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Clever Dude


  • My wife and I have had shared accounts just about since we started dating. We started in college (which helped) when we didn’t have much money. At first, I had all the money, because I’d had a well paying job over the summer. Eventually that ran out. Then she & I had part time jobs to fill in our cash needs.

    Once we were married, we just had joint accounts, and things have always worked out well. I “manage” the funds, but we’re both accountable as you’ve said above. We both buy what we think we really need, but we always let each other know if we purchase anything substantial. If we have a large purchase to make, we discuss it first.

    When I want to tighten our finances to save more, or I’m worried about how much we’ve been spending on restaurants lately, I just mention to her that I’m worried again about finances. Then she understands when I say I’d rather eat in, or decide not to purchase XYZ from Amazon this week.

    It has worked out really well for us.

  • […] good, quick tips on making the most of your money AND marriage. As you may have read, I’m a proponent of combining finances after marriage, but there are still good arguments for keeping separate accounts (just not enough to convince me […]

  • […] back when I first start this site, I wrote an article about keeping Joint vs Separate Checking Accounts. I still stand by my argument that keeping separate accounts is selfish and reflects and breeds […]

  • I can’t agree more that the underlying factor boils down to trust. The point of combining finances together as spouses rests on trust on every level: trust that you are making financial decisions for the better good of the both of you as partners/family rather than as an individual, trust that you each practice prudent judgement when it comes to financial decisions in the absence of the other, and trust that the financial decisions you each make are towards a common goal that you have set together. My analogy to marriages that keep seperate accounts is roommates. If you can’t have that fundamental level of trust with your partner, by cohabitating and splitting the bills and accounts, they are just essetially roommates. Thanks for such a great article

  • I do NOT agree with the only shared account option. My wife and I have NO trust issues when it comes to money and we still have share and separate accounts. Most of our money goes into the shared account (80%). The rest goes into or separate accounts (e.g 401k, IRA, and savings). It should be straightforward to understand why we would have separate retirement accounts. The more important point here is what we do with the separate savings accounts. In our family we use them as an expense account. Meaning, every month we assume the money going into them was an expense even though those funds haven’t been used yet.. We use those funds to buy things birthday gifts, things for the home that are wanted, or any other personal expense. I think this approaches adds enough flexibility to the relationship to make it worthwhile.

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