Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ask the Faithful Readers #5 - Separate Finances

Dear Faithful Reader,

Recently an acquaintance mentioned they had noticed a common trait among their friends whose marriages ended in divorce. Apparently every one of these couples maintained separate finances. As always happens when someone brings up a relationship issue, this got me thinking.

I can see how separate bank accounts could raise potentially prickly issues. Who should pay for what? Both spouses live in the house / apartment, so who should pay the mortgage / rent? If one person pays, might they feel the other is taking advantage of them? If the payment is shared, what happens when someone comes up short? What does it mean for one spouse to "owe" money to the other? Might that debt lead to resentment, possibly in both directions? Does this "What's mine is mine" approach indicate a lack of commitment, an unwillingness to share in fundamental ways? Or in some cases could separate finances allow two people with different spending habits to coexist without stressing each other?

What do you think? Do separate bank accounts mean you're one step closer to having separate addresses?

As always, I will post my personal favorite comment next Saturday with a link to the respondent's blog.

Signed, The Inquiring Advice Guy

36 comments:

  1. Hi Andrew,
    I can only speak for my situation. I had an ex-hubby- it did not work as he controlled everything including the money, just giving me an allowance. I was financially independent before I married him, but that was one of so many issues.
    Anyway i have my present hubby and we do maintain separate accounts and have agreed on who will be responsible for such and such bills. We have given each other allowances (gas/lunch/personal) of e.g. $50/week and we don't ask each other how we spent it. We have a budget and go grocery shopping together most times. We set up spending goals like house renovation, travel overseas or vacation somewhere or a newer car. WE have argued to the point of 'going to divorce' and verbally settled who pays what, how will the surplus be divided but we have always ironed out our differences and set it aside. In calmer time we have already settled who gets what etc- and i think we were both fair. Having a separate bank account and keeping the transactions secret from the other is a great recipe for disaster- when it comes to $, everything has to be out in the open. But if divorce is inevitable i will probably take care of my own interest hahaha! of course! have a great weekend- by the way it's father's day in Australia.

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  2. I think that, yes, separate accounts, are harmful for a marriage. I know of one couple recently who divorced that did have separate accounts and that did have something to do with the overall breakup. I was actually thinking about writing about this on our site.

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  3. My husband and I, who have been together for over fifteen years, started our relationship out with separate accounts. I was determined to "pull my weight" financially regardless of the fact that I wasn't making nearly as much money as him.

    Ultimately, about four years in to our marriage, my stubbornness led to troubles simply because we were limited in what we could do for entertainment and where we could live. I felt as though it was my responsibility to pay for half of everything, but by the end of the month, he had a ton of money left over and I was barely limping by. If he wanted to go to the movies or out to dinner, I had to decline or put myself in debt.

    I finally realized that the reason I was so adamant about this was because I needed to prove to myself that I could make it on my own if he ever left me. Most of the significant relationships in my life to that point had resulted in me being abandoned (by parents and caregivers), so I couldn't trust that anyone would be there for me "forever". Once I began to trust the connection my husband and I had and stop equating him with my absent parents, we were able to join our bank accounts and come to a higher level in our partnership as well.

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  4. sunsetluver2:03 PM

    hi there,
    thanks for visiting my blog. you have a nice blog indeed :).take care and have a nice day.

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  5. Everytime I visit your site I'm impressed by the pertinence of the issues you bring up, and also by the quality of the answers you give. They're well thought out and down-to-earth, I appreciate that.

    Husband and I have separate finances. They didn't start out that way, but did evolve into that. It works for us. We each know what bills we're responsible for, and we talk before we spend. It's so routine now that's it's a complete non-issue, though in the beginning it took some getting used to. I think that either way you choose to handle family finances, the keys are open communication and cooperation and a serious but flexible plan.

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  6. That's a tough one Doc. My first marriage had tons of insecurity knotting up the "make ends meet" string. Financial insecurity being the least tangled of knots.

    This time around my new husband and I are a twist of two strings helping one another to meet the same ends.

    He is currently a full time college student and that takes from his financial input at the current time. However his output of effort and my input of cas help to make the rope get stronger and stronger.

    He graduates next June, at which time I will return to college myself to strengthen my efforts.

    It is sorta like rock climbing, one goes first - sits back and chills as the other climbs up and beyond. Back and forth until you BOTH reach the top of the mountain.

    You wouldn't go Mountain Climbing with a partner you couldn't trust with your own life would you? Trust is the security detangler and the weaving force that two peeps can wrap their efforts and contribution around.

