Separate or join

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Marci07, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    My husband insists on having a join checking account for all of our expenses. I say let's have a checking account for bills and each one of us have a separate checking account with a set spending amount for small occasional luxuries like an extra purse, or video games. He hates my idea and our spending is getting out of control and I'm afraid that we are going to start fighting about money. We have only been married for a little over a year and we were both sort of good with our money. We came to the marriage without credit card debt and good credit.

    How do you handle your spending with your mate?
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    We each kept our separate checking accounts from before we legally merged as well as the joint account. The individual accounts allow us to have a higher balance on our overdraft line. However, purchases are made out of the joint account. I only use my individual account to pay my car insurance and receive subbing direct deposits from one school district I forgot to switch.

    It might help the two of you establish a budget if you use Quicken to keep track of all money going in and out of the main account. I know there are times where it's tempting to hide purchases from your SO ("You spent HOW MUCH on that gadget?"), but if you want to save for some of the finer things in life, it's best to keep honest track.
     
  4. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    I'm not married yet, but I'm very independent so I like the idea of having a joint account as well as separate accounts. I always figured that is what I'll do when I get married. That way, household purchases and major bills can come from the joint account and individual extras like getting hair done or poker night can come from your individual accounts. That way you can't argue about money if it came out of your own account.
     
  5. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    His money is my money and my money is his money. We have all joint accounts.
     
  6. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We have been married for over 20 years and have a joint checking account. The way that we work spending is that I have a credit card that I put all my expenses on. This credit card gets paid off every month. My husband uses a check card and his expenses come directly out of the checking account. Other than gas for his truck, he spends very little. Separate checking accounts would not be practical to us.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    We had a joint account for the past year, and still do. I always thought it would be that way. But then I did open a seperate account for my classroom, because my dh just freaks out way too much when he sees my purchases (and he reviews our cc bill every day online). So this helps with the fights. I just slip odd cash in there, and my garage sale money went in there. It's usually at $0 though, hahahha. We don't buy much for ourselves separately, except for me and my teaching stuff. I'm lucky(??) in that his interests are expensive (biking, triathlons), so his purchases are big and he HAS to talk with me about them. But because we never really get too much, we do have it there when we DO want to get stuff.

    Money is the only thing we ever fight about. And it's stupid, because it's not for the reasons most people fight about it-we don't overspend, we have more than enough, we aren't sneaky... we just have different priorities with it. It's tough.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I have never been married - so take my advice with a grain of salt. I would always have a separate account- you never know what's going to happen. It's amazing what you see when you actually write out a budget and see what where your money goes each month. Maybe you two could sit down and work out a system that will allow you to put a little money away for savings from each check.

    On a side note - my parents have been married for 38 years and my Mom says their secret of success is direct deposit - his checks get directly deposited into her account! :lol:
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Our arrangement is a bit odd to some people, it works for us. When we got married, I put DH's name on my account. He's never touched it in the 8 years we've been married, and he couldn't even begin to tell what's in it. That's the main account, and that's the one that I use to pay the mortgage, insurance, credit cards, and other misc. bills.

    Then I have an account at a different bank that doesn't have DH's name on it. I mainly use it for my eBay stuff, but a few things here and there.

    DH works only in money. He pays all the utility bills and some of the other expenses in cash. He nearly always gets paid in cash. (Band gets one check which is cashed and divided among the members.)
     
  10. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    My boyfriend and I share an account..we own a house together so it works and makes sense for us...
    We tried keeping two separate accounts for a while..but it just didn't work since we tend to have a lot of bills.

    We both get paid once/ month so at the beginning of the month we each get 300 dollars for extra stuff or school stuff or clothes...(he is obsessed w/ his car so he usually buys something for it.) Anyways..once our fun money is gone we have to ask the other if it's cool w/ them if we take money for other unnecessary things.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 24, 2008

    Exactly.
     
  12. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Same here.
     
  13. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Same with us!
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Most of our accounts are joint accounts. It has worked well for us because we have similar spending habits and we talk about what we'll be spending, so there aren't any surprises.

