Combining finances – the age old problem

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  • Combining finances – the age old problem
  • An account each for your own money and a joint one for joint expenses.

    How you contribute is more difficult to advise on, but surely if you have a fair and open relationship, you will be able to agree on a a solution that is fair to all concerned…

    Of course, as she is soon to be your wife, surely the split of money should never be a problem, what is yours is hers and vice versa… That is how I approached it when moving in with, then buying a house then marrying my partner although I was the one with the majority of the capital at first.

    clubber
    Member

    Nowadays (changed when Mrs Clubber went on maternity so wasn't earning, have just kept it the same since)
    -All our pay goes into the joint account
    -We each have a personal account which gets a monthly allowance from the joint account to use as we each want.

    Before
    -Pay went into our individual accounts
    -fixed payment each month into the joint account for rent/mortgage/food/bills/savings.

    we run a joint account out of which all the household expenses and car loans etc come. We pay an amount into the account each month commensurate with the ratio of our earnings to cover the total plus a little bit for unexpected things like car repairs. Works well because it is a fair reflection of our earnings (she earns nearly twice what i do)

    nbt
    Member

    mastiles_fanylion – Member

    An account each for your own money and a joint one for joint expenses.

    Each to their own, I suppose, but if you;re in a relationship and are living together that shows a certain amount of committment – if you can't trust your partner with your money, how far do you trust them?

    Personally when I moved up north from That London to live with Mrs NBT, I set up a joint account and my money goes into that. Mrs NBT doesn;t earn as much as me, but when funds permit (she's self employed and income varies) she also pays into the joint account. I had no qualms at all about setting up a joint account. To be fair, there are no kids involved

    Premier Icon DoctorRad
    Subscriber

    @clubber – I think those are the two basic schemes, it's just choosing between them that's the problem! She's said she was happiest when using the 'pocket money' system with a partner in the past, so perhaps that's the one to go for.

    Much discussion over a bottle of wine at the weekend methinks!

    Further input appreciated 🙂

    it also works as like mrs nbt i am self employed and sometimes need to dip into the overdraft of the joint account until i can pay it off

    if you can't trust your partner with your money

    It isn't about trust at all – it is about having money that isn't earmarked for joint expenses so when we want to buy something for ourselves we know we have the funds ready. And it is also about my partner not knowing how much (or little 😉 ) I have spent on presents etc.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    A joint account that both salaries get paid into. All bills and food paid out of that account

    We each have our own individual account and we transfer an equal amount from the joint account each month and that's our own spending money to do with as we please.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Separate accounts here nothing to do with trust as that's just shallow, just no need at all the bills are all paid from my account the wife pays for other things. We spend our own money and share our money never felt the need to put it all in one pot.

    Do what you decide is best it's all about how you feel.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Yep, me and the Mrs both chuck the same into a joint account each month to cover mortgage, food, ulitities etc. Then what we have left over is our personal pocket money for bike bits, nights out, clothes etc.

    Works well for us but right now there's less than £300 a year between our annual salaries.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Well, we got married ealier this year, and in the last couple of months we've totally dispensed with our personal accounts. Everything goes into one account now, and we take £10 a week each out for pocket money (Newspapers, snacks at work etc)
    We've been paying most of out money in for years now, and paid EVERY bill and holiday out of it, but I just couldn't see the point any more.

    So far, MrsPP has had a new saddle and seatpost, and I've had a chain…. (No that I'm counting or owt!) 😉

    mudshark
    Member

    When I married a few years ago my wife had pretty much nothing and I had a nice house other stuff. I earn 3.5 times what my wife does and all the bills come out of my account and my wife used to transfer most of her money into mine when we still had a mortgage as just wanted to pay that off but now that's done she keeps hers in a savings a/c and I put mine into that too so as to reduce income tax – so I still pay all the bills inc joint credit card. This is very much a 'what is mine is yours' situation though I'm in supposedly in charge of our assets and what we do with them.

    I'm suprised to see so many people with exactley the same system as me & Mrs PM re'pocket money.

    I have to confess I found it a little hard to adjust to at first as I used to have a cheap flat and after bills about £300 a month to spend on myself (big dinners every lunch etc) and now it's less than half that once we conbined and got a mortgauge. But on the upside I have all my bills paid and a lovely house instead of a pokey flat.

    Premier Icon DoctorRad
    Subscriber

    I'm moving down to be with my fiancee in December, so one way or another we are going to have to run some joint finances. Until I get another full-time job, she will be the main breadwinner, but we have fairly even earnings potential once I find work. She also has two children and most of the assets (stop sniggering at the back), which will obviously spice up the financial mix somewhat.