    Without trust at every level you're left with frayed threads as you both climb to separate mountaintops.

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  7. My husband and I keep separate bank accounts. Right now it is easy - he's a full time student and the only money he has is his financial aid (which I want him to use for himself/school) I pay all the bills out of "my" money. I make a modest income, so money is always tight, we have to be careful. I still manage to save 10% of my salary in a 401K - but in any case, I could not imagine making him feel "less of a partner" because he does not have money right now. I didnt accept his marriage proposal with hopes of being relieved of personal financial responsibility and independance. I actually worry more about how our relationship might change once he graduates and becomes employed outside the home (he's an environmental resources engineering student...doubt he'll have ANY trouble finding satisfying work!) For now, what money we each have is kept in separate accounts, it makes it much easier to surprise each other with gifts!! I know I would really resent having to ask someone else before I spent any money...while I do NOT resent sharing everything I have with my partner one iota...if he isn't happy, I am not happy!

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  8. Interesting question...I think the finances question actually harkens back to the cornerstone of any relationship: Communication. How two people as a couple communicate when it comes to the touchier subjects (finances & sex primarily), will dictate the ultimate success of any given relationship.

    My husband and I keep separate accounts. In our case, it's for very functional purposes--it keeps his ex-wife out of my personal financial business & keeps things clean for child support calculation purposes.

    We're very open about money, and discuss it and work together on it. It's just that the actual nuts & bolts of our finances--basically, who manages which account & literally signs the checks--that is kept separate.

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  9. We share finances just like everything else, with one exception: we each have a separate savings account for spending money which is budgeted out ahead of time. That way we can accomplish surprise gifts and treat ourselves to something without consulting the other, but the budget stays consistent and shared. It would probably not work for everyone, but we just celebrated 15 happy years!

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  10. No, I do not think that seperate accounts are a big problem leading to divorce.

    With my first marriage - I wished I had seperate accounts he left me with debt out my eyeballs.

    Today my current husband and I have a mixture of accounts. Way too many, but mostly because he has a money hungry ex whom believes my income should be included to calculate his support. So we keep our incomes apart - but only on paper. She can not legally see my accounts.

    I am a signer on my husbands accounts/joint owner if you will. So basically I can take everything if it is my wish. But I wouldn't.

    Looking at both situations, I think that it is fair to say on the wedding day we became one. Thus our money became one. We never argue about money.

    Separate accounts are not the problem - Divorce comes from how you and your partner relate to financial goals. If you go in the same path all will be good.

    Separate accounts is an excuse. Marriage is work. It takes 2 people. If we spend our time looking for excuses we all lose.

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  11. Having separate accounts has never really been something my husband and I considered (for paying bills, etc.) because I chose to stay home with the kids and have remained home, thus not earning my own income. But, I did open a separate savings account and it hasn't caused any trouble; in fact, my husband appreciates my efforts to save. He has a very common tendency to spend what's available, so by keeping a separate savings account from the one associated with our checking, I've managed to build up a pretty decent emergency fund.

    I've noticed that friends who have separate checking accounts and dicker over who is to pay the bills tend to have more marital trouble in general. I'm actually kind of worried about a friend of mine who has a terrific job but has a terrified husband who keeps her on a pitiful allowance. He has an irrational fear that he won't have any money when he retires, although they're both just in their 20's. I'd feel like I was on a short leash if my husband tried to control me in that way.

    I should probably add that we've been married for 24 years. I have no idea whether our financial cooperation has anything to do with our lasting marriage or we're just flat committed; we are definitely determined to stay together for life and have already well outlasted the typical young marriage. He was 20 and I was 19 when we married.

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  12. I just can't even imagine living like this... We've had only one account ever since we've been married... 20 years. We bicker about finances from time to time... I suspect everyone does - but we always work it out one way or another.

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  13. My Dad is going on his 3rd marriage ...always done the separate finances.

    My sister has been married for 23 years. I've been married for 19.

    Neither of us have ever separated finances.

    You do the math.

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  14. My husband and I have a joint account - and open and honest communication! We prioritize things, with bills being paid before spending on 'fun stuff' like dinners or hobbies. It's worked for over 12 years of marriage.