    The only one that isn't is an HSBC Direct money market savings account that I just set up about a week ago. The only reason it's in my name only is because I didn't have his SSN when I created the account online. :lol: I'll add him to it as soon as I can figure out how to do that.

    (We set up the HSBC account as a savings-only account with a high interest rate so that we can begin to actually SAVE our money, rather than putting it into savings and then pulling it out when we need money for some unexpected expense.)
     
  15. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    We have separate accounts and we split the bills. My husband is really bad with money. If we had a joint account, he would not only spend through all of his money like he already does, but then he would spend mine also. He spends what is in there-and never saves anything. I just had to pull him out of the hole this month. If we didn't have separate accounts and I wasn't good at saving, he would have screwed both of us over. I'm trying to get him to let me take over all the finances and basically give him an allowance. Lol. I'm trying to get him to take a financial class also.
     
  16. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    We've always had one joint account that I manage. If something happened to me, he wouldn't know where to start and he really couldn't care less right now anyway. He likes that things are taken care of and I like that I get to do it. In the last couple of years I've opened a separate account that I transfer money into each week. It has a separate debit card and it's mainly for hubby to use so he doesn't have to wonder if there's money in the regular account. He knows how much he has to work with every week and that works. Something to think about though: If everything is joint, it can keep thing simple in case something happened to one of you. It can be pretty messy to take over accounts that don't have your name on them if need be so joint is probably a good ideas for most things.
     
  17. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    We have two joint accounts and pay the bills out of each, but his check goes to one and mine to the other. We also tend to use "our" account for personal purchases.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Same here. I'm just the organized one...it's not his thing. I have a folder with all the account information he would ever need to know if something happened to me, but still think it would be a huge adjustment for him.
     
  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I have that HSBC account too. It is in my name and I put money into it. I am saving up for a car and that's what I'm using. My husband makes payments on his car from his seperate checking account so I wouldn't want him to give me money for my car. We have one joint account from which we pay house bills only.
     
  20. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I am not married ,but my parents have a joint account. My mom pays all the bills in the house. If anything happened to them my dad would be lost and the bills/health insurance all that stuff would go undone for a little bit! They do discuss the money with each other though. They mostly know what each other is buying unless it is trivial stuff like groceries or gas than thats a given. If something does come up on the online banking that my mom is curious about she asks about it.(to find out if she needs to call the bank)
     
  21. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Thats a good idea! Although it seems kinda hard to handle/manage. I mean do you each have debit cards/checks to each others accounts?
     
  22. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    We have a joint but my husband opened one up because there was a deal with his new job. We'll be rethinking our set up here now that he'll start getting paid full time wages.
     
  23. Ponypal

    Ponypal Comrade

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    Before I was married, I had excellent financial responsibilities. My first marriage was a financial disaster with joint accounts. I am re-married now and and my husband and I have separate accounts and never the two shall meet. We both have specific bills that we each pay, make personal purchases without each other's "permission", and pay our own credit card bills. We share some joint purchases.

    My mom always says that every woman should, if she is able to, have a back-up of about $10,000, because you never know what could happen. As this is my second marriage, I have put some $$ aside and have started an additional retirement savings plan.
     
  24. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    We started out with one together me and my husband. Well, then I began teaching and he would't move banks, so I opened mine. I pay the bills and we use his for other things.
     
  25. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I am the opposite of most here. If something happened to my husband, I would not know where to start. He tells me what I have to spend each month and I put it on the credit card. He pays all bills including my credit card every month. One advantage to putting everything on a credit card is that between the card and my husband's traveling for his job, we have been able to go on several vacations with free air travel. Before my husband took over the bills, I was the kind who would write a check for the electric bill and put it in my purse and forget about it until the electricity was disconnected and swear to the people at the electric company that I had paid the bill. I was even able to give them the check number that I had paid the bill with! What is weird is that I am so organized about everything else in my life.
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I have strong opinions on this topic. I think, that if you feel the need to maintain a second, non-joint account, there's an underlying trust issue. A good marraige is based on trust. Seperate accounts chip away at this trust. The OP's dh is probably resentful of the idea of seperate accounts because he feels like that means his wife doesn't trust him enough, or that she might have something to hide, and that's why she doesn't want him to see what she's spending money on. It's probably baseless, but that's the human psyche for you.

