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Do You Have Combined or Separate Bank Accounts With Your Spouse?

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I just have a simple question (well, actually a few) for you on this Friday – hopefully it will make you think.

“Do you have combined financial accounts or separate accounts for you and your spouse?”

“If separate, why? Perhaps you lived with each other before marriage, and that’s just the way you’ve always done it?”

“If you share joint accounts, why? Do you enjoynmaking all of your money decisions together?”

Please comment about your own financial situation below. I’d love to hear the reasoning behind your financial methods. Thanks!

Money

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

31 Comments

  1. Joint – all the way

    We make major decisions together but allow each other plenty of freedom to use funds as we see fit. As long as our bigger goals are being met, the little things are not a concern.

  2. We have both. We each have our own individual accounts where we keep our allowance, birthday money, etc. It’s our “no questions asked” money. Basically, we can do whatever we want with it and the other can’t get mad. For bills, household expenses, child expenses, date nights, etc, we use a joint account and we make all major financial decisions together.

    Since we implemented this system, along with a jointly developed budget, we’ve had limited arguments about money.

  3. We have all joint accounts. We do this because it’s easier and make good decisions together.

  4. Combined. We’ve always had combined – it makes it easier for me to handle all the finances. If they were separate, it would be a huge headache trying to reconcile the accounts and I could totally see Mr. LH using the wrong card at the wrong place. Ugh. We work together on financial decisions, but I execute them myself. 😉

  5. Combined. Your financial life is connected to every other aspect of your life. There is no better way to stay on the same page with your spouse than to work on your finances together. To me, separate finances means you are planning for a separation.

  6. Seperate. How it was and continues to work for us. My check goes to all the monthly bills, hers to all the other stuff (food, clothes, fun, etc.) Plus, I don’t bother reconciling my account, she does hers. It works. I think reconciling a joint account would be a headache. Purchases aren’t always done when together.

  7. Combined combined combined. I included that as one of the ways that marriages can actually fail (Too Many Secrets: Why Privacy Ruins Marriages And How To Save Them) by seperating spouses. Unless there is a really good reason not to combine finances then I vote for combined because then the family’s resources are clear to both partners.

  8. Of course joined, for better or for worse!
    After marriage, aren’t we supposed to be a team when it comes to decision making? don’t we become one?

  9. I have a joint account with my wife. Marriage is the ultimate partnership. When we married I was the financial guru then I taught her how to do it. When my wife was pregnant, I took it back to relieve her and it stayed because I like to handle it. It has worked for us very well.

  10. Joint account since day one, it works out great since we are both savers!

  11. Both. We have an account together that our wages go into and all our bills are paid out of. We have a separate joint emergency fund acccount and then each have an individual account. It’s important to have independence in a marriage to have funds available in your own name if something should happen to the other person.

  12. The wife and I have one joint checking account at a local credit union that we use. However, she has told me that I can open up a 2nd account to put some fun money into because I am the primary earner for the family. I don’t really see the need to do this however. She leaves most of the finances to me but I always let her know what is going on.

  13. I have been married for 6 years! We chose to combine our finances when we got married. At first we argued about money but we agreed on some rules that gave us each a little freedom while keeping our finances in tact. For instance we are not allowed to purchase an item over $20 unless we first consult with one another. I personally think that as a marriage you come together in life to become one cohesive unit, so you should also come together financially to work and prosper together. My mom has a “secret” bank account that she keeps from my dad, and I don’t agree with it. I do believe that if one spouse is not reasonable or willing to work with the other a separate account may be necessary, but I am lucky that I found someone that helps me be a better person.

  14. Same as Jana above, we have both. A combined account for household bills, saving and investing and individual accounts for “fun” money and personal expenses.

  15. separate but we are combining for bills after we take care of more stuff on the long list.

  16. After living together for 18 years my husband and I got married last year (primarily because of pensions). We were in different banks until then, he has since opened accounts in my credit union – his own accounts, but we have access to each other’s monies. We didn’t feel the need to have joint, just put each other name’s on each. We still have separated credit cards – and that’s fine, we’re not big credit people. His name isn’t even on the mortgage because I had purchased it, he was added to the deed at a later date so it is his house as well, but they would not let me add him to it, I would have had to re-mortgage (rather silly in my mind). So separate, but connected for us.

  17. We have 3 accounts. Each of us have a personal account where a small fixed allowance goes to treat our indulgences (for me, golf). We pay ourselves from our joint account where our direct deposits go and household bills are paid. The leftover goes to savings. Works for us!

  18. I should clarify. Really we have two joint accounts. Our pay checks go to separate account and we use each one for certain things. We are both on each account and have access, checks and debit cards for both.

  19. we have combined although I will say my largest financial mistake was everything was combined joint accounts in my first marraige. I only started a seperate account a month prior to divorcing him and since everything had been joint accounts, all the credit was considered his leaving me with no credit and ultimatly destroying my finances and my credit in the end.

    I think if you have combined accounts it is important to establish indidividual credit by other means then. Not planning for a break up or anything but an unexpected death could leave a partner in trouble if no credit has been established.

  20. We have combined accounts because we believe that is what marriage is.

  21. Combined. For me, to be married is an intense partnership and an “us against the world” arrangement where you know the other person has got your back no matter what. If we separated our accounts, I think I would always feel like there was some sort division. It would be hard to get past.

  22. We each have our own, personal account for our incidentals and random things we feel we need. Then we have a joint account that all household bills and things are paid out from. I’m a stay at home mom, so don’t have a paycheck to contribute, so my husband’s is deposited into the joint and then we each transfer our “allowance” amount into our respective personal accounts. Works great for us!! (for 3+ years now)

  23. Dave & I have joint accounts for the same reason many people have mentioned- unity & partnership. Our lives are pretty simple at this point so there haven’t been many big expenses to discuss, but we have a good foundation to take us into bigger expenses with kids & a house down the road.

  24. We have joint accounts. There is no such thing as my money and her money. It is our money, so we do joint accounts.

  25. Joint account. It would be too much of a pain to maintain separate accounts. Besides we’ve been together for over 20 years so I think I can trust her with my money :).

  26. My wife and I have combined accounts where we make all of our money decisions together. Everything is equal for us so we don’t mind throwing all our money into one pot.

    However, we do have seperate checking accounts that we put our “allowance” in each month. We give each of us a little spending money to do whatever we want with and the other person can’t complain. I typically blow mine on eating out while my wife likes to save hers up and go on shopping sprees once or twice a year. This method works pretty well for us.

    • That sounds like the best way to go. I know my wife and I did that at one point, but you’ve still got to be disciplined with the spending, even with those “fun” accounts.

  27. We have a combined account. My wife just got a job and started earning. Based on these responses I am leaning towards creating a funny money account for each of us and toss a few bucks in there each month. I know i track every item that hits the account and just because of wanting to know every expense paid to ensure it is legit and not fraud. I think if she had her own account I could stop asking what all those few dollar charges here and there are for. It would alleviate some tension between us.

    • Haha, I hear ya there. I used to ask my wife about every penny that she spent. I can’t believe she didn’t punch me in the face after a while. I know that she is responsible and when I see a few expenses here and there, I don’t really question it – as long as the numbers stay within our budgeted amount.

  28. We totally combined after we got married, although migrating the auto-stuff around took a few months. Having a small amount of separate discretionary spending allocated to each of us per month is one of those “we’ll do it when we earn more” kind of goals. 🙂

    • Yep. Sounds a lot like us! 🙂 It works the best for us!


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