    What has worked for you when doing this and why?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    An account each for your own money and a joint one for joint expenses.

    Yep same here.

    I'm married three years and we've been together for 15 years.
    There is no issue of trust – it's just easier.

    We get paid into our own accounts. A standing order then transfers a set amount to the joint account. All household bills, leccy, council tax, mortgage etc come out of the joint account.

    Makes budgeting very easy as you can very quickly see all your outgoings for bills etc.

    When the joint has more than a grand spare in it I transfer it to ISAs or our general savings account.

    Simples.

    When Mrs Windowshopper first moved in and was working full-time we had our own accounts but we paid a share of the bills proportional to our share of the household income. So (for example) if I earned twice what she did, I'd pay twice her share of the bills.

    Seven years and two kids later, she's only working part-time and it's much less formal. I pay all the bills and she bungs me a few quid as and when.

    breatheeasy
    Member

    The pocket money thing works for us. It means I don't have to justify the price of a new XT cassette, and the missus doesn't have to tell me how much all her beauty treatments cost.

    To the OP, personally I don' think the day-to-day money is a problem is you are both reasonably cool with the whole issue or slightly unbalanced income (though that is offset slightly by her kids presumably spending/using her money).

    I'd suggest a good solicitor for you both to discuss what happens with house purchases, wills etc. – that's when it'll get messy – that's where having assets will count god forbid you split up/one of you dies.

    I dont get people / couples who stake claim to 'their share' of joint income.

    I have a mate who works full time as a teacher. £40k odd. His wife works part time as a teacher and the rest of the time with their child. He makes sure that they keep their money seperate but that there are 'proportionate' outgoings.

    Every month he bangs on about having to bail her out and loves the fact that each year it is he who pays for the holiday etc etc and that he has managed to save X hundreds etc whilst she has to ask for £20 to pay for a day out whilst she looks after their daughter! FFS!

    Its like he needs to feel in control.

    My advice: put it in one pot and just talk to each other or discuss about what you are spending it on. Open and honest relationships work better.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Open and honest relationships work better.

    Agreed, but there is nothing particularly secretive or dis-honest about maintaining separate accounts. It's just easier.

    breatheeasy
    Member

    And do you really want to know how much your missus has spend on your secret birthday present…?

    freddyg
    Member

    Married for 19 years, living together for two years before that.

    All money is paid into the joint account from both if us (I earn 2x MrsG's income). We also have a budget account which is drip fed by standing order (or whatever it's called) from the joint account. This covers the mortgage/utilities/car expenses etc. What's left in the joint account is for our disposal – we save some, invest some and spend some. I haven't got a problem with MrsG buying herself something and she hasn't got a problem with me doing the same – neither of us take the p*ss. If we want something a bit more expensive, then we have a natter about it.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Open and honest relationships work better.

    They do that's why I always tell my wife what I'm buying, bought and how much it cost you don't need joint account for that. In fact it could say the opposite that you don't trust them.

    joolsburger
    Member

    My wife and I both have our own income.

    We have a monthly expenses spreadsheet and that includes everything. I pay the mortgage as I am the bigger earner and we go 50/50 on the rest. Works OK. Anything left over is ours to spend as we see fit but we agreed to consult on major purchases £250+ (generally that means "if your having forks I'm getting a handbag etc etc).

    mema
    Member

    I find the whole think about a single joint account weird. Ok I don't live with my dude but do stay there a lot so I do pay him for half the food and towards electricity and gas. But if I were to live with someone I don't like the idea of what its your is mine. I work for the money I earn if I want more I work harder, if I want to buy something expensive I save. I personally could not take, in an essence someone elses hard earned cash to buy something I wanted which I could afford if I wasn't with that person.
    I earn a lot less than my dude and feel that I should pay for half of the things that we do split. So it is interesting that people seem to do it that way and it works for them. But for me I think that the same amount from each side should be put together to pay all the bills etc.

    coffeeking
    Member

    Each to their own, I suppose, but if you;re in a relationship and are living together that shows a certain amount of committment – if you can't trust your partner with your money, how far do you trust them?

    Nothing to do with trust on our part, in any way shape of form. But having two seperate accounts means that I pay bills and rent, she pays food and odds and sods in an income-proportionate manner and whatever is left is hers to do what she likes with, and whatever is left in my account is mine to do what I like with. If we shared a single account we'd both have to make serious thoughts about what we bought, what percentage had come from who etc etc. Now it's simple – I want a bike part, I buy it if I can afford it. If she wants a bike part she buys it if she can afford it. If she cant afford it I'll offer to help out, and vice versa.

    MrsPoddy
    Member

    So far, MrsPP has had a new saddle and seatpost, and I've had a chain…. (No that I'm counting or owt!)