    I should point out that, early on, we made a vow: we would never be like other couples and fight over money. Money is too trivial a subject to fight over, and is the cause of a lot of divorces. Nothing in life is more important than a spouse, and having a new pair of shoes or a new model car doesn't carry much weight. If people are selfish in marriage, it becomes a "I'm entitled to this!" attitude, no matter who earns more money. Marriage has no room for selfishness. If we put the other person before ourselves, and they do likewise, arguing over finances just doesn't happen. I can honestly say that, in 12 years, we have never had an argument over money! (Sure, we argue, but over more important things, like who gets the TV remote!)

    Marriage is a partnership between two people. Yes, because of modern times, not all couples can share an account without an ex-spouse trying to take money away. I can understand that. I also know that two cooks spoil the broth, and the more 'financially mature' spouse should do the book keeping when it comes to a joint account.

    No matter how you set up your finances, you are doomed to fail if you lack the most essential ingredient in marriage - open and honest communication, to include communicating your needs and putting aside your 'me first' attitude when it comes to trying to buy things you really do not need. There is no magical law that says "I AM ENTITLED TO THIS"... in marriage, the only thing that matters is the partnership. Just because your spouse has a cookie doesn't mean that you are entitled to one as well. If she buys shoes, you are not entitled to go buy a DVD player. If he buys an iPod, you are not entitled to go get extensions put in your hair. And, a mature-minded spouse will not run out and buy shoes or iPods on a whim... because they know that the extra money would better be spent investing in the marriage (a savings account for emergencies, saving up for a romantic vacation, or buying something special for dinner.) I believe the single biggest problem we face as a society is overcoming that damned "gimmie gimmie, I want!" attitude. Too much importance is placed upon material things and possessions. Having The Best Things doesn't make you important or an asset to society - giving your best effort does.

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  15. We've been married six years and got a joint bank account probably a year or two (at least) before we exchanged vows. If you're married, you should be able to share everything. You should be able to trust your spouse to be responsible with the money and you should be shown the same amount of trust and respect. If that exists, there shouldn't be a problem in having a shared account.

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  16. We've never had separate accounts but I take care of the money and investments. We have had common goals for our life and my husband is very stingy with money. I've been a good saver. He will always ask if we can afford something before making a big purchase. I will purchase things we need without objection on his part. Setting a tolerance level for debt is very important because it is one of the worst stressors in a relationship. The adage of saving before you spend is a good one. Put away x number of dollars before paying your bills. Keeping a cushion for emergencies is a biggie. When my husband was a construction worker and only had seasonal employment, it was really important to save. When we were first married, if I could only save $25 a month, I would. You do learn to live with what you have in the account. Setting goals for your future is one way to accept making small sacrifices and living on less than you're making. Keep track of how you spend your disposable income. Try to work from a budget. I don't like having separate accounts, if one person in a marriage is making bad financial choices, it impacts the other spouse's credit without their even being aware of it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I certainly hope the next 3 years will be our happiest.

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  17. I'm not married. Never have been. But I'm a 36 year old woman with no debt - even my car is paid off - except for my mortgage.

    My parents are very traditional. Dad ran the farm. Mom kept house, and did all the accounting for the farm. All expenses shared.

    But, I believe if I were to get married, I'd want HIS, HERS and OURS accounts. My parents never had any trouble as far as I know -- but I think I feel this way because I've handled my own money all this time.. I don't think I'd take kindly to someone asking me to account for my spending. And I would think we might each contribute a percentage of our individual incomes to OUR account. If he makes 40% more than I, he contributes 40% more into our shared account, from which we pay bills, mortgages - home repairs etc.
    I also think a couple should work together to decide and agree how the finances should be handled. You keep talking until you agree. If you don't agree... keep talking.

    Another single girlfriend is working to clear all her debt. She plans to be debt free within the next year. She wonders if it's right to expect if she marries a guy with debt... all accounts are separate??? I think that's fair. But also, she's not in love. I think once that happens, we're willing to share, or take on a spouse's burdens out of love.

    Clearly, if the guy is just irresponsible about money - I don't see how I could marry him. Values aren't the same. But that's a luxury for those of us who marry when we're older. We don't have to be blinded by youthful stupidity.

    Now, back to my parents. My mom has a job outside the home for the first time in 45 years. She loves it. She's been craving the socialization for years.
    Dad recently mentioned in a phone conversation... "Mom has her own checking account." --long pause -- "I don't care."

    Ha. I think that's really new for him! Hope it doesn't cause problems.

    I think the couples you mentioned in your post... were probably afflicted with other problems and the money became scapegoat. Or -- they had such issues about money -- it would have been a problem no matter if the had separate or joint accounts.

