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Married Couples : Finances Split or Combined?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rifte, 7 Mar 2017.

  1. SPG


    Joined: 28 Jul 2010

    Posts: 7,406

    When i was with the ex it

    Each had own bank account for your own liability, bikes, cars loans etc. then standing order into

    Joint 1 - Bills, Mortage, food.
    Joint 2 - Holiday fund and general slush fund for the house, new pans etc.

    Learnt the hard way of combining income is a recipe for your own downfall.
  2. AndyT

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 14 Oct 2009

    Posts: 1,444

    Location: Aix-en-Provence

    Joint account here. I earn more than my wife, in fact she has been on a career break for 2 years looking after our daughter, but in any case all earnings go into a joint account. I simply can't imagine choosing to marry someone, have kids with them and then basically hoard my own larger stash of cash and treat myself to "toys" and not allow her the same benefit. Both our sets of parents had the same philosophy. Saying "this money here is mine and you aren't allowed to spend it" does not seem right to me. How would the other partner feel if one was spending significant amounts of money on gadgets, bikes or boozing when the other has to be more careful? That, to me, carries a much higher of a risk of creating resentment in a relationship than one partner providing a little spending boost to the lower earner.

    It's worked fine for us as my wife has more of an eye on the details of our finances than me. I tend to do the higher level planning of what to save and when and then just know by instinct/feeling how much is being spent on a weekly basis; whereas she is much more careful to look at the figures each month.
  3. platypus


    Joined: 25 Jul 2003

    Posts: 39,178

    Location: Rhône-Alpes+Cambridge

    No not really, I never really paid it much thought before marriage to be quite honest. We have separate credit cards and I haven't a clue what she buys on it for example. We also have separate savings accounts, and separate investment accounts. The question of trust is for each person obviously, I just think if you can't trust your partner with joint accounts then there are issues, aren't there?

    Indeed, no point in talking to you if you cannot understand basic English and will just leap to whatever conclusion you need to support wading in and attacking someone.
  4. balky12


    Joined: 6 Oct 2011

    Posts: 4,251

    Both me and my girlfriend have our own accounts which we get paid into and a joint account for Mortgage, Bills, etc.

    Have a joint savings account, so anything surplus from the main joint account each month goes into the joint savings account before next wave of DD from our own accounts. This pays for holidays, home stuff, presents come xmas time, nice meals, etc.

    Pay a percentage of our salaries in each month to keep things fairly even when it comes to disposable. Last thing I wanted was a girlfriend who was stuck at home whilst I'm having an amazing social life, even if she earns less than me...

    Absolutely no issues what so ever... in fact, after the gfs recent promotion/ pay rise things are practically even in the grand scheme of things.

    Personal accounts are exactly that, we can do whatever we like with them... including dumping it into the joint account if we are that way inclined some months.
  5. WantoN


    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,705

    Location: Hampshire

    It looks like we share a similar methodology, not sure if your wages are paid into the joint account or not, I think it's a little moot at this point.

    Still not sure I can see the logic in a lack of trust when finances are seperate, when you have individual savings accounts, credit cards etc. Not trusting someone to have a joint account isn't, at least in my view, the same as a conscious choice to keep some, or all, finances separate.

    It took a long time for my partner and I to have any any form of joint account, but that was never a matter of trust, but of circumstance. Surely people open a joint account out of convenience rather than any meaningful statement of trust? After all, surely that's what marriage is for. And even then, would you be of the opinion that there was a lack of trust if a couple weren't married?
  6. Uriel


    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 7,652

    My wife and I have separate accounts and both pay about 50% of our net income into a joint account. All the bills, mortgage, holidays, groceries etc come out of that.

    We each own a car and our expenses for that come out of our individual accounts. The individual account is also where my disposable income lives, not that there's a much of that as I might like!

    My wife and I do similar jobs for different companies, on similar rates but I work 5 days and she works 3. The salary difference works out not too far away from that proportion (I'm slightly more senior so my hourly rate is slightly higher).

    We don't keep track of each others' individual accounts but do tell each other if we're planning a particularly big purchase and agree any particularly large purchases made with joint account money. I can't recall ever arguing about money.
  7. coolsurfer


    Joined: 11 Apr 2006

    Posts: 809

    Location: Yorkshire

    Not at all. I simply feel it is easier in the spirit of increasing net worth as its better to track family income and outgoings if they all come in and out of one bank account. Easier to monitor spend though credit cards make it slightly less easier as we use separate to ensure we both have high credit rating but its all good, she will naturally spend more than me as she does the shopping and buys for our little one. Stocks ISAs's and Pensions are all separate and makes no difference to me whether more goes in hers or mine. Property all joint so can use two capital gains tax thresholds but this is becoming irrelevant to us now we are buying via a LTD company again as 50:50 shareholders. Separate Life Insurance policies till age 90 put into trust for one another etc
  8. WantoN


    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,705

    Location: Hampshire

    Coolsurfer, thanks for the input. The question was actually directed at platypus as he indicated that he kind of believes people who don't have a joint account don't trust each other.

    You've highlighted my point precisely though, that joint investments and any derivative thereof tend to be a matter of convenience or common sense, tather than a statement of trust.
  9. SteveOBHave


    Joined: 31 Mar 2006

    Posts: 6,592

    Location: Sydney Australia

    I would venture to say that joint accounts shows that you are meeting someone halfway. It's not a method to keeping track of someone, it's about working as a team toward a joint goal. Keeping tabs and counting what each contributes monetarily is in my eyes the start of a judgement against the other in a relationship as to what their worth is. For me at least that is the wrong way to go about it. Trust is given not through the accounting but by acknowledging that you can show an element of responsibility and care for the other person and your own future. Separate accounts may be indicative of a lack of interest in operating as a team, but then everyone are different. I made the decision early on because I never wanted finances to be a point of contention in our relationship. She earns a little less than me but she's an organising machine and frankly makes my life easier with those skills. We jointly look forward in life and share the same goals and like it or not money=options and separate accounts suggests that you're doing the status quo for living and aren't ready to fully invest in moving forward. In my opinion anyway.
  10. LiE


    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 22,463

    Location: Milton Keynes

    I think people read way too much into how married couples have their finances arranged. There's no correct answer here and everyone is different.

    I've been with my wife 10 years marrried for 5 with a 17 month old. She's self employeed but mainly spends her time looking after our son. I earn pretty much all the income and it all goes into a shared accounts. No issues at all.
  11. Daaaavvveee

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Nov 2015

    Posts: 1,371

    Location: Bishops Cleeve, UK

    Not married but been together 11 years,

    We split ours, and have a joint account for all bills, then whatever is left over is our fun money :)
  12. platypus


    Joined: 25 Jul 2003

    Posts: 39,178

    Location: Rhône-Alpes+Cambridge

    Yeah our wages go into the same pot and then the direct debit/standing orders take care of it.

    I think we are of the same thought, when I was talking about people not having joint accounts it was aimed at the people who want to keep their accounts separate just in case, which didn't come across very well at first.

    As for a couple not being married, well I guess the issue there is if a split does occur, you're more protected if you have separate accounts, which has an element of trust, doesn't it?
  13. fergie128

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 25 Jun 2008

    Posts: 1,908

    Location: Bonnie Scotland...and sometimes Denmark!

    Married and we have a joint mortgage, 2 joint current accounts, joint savers and joint credit cards. The way I see it is we're married so everything is done as a team, especially with a kid on the way.
  14. Rannoch


    Joined: 15 Apr 2012

    Posts: 5,875

    Location: UK

    Completely separate. How would I explain all those escort visits and lap dancing tabs on the card.