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How do you married couple's pay bills?

Established Contributor

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

I make 3 times what my fiancee makes, and she doesn't like credit so I pay for everything and she spends her money frivolously, but I don't have to worry about her going into debt.

Message 11 of 27
Frequent Contributor

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

I believe in maintaining a financial profile separate from the marriage, so while we have joint savings, checking, investment, and credit card accounts, we also have our own individual ones.

Household bills are paid from the joint accounts. We usually aim to save a certain amount a year outside of retirement accounts, which are all maxed. Besides that we don’t pester each other about our spending, but then again, we’re both pretty reasonable with money.
Message 12 of 27
Established Contributor

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


@wrote:
I believe in maintaining a financial profile separate from the marriage, so while we have joint savings, checking, investment, and credit card accounts, we also have our own individual ones.

Household bills are paid from the joint accounts. We usually aim to save a certain amount a year outside of retirement accounts, which are all maxed. Besides that we don’t pester each other about our spending, but then again, we’re both pretty reasonable with money.

 We generally don't either.  The only exception recently is that we've agreed that if we're going to spend more than $200 on a non-household thing, we talk it over.  The only reason is because we're saving to increase our down payment for future home shopping.  Then the discussion is "If we can afford to spend $x on this luxury, let's take a percentage of that and also add extra into the savings."

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Message 13 of 27
Frequent Contributor

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

We've been married for 8 years now, and I must admit that I got lucky. I don't even recall a real fight for anything except a couple of arguments since we've been together (I can't even call them arguments - more like a difference of opinions). It's just weird how we get along even with 3 kids now.
Anyway, we have joint accounts for banking. On most credit cards, we're AUs for each other. We do have a few that are just individual accounts, and neither has a desire to be AU on those. BUT, I'm in charge of paying all the bills. Reason is she doesn't care about finances and she'll forget about her own. So, at first, I had to constantly ask her if she'd paid her cards. Many a time it was, "oh... yeah, I gotta do that..." Once she forgot to pay a $20 - $30 statement from freaking Kohl's and it posted as late on her report. Because of that, her credit dropped from the 800s to high 700s. It was significant, and since I'm a little OCD when it comes to that, I told her I'd take over everything bills related, and she, of course, couldn't be happier. I still cringe whenever she gets a store card like, Children's Place, Victoria's Secret, TjMaxx, Freaking Kohls, etc. Not because of what she's going to spend on it or because we don't need it, but because I know she'll forget about it, not tell me we owe or do it last minute, and then I'm going crazy creating another online account and praying we're not late to pay. Ha...
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Message 14 of 27
Established Member

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

That's really appreciating how you guys are managing such a big responsibility. You can see many examples of fighting coupes for financial sharing. It's better to divide the bills, with each partner paying his or her share from their individual accounts. What's important is to make it an equitable division.

Learn, Implement, Conquer
Message 15 of 27
Established Contributor

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


@wrote:

That's really appreciating how you guys are managing such a big responsibility. You can see many examples of fighting coupes for financial sharing. It's better to divide the bills, with each partner paying his or her share from their individual accounts. What's important is to make it an equitable division.


I'm going to disagree with you here. What's better for you may not be better for me.   What is important is that you find a system that works for you to pay your bills and achieve your financial goals.   If your system works for you GREAT.   If a different system works for someone else it is still GREAT.

 

If your system is broken then fix it, but if it ain't broke don't change a thing. 


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Message 16 of 27
New Contributor

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

My wife and I have a total of 3 checking accounts. One joint account in which we pay all shared expenses(mortgage, insurance, groceries, dining, utilities) and we each have a personal checking account. We both work so we have our biweekly paychecks split with an allowance of $150 going into our personal checking accounts and the balance going into the joint checking. The allowance is for personal spending, e.g. electronics for me, makeup and clothes for her and it seems like it's plenty. Most of my credit cards have my wife as an AU so either of us can pay shared expenses and reap the CC rewards. We also each have a Quicksilver card for our personal expenses that we take care of on our own.


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Message 17 of 27
Valued Contributor

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

We combine all our money into one joint checking and savings account. (We also have credit union and investment accounts.) We use credit cards for 99% of our discretionary spending so we don't have to worry about how much money is in the checking account and we have a paper trail of spending. We each have our own credit cards because it is best for credit scoring to do it that way but I pay all the statements. We are both on the auto loan and mortgage.

 

I manage all the electronic bill paying that is possible. She manages all the snail mail bills which are mostly the utilities.

 

My wife is the spendthrift in our relationship and the first woman that I have met that could shop for 6 hours and not come home with anything because she didn't find anything she really needed.


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Message 18 of 27
New Visitor

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

Before we were married, my wife and I started with separate accounts. We entered every expense into a spreadsheet. If one of us contributed more than the other, the other would then pay the next bill. This lasted for a while, but I realized she could never save for a vacation or anything fun because she made about half my salary. So we changed the formula to multiply my contributions by 0.5. That way I contributed 2x more than her.

 

This worked splendidly until we began planning our wedding, and parents gave us differing contributions for the total expense. Also, after we married, I decided to take a year off work to write fiction. Since then we've moved country, bought a house, moved to a larger house, had a baby, inherited some money, invested, etc. All those things have made it way too complicated to maintain separate accounts. 

 

A few years ago money was the main source of our arguing. I felt like at our combined income we should be saving and investing money. She thought we needed to still buy nice things for our house - we couldn't live like paupers. The arguments were mainly about Target shopping. 

 

So she discovered YNAB. At first I was skeptical, but then started using it after every transaction. The beauty of YNAB (and probably a lot of other budgeting apps) is that it makes all our spending transparent. I always thought of myself as the saver and her as the spender, but I would take out a lot of cash with our grocery shopping and use it for going out. 

 

Now all our savings, investing and spending is automated. We have categories for fun money (individually) so that we can maintain some independence. And we haven't fought about money in almost 5 years. 

 

The beauty of having a plan and automating is that 1) we save a lot of money and 2) when we spend money, it feels like purposeful spending. I used to be very wary of buying anything nice, but now that it's budgeted for, I really love it. 

 

There are a lot of arguments back and forth about combining or keeping accounts separate. Both can work, but both can cause friction. More important is having some common goals and meeting in the middle where necessary. 

Message 19 of 27
Valued Member

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

We both have our separate accounts. We also have a joint account for all of the household bills. We include groceries, savings and fun stuff in that budget. It's funded by percentage of each of our total incomes. I make less than he does, so he funds more than I do. Anything left in the joint account at the end of the month goes to vacation savings. We each then have our own money to do with as we wish. Totally works. I don't care what he spends his money on and the same in reverse. 

Message 20 of 27