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  18. Hi Andrew, Thanks for your nice comment on my blog.

    I think it depends on the people and like you say their spending habits. For us it's worked to have just one account that both of our paychecks (when I was working too-now I stay home w. our son) were deposited into and all bills come out of. Then, we also had our "own" savings accounts to transfer money into for special occasions etc. We had each other on these accounts as well we just used them separately. Now, we don't even do this just one savings for us and one for our son. I can't really speak for others' issues since divorce must be caused by much deeper issues than just money but I do think that each person should be open and honest from the beginning as to what their expectations and desires are.

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  19. hi andrew! thanks for passing by my site and posting a comment ... appreciate that! :)

    as for the topic: i think it should always be an understanding between partners ... deciding to be on a relationship or marriage for that matter entails talking about the most sensitive topic ever: MONEY. Money should not rule over the relationship. Everytime the going gets tough with me and my husband when we talk about finances we would normally say what we have to say and want to say and then find something around those options so that we feel good afterwards. I think it's vital on how you talk to each other. Whenever there's respect between a man and a woman i'm sure that everything will be sorted out and everybody's happy :)

    By the way, we only have a family account ... nothing else :)

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  20. I'm not married, but I've been reading these comments and I like eclectic's idea: sharing the main account but each having a personal savings account.

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  21. I have been in relationships with both of these scenarios and neither was the reason for my break up.
    My parents have separate accounts and they have been married for 48 years.
    I have friends on either side of this as well and they are married and happy.
    Separate bank accounts is not the problem just an excuse for a failed relationship.
    Using my parents as an example there are bills my father pays and bills my mother pays.
    He buys all the food and my mother gets what is needed around the house.
    In the end all the bills are paid equally.
    If there is an emergency or something breaks they deal with it together.
    He likes buying tools and my mother has this thing for shoes.
    Do either of them say anything about what the other bought.
    NO, because it’s their money to do with as they please.
    Harmony.
    If you had a joint bank account how would you explain to your partner that you need a sum of money to buy him/her a gift without ruining a surprise?
    Where is the sense of freedom you get by seeing something you want and can afford to buy but can’t buy it because you have to ask permission?
    Just think, you can’t buy that dress because you have to ask or that new sander because you have to ask.
    Now if it’s your spare money, you can do with it as you please and no one can question you for what you bought.

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  22. Hi Andrew, thanks for stopping by my blog.

    This is a subject that always seems to be a point of interest to all, isn't it? My opinions have changed over the years since my personality has evolved. When I was younger I felt that the man was supposed to take care of the home. I was a police officer making a decent income so it's not like I was not bringing in my fair share but I expected my partner to make at least what I made, if not more. I had high expectations of the men I dated. Oddly enough it seems I didn't have high expectations of the chemistry or quality in our relationship. My husband makes less money than I do and we are also taking turns returning to college. The amount of money makes no difference to me now. We share everything and discuss major purchases ahead of time. We are newlyweds so we are trying to iron out the savings account but I don't anticipate any problems. I lived with someone previously for 2 years and we maintained seperate everything. I lived in his house and had to pay rent and household bills. He expected me to contribute even though he made 4 times what I did. It caused a lot of problems in our relationship but at least I walked away knowing I paid my share and didn't owe him anything. I think a lot depends on your partner and how open your communication is but I feel if you truly trust him/her then you should have access to everything.

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  23. What a load of crap. It's not the separate accounts that create the problem, it's the lack of communication.

    Most money issues are rooted in communication, trust, and the feeling of being committed and in a partnership--if it's a "yours, mine, and ours" thing, then it's not just about money.

    My husband and I have separate accounts, and he makes more money than I do. I even cut my working hours in 1/2 since we've been married.

    We have no money issues because we communicate--what do you need? What do I need? What would each of us like to do with any extra money? How much do you have in your account and do you need some money? Do you need cash this week?

    It's a regular conversation--and there's no blame if one of us is "short" of funds for things like lunches while at work.

    Of course, the "you" and "I" in this instance are very clearly an "us" in this life together.

    We also made sure we did our homework well before becoming an official "us"--no secrets, no blame, just the facts.

    Do I know every penny he spends? In all honesty, I can't keep track of every penny I spend (did I buy 2 cokes on my breaks this week, did I buy that cup of coffee or did I have a coupon for a free cup?)