    My ex-dh and I had all joint accounts. He was horrible with money and left the responsibility of paying bills to me. He had access to all of our funds, but never spent wildly. He knew what the general budget was, and if he had any questions he would ask if there was enough money for (fill in the blank). The marraige broke up over non-monetary issues.

    My parents have been married for 42 years...and my dad says he hasn't written a check since he said "I do". They have pretty much the same arrangement. What it boils down to is that my mom trusts that my dad won't spend unreasonably and my dad trusts that my mom will ensure all the bills get paid and will let him know if there are any problems.
     
  27. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I agree w/ mmswm. I have strong opinions about this topic as well. I'm not married yet & my bf & I don't have any accts together, but once I get married, I like the idea of having one acct for strictly bills & another JOINT acct for fun things. I wouldn't want my husband to have his own separate acct w/o me because I honestly don't know why he'd need one by himself. It would make me wonder why he'd want one by himself. That makes it so much easier for him to do things behind my back.

    Now, in this day & age, I do think the wife should keep some money stashed away w/o her husband knowing about it. I know that's a double standard, but in these times when husbands walk off & leave their wives & kids everyday, it's a way for the woman to still have some money in case she really needs it.

    And regarding who pays the bills, I'd definitely want to be in charge of that OR we do it together. No wife should be so clueless that she doesn't know what's going on w/ her own bills & other household finances. He could be using that money on another woman or some gambling habit for all you know. I want to know exactly where my money's going. Also, this isn't the early century any more where the woman's place is household chores & that's it. If something ever happened to your husband, you SHOULD know every single financial aspect from bills, to stocks, bonds, CD accts, etc., etc., etc.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Well, sometimes the partner who wants a separate account is Up To No Good, but sometimes the "joint" account somehow becomes "joint" for one partner only when depositing... when that's the case, that strikes me as a pretty good reason to have a separate account. Which, I suppose, is also an issue of trust, though in a different direction - and equally capable of torpedoing a marriage...
     
  29. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My point exactly...but stated so much more elequently.
     
  30. New3rdTeacher

    New3rdTeacher Comrade

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    My husband didn't really talk about it. We got a joint account because what's mine is his and the other way around. We work together to pay our bills. When I was student teaching he helped me out by taking care of things, now he's in the hospital and I am taking care of everything. We like the way it works.
     
  31. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Don't you just love a good marraige story? The sick husband thing just makes me want to cry. You hear so many stories of bad marraiges, it just sucks to hear about a good one that's being tested in this way. *hugs*
     
  32. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    I agree!

    After having survived a miserable marriage, I too appreciate a love story where husband and wife support each other when they need it the most!

    I hope that all goes well for your husband, New3rdTeacher! Your marriage will be all the stronger for it. God bless you both! :hugs:
     
  33. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    i like the idea of having both seperate and joint accounts. My parents do. the joint account supports the family, the seperate accounts support their personal fun... my mom gets her nails done and goes out with the girls and my dad goes fishing in Canada with friends once a year. My boyfriend and I have talked about doing the same thing when we are married. Not for the lack of trust, but because it is practical. I can see the separate accounts being dormant and unused eventually, but they will always be there... hell they can turn into xmas accounts and savings accounts for the kids later on...
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My husband and I started out with one joint account. When we moved, we got 2 separate joint accounts. One was for his money, one for mine, but we each had access to the other. His reasoning was that if he wanted to go out and buy something for me for Christmas, VDay, and bday, then he could and I wouldn't know where he got it. We are about to change banks and will go back to one joint account. We don't have trust issues, he just didn't want me guessing what he had gotten me. ;) I like the idea of having 2 joint accounts, one for bills and one for extra spending. I might have to bring this up when I get a job. :)
     

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