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How do you married couple's pay bills?

Frequent Contributor

How do you married couple's pay bills?

As the title states I am curious as to how married couple's on this forum handle their finances?

 

Me and my wife have been married less than a year but we purchased a home together before getting married. We had always split things down the middle and had seperate accounts that we paid for things with. I put the down payment on the house, and she paid for all the furniture, as we had never lived on our own and had nothing. In addition after the initial purchase, I made the mortgage payment and she paid most of all the other bills as well as groceries..which was pretty even.

 

Now that we are married, we have joint accounts and we just simply deposit our checks from work and pay all bill's out of the same account. I have found that this makes thing's so much easier and we have never had an argument about finances/money (I understand its a relativley young marriage and we haven't had any hard times as of yet to cause an argument). We do pretty well for ourselves, I make anywhere from 90-120k a year working in sales and she makes roughly 40k at her job. The only issue we've had so far combing finances has been that she is scared to spend "my money" since I make more, which I have assured her I don't care as we are married and it's "our money". This issue I am sure will go away with time once she get's more comfortable.

 

On the other hand, I have many friend's who have just recently gotten married or who have been married for a few year's and they all seem to have arguments constantly over finances and they all have the same thing in common, seperate finance's. I wonder if there is a direct correlation to a happier marriage in regard's to finances, for those who have joint accounts and actively share finances.

 

I'm not saying we are perfect by any means, and the other couple's I am referring to aren't quite as well off as we are for our age, but It still makes me wonder if they wouldn't have these financial arguments if they shared their finances more.

 

We've gone out for dinner with these couple's and it always make's me chuckle inside when it comes down to paying bill's and they argue over who's paying... it just doesn't make sense to me.

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Message 1 of 20
19 REPLIES
New Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?


@wrote:

As the title states I am curious as to how married couple's on this forum handle their finances?

 

Me and my wife have been married less than a year but we purchased a home together before getting married. We had always split things down the middle and had seperate accounts that we paid for things with. I put the down payment on the house, and she paid for all the furniture, as we had never lived on our own and had nothing. In addition after the initial purchase, I made the mortgage payment and she paid most of all the other bills as well as groceries..which was pretty even.

 

Now that we are married, we have joint accounts and we just simply deposit our checks from work and pay all bill's out of the same account. I have found that this makes thing's so much easier and we have never had an argument about finances/money (I understand its a relativley young marriage and we haven't had any hard times as of yet to cause an argument). We do pretty well for ourselves, I make anywhere from 90-120k a year working in sales and she makes roughly 40k at her job. The only issue we've had so far combing finances has been that she is scared to spend "my money" since I make more, which I have assured her I don't care as we are married and it's "our money". This issue I am sure will go away with time once she get's more comfortable.

 

On the other hand, I have many friend's who have just recently gotten married or who have been married for a few year's and they all seem to have arguments constantly over finances and they all have the same thing in common, seperate finance's. I wonder if there is a direct correlation to a happier marriage in regard's to finances, for those who have joint accounts and actively share finances.

 

I'm not saying we are perfect by any means, and the other couple's I am referring to aren't quite as well off as we are for our age, but It still makes me wonder if they wouldn't have these financial arguments if they shared their finances more.

 

We've gone out for dinner with these couple's and it always make's me chuckle inside when it comes down to paying bill's and they argue over who's paying... it just doesn't make sense to me.


Congratulations on your marriage and your home!  Finances are always one of the two most difficult aspects of marriage, and everyone has an opinion.  As for the "your money" "her money" issues, that somewhat depends on whether you live in a community property state.  If so, it is literally "yall's money!" 

 

If you are both financially responsible and live within your means, there is no reason to change what is working for you.  Sounds like she's nervous with her "new found wealth," and will good reason.  Many in your position will, once the "honeymoon" is over, begin to resent her spending more than what you consider her to be contributing if/when it comes to non-joint expenses or basic living expenses.  Keep the lines of communication open and if either or you starts having such feelings talk about them sooner rather than later. 

 

I suspect you'll get a LOT of different opinions in response to your question, so take what you think will work for you and do your best!



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Message 2 of 20
Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?

Congrats!

 

In my outside looking in experience, people who fight over finances have an income problem and are financialy irresponsible. 

 

You each work for each other and for common goals, so it is both of your money. I believe in joint accounts and my wife is at home raising my children. The money I make is equally hers and we are working toward common goals...vacations, retirement, college etc.

 

Keep up the good work and communication is key!

 

Robot Very Happy




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Message 3 of 20
Established Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?

 I got married this past April.   I was established and owned my own home, she came from apartment life (actually, she had moved back in with her parents after a bad breakup with the previous boyfriend.

 

 Before we were married, when she moved in, she paid "rent" to me and also helped with groceries.  I paid all the utilities.   Now that we're married, we each have our own accounts still, but we also established a household account.  Into that account, we contribute enough to cover the mortgage + insurance, utilities, planned vacations and planned savings.

 

 We don't "take turns" with the other things, like going out to eat or groceries.  Whoever happens to go shopping, pays.  Whoever suggests the restaurant we eat at, generally pays.  In the long run, it evens out.   That way, I don't have to get annoyed that she's using household money to go get a psychic reading and she doesn't have to worry that I'm buying a new fishfinder for the boat.

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Message 4 of 20
Regular Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?


@Dalmus wrote:

 That way, I don't have to get annoyed that she's using household money to go get a psychic reading and she doesn't have to worry that I'm buying a new fishfinder for the boat.


