works well for us and I don't have to keep up with his spending on little things that he forgets to get receipts for.

  3. We combine everything but I basically do all the finances so it's me that gets to put the smack down on spending, not him. Muhahahah!

  4. We receently switched to seperate and I love it. I hate to deal with any bills/ money. Since I am a teacher and only get paid one a month I just give my husband my check, an he pays all the bills. Since he gets paid weekly on Fridays he just always puts money in a side account for me. I don't have to worry about the bills or what he's spending, and yes I agree a smaller amount weekly makes me think about what I am spending and how bad I want it.

  5. My husband and I put a certain percentage of our income into a joint account we use to pay bills and do things together as a couple. This works better for us than splitting things 50/50 because he makes considerably more than I do and I'd be left with next to nothing after contributing my half of the expenses to the joint account.

  6. I'm in the same situation as BudgetBabe, I make a lot more than my wife and our home was purchased based on my salary, so asking her to pay 50% for it isn't really fair. So we have all joint accounts.

    We initially started with individual "allowances" written on paper on the fridge and would subtract money as it was spent. Initially we had one each plus an "us" budget for joint expenditures like dates, but the "us" budget always got overspent, so we got rid of it. After a while, we were so used to what that spending pattern felt like that we just started adding it up at the end of the month, and now we don't even do that - our spending naturally conforms to the budget.

  7. BrewerDave, you guys definitely have gotten into a great habit of how you spend. I hope to get there one day!
    It's amazing to me that it took us this long to realize the separate accounts would be so helpful.

  8. I LOVE THIS. I have a few people I know that think I am from some distant planet since we have seperate joint bank accounts. My husband is active duty miltary. So he gets BAH or OAH) base housing or overseas housing), as well extra money for food. So of course he always pays that. Only fair. We think. But then we split everything else and share it at the same time of having seperate accounts for little purchases.

    That being said when we got married, we thought the same thing. We have to combine everything. But I am a spender by nature and choice.=) I have to be reeled in, I try to buy all that is on sale, every distant friend and cousins birthday etc etc etc.=)

    My husband? Um not so much. Is that a man thing? lol. Anyways so arguements of course started, then we did not want to be completly seperate,tried allowances, then tried my husband not telling what was in the account, so then I just looked. We manage our accounts and budget on Microsoft Money program. Then we finally came up with something that has worked for the past 5 years of our 7 year marriage. so we came up with not his or mine. But our Alaska USA account and then our USAA account. My direct deposit goes in one his in the other, we both have access to them. But in the total sense they are ours. Twice a month, we sit down, go over what bills need to be paid, what we are paying to them and then what we both will have leftover. He pays the rent ..cause DUH, miltary gives him the money. But then we split ubtilies, or cell phone bills, then I pay my personal debt, loans or credit cards same to him. If I do not have a lot of extra money(he makes more) then he of course shares, not like I have to beg. BUT If I had plenty blew it a few days(not that I am speaking from experience) and still want something, if it is not needed, he does tell me NO. Easily.=) hahaha. But like i said at the top, I need that. BTW I am new to your blog, but I love it. Thanks for the comment Budget Babe on mine.