    Since he has the bigger paycheck and is paid weekly, he pays most of the bills. I have certain bills that are mine to pay, and I usually pay for smaller grocery orders, gas in my vehicle, lunches for the kids at school or day care, and all Christmas gifts and birthday presents (except mine, of course).

    It works out well BECAUSE we talk at least once a week, usually more often, about what regular bills need paid, what money was coming in this week, and any other non-regular bills or expenses (new prescriptions, insurance co-pays, etc.)

    We have been together 6 years in November and have never argued about money--nor much of anything else.

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  24. My personal feeling is it is not the separate accounts or not, it is the issue of MONEY. Either you agree about it or you do not. My guess is that there are a lot of people with joint accounts who divorce as well.

    My first marriage we had joint accounts but it failed from the beginning because knucklehead spent what ever he wanted and did not have any idea how to save. This marriage works because hubby knows he cannot control his spending so I handle it. I will admit I like to be in control of the spending but he is ok with htat. If he were not, we would not be married.

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  25. i don't think it has anything to do with whos money is where - community account or each has their own

    it has to do with trust and communication

    i do think that finances have a part in divorce - when people don't have enough it can cause big holes in a marriage..

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  26. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I used to think that everything had to be joint. I couldn't ever imagine being married and having separate accounts. Then my friends starting getting married and started talking.... My sister in-law complained about my brother. My girlfriend explained that her husband spent way too much money. One couple decided to split their accounts. The other kept their accounts together. The one with the joint accounts argued ALL the time over money. I mean, all. the. time!!!

    But, both couples are still together and they've learned to talk through the issues. In fact, the arguers are doing wonderful and have really learned to communicate without fighting.

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  27. HI Andrew! Hope your having a great holiday!

    Now.....I dont think bank accounts have a darn thing to do with marriage....my marriage failed for many reasons, but bank accts. were not one of them. We married young...my Father owned his own business, was very successful. His Father was a mechanic.....and worked everyday. When we married his Father made the statement that if we ever needed help do not go to my Father...come to him. I thought that was unfair. But what it did was make my husband resentful everytime my parents gave us money. So for years we struggled with that issue. And any money they gave us was for both of us but he was so resentful...I just kept it to myself. In time I learned not to even tell him I had recieved any money. My Father did not approve, but....all the ranting and raving he did ( the X) I didnt feel he was entitled to any of it. Of course in time we divorced...I have lived alone for over 10 years, I have my mortgage paid off, my vehicles are paid for...I have done pretty good at taking care of me. When my father passed away, my Mother was very generous to all 3 of us ( my 2 brothers and I)...so of course that has helped me to be in the position I am in now. I could have frivously squandered the money on vacations. jewels..whatever, but what I did was to pay off my house, buy a car and pay cash for it, and make improvements on my home. I think for a spoiled little girl I was pretty wise with the money. And if I ever married again would I have a joint account??? hahahaha....do I have stupid wrote on my forehead??? NO. Would I put his name on the deed to my house??????? NO. And yes it would be lovely to share everything and be able to trust...but I have seen too many women get burned this way. I went into a marriage a young girl who never thought any thing about who had more money, but my X and my inlaws quickly made an issue of it...and though I was young and dumb...I was taking notes. In this day and age you better be able to take care of you. It would be lovely if it was happy ever after, but it rarely is. Back in the day the husband took care of the wife and family...somehow that got all changed around....where they any happier in those times? I dont know...I would like to think they were. I would love to believe that sometime people were happy being married and I wish I could have lived in those times. When I started out, thats what I thought it would be...then reality hits!

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  28. My husband and I have always had a joint account. We get a certain amount of spending money for ourselves out of every paycheck but it is a small amount.

    I think part of the reason sharing our money has never been an issue is because we have put each other through college so each of us has experienced what it feels like to be the primary breadwinner vs the stay-at-home parent. Neither job is easy and we came away from the experiences with only respect for each other.

    Now he makes very good money and I work part-time making very good money but, of course, not as much as him since I work so many fewer hours.

    But we share a common philosophy when it comes to finances and we are debt free because we worked together to make it so.

    We rarely fight about money. We are currently saving to build a new house. There is harmony in our marriage in every area and I think a lot of it is because we don't have a lot of stress over our finances.

    Life is good. :-)

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  29. I think seperate bank accounts are Fantastic..... (as long as mine gets 2 stay a secret!) shhhhhhh!

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  30. I don't see an issue with seperate bank accounts. I have 2 friends who do not work and they buy their men extravagant gifts for the holidays and birthdays. It's the guy's money to begin with.