    MrPP you forgot to mention your little overdraft when you suggested combining the bank accounts. 🙄

    nbt
    Member

    I don't like the idea of what its your is mine

    We're married. What's mine is hers, what's hers is mine. YMMV.

    coffeeking
    Member

    nbt just because youre married doesn't mean you're a single person, it's nice to maintain some level of your own earnings, own spendings etc.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    They do that's why I always tell my wife what I'm buying, bought and how much it cost you don't need joint account for that. In fact it could say the opposite that you don't trust them.

    Yep. Personal accounts and a joint for bills means that we know that all the bills are properly covered. Amount remaining in the joint account each month tells us how we're doing on budget. Amount left in personal accounts is money is surplus that is available to spend or save as required.

    I trust her to spend and save on her personal account as she sees fit, so I don't need to monitor her spending via a joint account.

    nbt
    Member

    Maybe I';m the weird one eh? 🙄

    freddyg
    Member

    Not really nbt. I'm with you. What's mine is hers and hers is mine. No questions.

    I have absolutely no issue with putting everything I earn into the joint account. When I have bought her a present that I'd rather she didn't see the price of – I pay for it on the credit card and ask her not to look at that month's bill.

    DrJ
    Member

    What GrahameS said, mostly, except that I also pay for some expensive things that MrsJ would have a hard time affording half of, like holidays etc. I earn more, but it could be argued that that is because she followed me with my work instead of pursuing what was best for her own career, so she is entitled to half of what we jointly have. Don't tell that to any divorce lawyers, though.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Maybe I'm the weird one eh?

    Not at all, if that works for you then great.

    I just object to the implied "Hah you don't trust your wife" from some folk. It has nothing to do with trust and everything to do with practicality and budgeting.

     

    She is rubbish with money though.. 😈

    spacemonkey
    Member

    Have an account each, and share a joint account for any monthly expenses you want to include. Up to you how you work out the contribution, e.g. 50/50 or based on percentage of wage difference.

    Heather Bash
    Member

    >Maybe I';m the weird one eh?<

    LOL – was beginning to think it was just me.

    Quite an insight to see the amount of people who 'simplify things' by making them more complicated…

    boblo
    Member

    freddyg – Member
    All money is paid into the joint account from both if us (I earn 2x MrsG's income). We also have a budget account which is drip fed by standing order (or whatever it's called) from the joint account. This covers the mortgage/utilities/car expenses etc. What's left in the joint account is for our disposal – we save some, invest some and spend some. I haven't got a problem with MrsG buying herself something and she hasn't got a problem with me doing the same – neither of us take the p*ss. If we want something a bit more expensive, then we have a natter about it.

    Simlar for us, married 21 years now. Our salaries are paid into a joint account and we pay and play from that. I now earn loads more than she but was about equal when we first got together.

    I'm happy that our combined earning power provides the lifestyle we like and don't begrudge her spending anything so long as it doesn't take us overdrawn. Oh, and I'd quite like to have a few quid left if/when I wish to buy something 🙂

    It all gets a bit like trying to value 'contibution' if you get too anal about it and I just can't be bothered with that….

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Quite an insight to see the amount of people who 'simplify things' by making them more complicated…

    Nothing complicated about it. 🙂

    I would find the "simpler" approach (having one account that everything goes in and out of) far more complicated and time-consuming to manage.

    coffeeking
    Member

    A number of accounts is not complicated to set up and is done once, and it saves later complications on a month to month basis as the joint payments occur regularly and automatically and are always budgeted for. If there was only one account we'd both have to monitor it in much more detail as one could spend more than expected and bring the joint account too low to pay off the bills and I'd have to ask her if it was OK if I bought something pricey this month in case she wanted to as well. As it is with seperate accounts we just take care of our own account and spending/saving. Ultimately if it works for you it's fine obviously, but lets not have people suggesting it's a trust issue or not following the "whats yours is mine" philosophy of marriage.

    When I have bought her a present that I'd rather she didn't see the price of – I pay for it on the credit card and ask her not to look at that month's bill.

    Buying presents from a joint account seems pointless, they may as well buy it themselves. If you trusted her that much and vice versa then why would her seeing the price matter?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    well said coffeeking.

    freddyg
    Member

    coffeeking – Member

    When I have bought her a present that I'd rather she didn't see the price of – I pay for it on the credit card and ask her not to look at that month's bill.

    Buying presents from a joint account seems pointless, they may as well buy it themselves. If you trusted her that much and vice versa then why would her seeing the price matter?

    As I said. If it's something special, I pay by credit card. Seeing the price has nothing to do with trust – it's about surprising her.

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