At least she knew you were going to buy it beforehand...  Smiley Wink

 

DW and I pretty much do the same. We have separate checking and savings accounts but she usually pays her CC's and I pay mine with the exception of our Rent, Utilities, Costco Visa and Amazon card which I pay since my wages are slightly higher. Another tool we both use daily is Mint which has all of our financials on one page. Being able to see OUR spending habits allows us to both monitor the oddball things that we each might do on occasion and also keeps the bad guys from sneaking one past us. Just last fall, her US bank card had a pending $550 charge for t-shirts from an online company back east. I said "did you...?" she said "nerp!!!" and a quick phone call later it was nullified before it posted.

 

We both are saving like crazy to purchase a house this summer, being able to see the monthly growth allows us to work together in having a common goal. It's not just me or her doing this, it's us.    

Message 5 of 20
Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?


@wrote:

Dalmus wrote:

 That way, I don't have to get annoyed that she's using household money to go get a psychic reading and she doesn't have to worry that I'm buying a new fishfinder for the boat.


At least she knew you were going to buy it beforehand...  Smiley Wink

 

DW and I pretty much do the same. We have separate checking and savings accounts but she usually pays her CC's and I pay mine with the exception of our Rent, Utilities, Costco Visa and Amazon card which I pay since my wages are slightly higher. Another tool we both use daily is Mint which has all of our financials on one page. Being able to see OUR spending habits allows us to both monitor the oddball things that we each might do on occasion and also keeps the bad guys from sneaking one past us. Just last fall, her US bank card had a pending $550 charge for t-shirts from an online company back east. I said "did you...?" she said "nerp!!!" and a quick phone call later it was nullified before it posted.

 

We both are saving like crazy to purchase a house this summer, being able to see the monthly growth allows us to work together in having a common goal. It's not just me or her doing this, it's us.    


Looks like there are good examples of how it can work both ways. The thing in common is to have a unified goal financially.

 

Good luck on the house!

 

Robot Very Happy




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Message 6 of 20
Regular Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?

How you handle your finances is a personal decision.   The important thing is to be on the same page about how you do it and about your goals.   I have been on both sides of the fence, my ex-wife and I were not on the same page and it didn't work, my current wife and I are on the same page and it is so much  easier.

 

We both still have our checking accounts that we had before we were married, but we have added the other to the account.  So in effect we have two joint accounts.   From "her" account we pay the mortgage, insurance, utilities, and gas for "her" car from "my" account we pay "my" car payment, groceries, gas for "my"car and any other expences that come up.   I put a big percentage into my 401K both traditional and roth, she puts a smaller percentage in hers, but she also puts cash in a money market every month.   While the money market is one account in our records we have subdivided the money in it into emergency fund, vacation fund, new car fund, chartiable donations fund, and this year we are adding a medical expense fund.   


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Message 7 of 20
New Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?


@wrote:

   Now that we're married, we each have our own accounts still, but we also established a household account.  Into that account, we contribute enough to cover the mortgage + insurance, utilities, planned vacations and planned savings.

 

 We don't "take turns" with the other things, like going out to eat or groceries.  Whoever happens to go shopping, pays.  Whoever suggests the restaurant we eat at, generally pays.  In the long run, it evens out.   That way, I don't have to get annoyed that she's using household money to go get a psychic reading and she doesn't have to worry that I'm buying a new fishfinder for the boat.


This is *ALMOST* me and my DW 100%.

 

The shared joint account gets a portion of our paychecks deposited for mortgage, bills, utilties, etc. just as you do. However, when we go out to eat, we DO take turns paying. But honestly, we really don't keep score.

 

And like you, when personal items show up on our doorstep from UPS, FEDEX, etc, we aren't questioning each other as to what we bought ourselves. It was kinda funny in the beginning of our marriage....When something showed up, like shoes or clothing, my wife felt she was "compelled" to explain to me what she bought and why she bought it. She figured out real quick that I trusted her and therefore didn't care.

 

Another reason why this works for us really well is that we earn about the same amount of money. If it was more 60/40 or 70/30, than I would probably have to re-evaluate as to how much each person contributed to the joint account. But fortunately, I kept us on a TIGHT budget (we bought a house for 50% of the amount we qualifed for) so that unless one of us gets fired and starts working at McDonald's, each of our share of the bills is only about 20% of our take home pay.

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Message 8 of 20
Frequent Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?

I love reading all the responses as far as how everyone goes about bill paying and sharing finances when married. After reading the replies the biggest thing I can take away from the conversation is "happy" marriages tend to have their finances in line and figured out. My way or someone else's way is not necessarily the correct answer, rather being on the same page and being mutually responsible for keeping a budget and open-communication.

 

We have done well so far in our short time being married, we communicate well regarding finances and what we do works for us.

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Message 9 of 20
Established Contributor

Re: How do you married couple's pay bills?

Been married a few years now. At this point, we finally have two joint expenses/accounts:

 

1. Auto insurance was combined because it was cheaper to do so.

2. We created a joint emergency savings account after realizing we had basically doubled up and then some on separate emergency savings accounts (we're still keeping other savings accounts separate, though).

 

Everything else is paid separately and individually. If she wants a phone, she pays for it. If I want a car, I pay for it. Things like going out to dinner and such are more or less handled by verbal coin flip. I'll get lunch and you get groceries, or I'll cover the hotel and you can grab the tour fee...stuff like that.

 

I pay the mortgage and cable bill, she pays the electric bill and HOA.

Message 10 of 20