No two marriages are created equal. When my husband and I said “I do”, we felt pressure from our friends, family, and society to immediately combine all of our finances. And I’ll be honest, I don’t really agree with this approach.
We had already been together for over a decade, and this pressure definitely brought on unnecessary stress. We didn’t need anyone’s opinion on how we should handle our finances because this was nothing new for us. Prior to marriage, we had already purchased our first home together and experienced many financial highs and lows. So we wanted to create a plan that focused more on budgeting, as well as accomplishing our financial goals together.
After we tied the knot, we decided to keep the individual bank accounts we had before our marriage, and we opened a joint checking and savings account that would hold the majority of our funds.
On our separate paydays, we each have 70% of our paycheck transferred into the joint checking account and the other 30% goes into our separate accounts. Our joint account is used to pay our mortgage, utilities, daycare and any other joint bills. We also use this account to save for future investments.
The other 30% is used at our own discretion. We each have different things that we like to spend our money on. I use this account to aggressively pay down my auto loan, invest in my blog SavvyGirlMoney.com, get my nails done, help my family as needed, and join my friends or coworkers for happy hour. My husband likes to use his 30% to pay off his old tax bill, shop, and get haircuts.
So, I know all of the above could be accomplished out of a single joint account, but let me give you a little background. Full transparency, I’m a little obsessive when it comes to my finances. I check my bank accounts multiple times per day and pay close attention to every transaction. I would drive my husband crazy asking him to explain each transaction that I didn't recognize (anyone else do that?).
On the other hand, he’s more laid back. He likes to handle business first, then enjoy his money after the fact. So if he wants a $200 pair of shoes after all the bills have been paid and our savings goals have been accomplished, he wants to be free to do so.
Obviously, the way we both are with money individually is just different, which is why we don’t have one joint account where all of our finances go. Keeping our individual spending money separate from our shared finances lets us handle our money without getting on each other's nerves. And it’s worked like a charm for us!
Yes, marriage brings on many changes. Some financial, some not. Just remember, no relationship is perfect, including ours! Our philosophy is to do what feels good to us, and this works for our relationship right now.
Take the time to discuss finances with your partner, and come to a decision based on what works for you and your relationship, not what you feel like anyone else expects of you.
AShira Nelson, also known as Savvy Girl Money, is a personal finance guru, but also a wife, mom, and CPA. Her passion is helping Millennials achieve their long-term financial goals via her blog and YouTube channel.
When it comes to love and money, every couple has their own way of doing things! We talked to 6 couples about how they manage their money together in Zeta’s Money Date Magazine.READ MORE
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