On a recent radio show, the host questioned married callers as to whether their finances were joint or separate. The results of the survey were pretty equal. However, couples who were married longer were more likely to have joint finances.
Separate Or Joint Accounts?
Keeping finances separate in a marriage calls for both people to have their own
incomes, or for one person to have an allowance from the income of the other.
The Benefits Of Having Separate Finances:
- Having separate finances means not having to answer to anyone for personal purchases such as beauty and grooming products, as well as a daily diet soda or gourmet coffee.
- Having separate finances means each person has a feeling of control over their finances, even if all of the money goes into maintaining the home and family.
- Having separate finances means each person has the security that they will have some money in the bank if the relationship falls apart.
The Benefits Of Having Combined Finances:
- Having combined finances means only one person is required to manage finances, especially when one person is not good at it.
- Having combined finances benefits the relationship due to the trust and communication it takes to share finances.
- Having combined finances, in most cases, ensures each person has equal access to all of the family’s money and keeps the person who makes less money (or no money at all) feeling valuable — especially when one person makes the money and the other person manages it.
How We Do It: His, Mine & Ours
Personally, my family has a combination of the two. We have 3 accounts. They are: mine, his, and ours. The reason for this combination of joint and separate accounts is to avoid the personal actions of one person from affecting the entire family.
My husband uses his personal account to purchase clothing for him and the kids and for reimbursed travel expenses. I use my personal account to buy food for the family, clothing for myself, and sometimes others, and other personal expenses.
Being the person in the family who makes the least amount of money, all of the money I make goes into my personal account, unless I have a very good month, and then I put some money into the joint account as well. My husband keeps in his personal account approximately the same amount of as I keep in mine. Everything else goes into the joint account to pay for the house, cars, utility, and other joint bills.
Why do we do it this way? While we both trust each other, and feel for the most part that married people should marry their money, we also like a bit of personal control and do not want to ask permission for everything. If either of us feels a need to use money from the joint account, then permission is needed and we will have to explain why we blew through our personal money.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.