    I think having some your own bank account makes it easier on so many levels to purchase those things you feel you deserve after working 40 hours each week. As long as there is a joint account or a division for the bills, I don't see any issue.

    Personally, I'm looking to have full access to his account and keep mine on the QT as I move small amounts into it weekly. LOL!

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  31. the arrangment for having seperate accounts works for a lot of people... and my DH wanted it that way... I resisted (dug in my heels) and said we have to make it work on one account, OUR account... he asked why? and I didn't have a good reason...Is feeling closer to him by sharing an account a good reason? My parents always had the same account, all my bro's and sis's have one account with their spouses.... why should ours be different? The thing is.... he didn't have a good reason either ;)

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  32. For twenty-five years, we raised quarter horses for sale as halter horses. To run it as a business (so the government couldn't call it a hobby), we had to have separate accounts. One was for all household expenses and one was the "horse account". I did the household and he did the horses. Now that we are retired and living in a condo, the money comes in to him and I spend it. The division of money duties works for me!! lol

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  33. my ex-husband and i (yes, EX) started with a joint checking account when we were dating and kept it thru the divorce (15 years later). we never ever had arguements over money because even tho he earned up to 2x more than i did, we understood that we were both bringing in what we could according to our professions. he was very very good about not lording his higher income over me and i tried to make it up in other ways by cleaning, cooking, etc (altho he never suggested at all that i needed to do so). I like the joint account as there is never an issue as to who owes what or who's money is who's. it totally eliminates that as an item for discussion. if i do get married again, i'd do the joint account system, but, would probably also suggest we each have our own 'fun money' account that maybe we put 5% of our paycheck into each month so we can buy things we want without the 'bills money' being dug into. that way, bills are paid mutually, but we can still buy independantly of each other.

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  34. My hubby and I have separate accounts and I can't say that it has been rosy or easy to live like this. His reason for doing this, and it started from the earliest days of our marriage, was his parents situation. Like most couples back then, there was one bank account. As my husband grew up, he saw his mother never having any money of her own, she didn't have a checking account of her own, she always had to ask her husband for money, she had no credit in her name, and so on. When they did get divorced, she had nothing and didn't know how to support herself and had no credit history- so everything was so tough for her at the end. That's why we have separate accounts and still do. We have managed it OK, but there have been times when I wish we were like other couples we know. Basically, I am responsible for the bills I accrue and he pays everything else, so I really can't complain. I do contribute to the household, though, buying groceries and such. I don't make as much money as he does so I contribute when I can. Overall, I think you have to try something and if it doesn't work, then be willing to change! That's the key!

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  35. Hi Andrew..We both work but we have only one account.both of us know exactly whats in the savings and whats in the checking account.what we have done is made separate accounts. one for the morgage so every month the money goes in there and the check is sent from that account.secondly there is an account for bills.only bils are written from that account.third there is one for taxes and insurance .fourth there is an account for misc expense and groceries etc.

    Every month the money is divided and goes into all these accounts, so we never run short and we dont take money out from one to pay the other.this way we know where we are. I know it sounds confusing but its not.just takes a little time to get it organized. all these monies are directly deposited into each account. we dont have separate money at all. if i need something I buy it on my american express card and then pay it in full from the misc account.Now that one is in college we have her tuition going to another account .whenever I tell my friends about this they are initially over whelmed but later understand.like at tax time we are not scrambling around to pay our real estate taxes. we saved for it through the year. Big items we always talk about it and then decide how to buy it.

    Another tip when a car loan is paid up we still save the car payment and use the money for repairs, trips or use it if we need another car.
    I hope I did not take up toomuch of space and confuse everyone.

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  36. Hi,
    Separate bank accounts, without question. My partner has his, I have mine. This works out wonderfully. As for "who pays what?" it boils down to whoever can. My partner, Keith, makes twice as much as I do. Usually he pays. From what I understand, he has no problem doing this. When I pay, it's a pleasant surprises (who doesn't like pleasant surprises?). Bills are on his shoulders for the most part, though I contribute my half of the rent and my car payment. I'm an aspiring writer, and Keith supports this, so I'm sure he's waiting for the day I come home with a six-figure check as an advance so he can quit his job. Yeah, right. The upisde to separate accounts, of course, is that he'd never know it even if I DID get a six-figure check! LOL. I'm teasing. Of course I'd give him an allowance!
    Thanks,
    Sean

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