Sunday 18 September 2011

Do you commingle your money?

I was listening to my favourite morning show last week and they were talking about how couples manage their money.

The male host felt that all money should be commingled into one joint high interest saving account from which the bills are paid and the couple shares whatever is left over. The female host disagreed and said that a husband and wife should have an account for bills but have their own accounts for the left over money that they can do whatever they want with.

This caused quite a discussion between them and they asked their listeners to call in or comment on their Facebook page. I was driving to work so could do neither but it was interesting to hear how others felt. The majority sided with the female host.

Gord and I take it a step farther ... we have everything separate. Whatever we had before we got married (bank accounts and credit cards), we kept. We didn’t open any joint accounts nor do we have joint credit cards.

Gord moved into my place (I’d bought our condo about a year before I met him). So everything was/is in my name ... the mortgage, taxes, phone, condo fees, Internet, etc. They either come out of my bank account automatically every month or I get a bill in the mail.

When we bought our car in 2004, we put that in his name and the payments came out of his bank account (it was paid off in 2009). Because he’d had insurance for years, it is in his name and comes out of his account.

When we do something big like take a vacation or buy something together, we usually put it on my VISA because I get points towards flights.

At the end of every month, we do a tally of what we spent and track everything on an Excel spreadsheet. One column is for what Gord pays and the other column is for what I pay. Whoever owes the other money writes the other a cheque. Because the bulk of the bills are in my name, it’s usually Gord writing me a cheque.

It may sound crazy but it works for us. We never fight about money. And we don’t have to justify how we are spending our money. I think it’s great that Gord is really into fencing which can be costly with equipment and going to tournaments but I don’t think it would be fair if I had to foot half the bill. When I go nuts and spent a couple hundred dollars at a candle sale, I don’t feel bad about it because it’s my money I’m spending.

How do you manage your money? Commingle or keep it separate, or a combination? Would our way work for you?


Andi said...

My husband and I lived together for 7 1/2 years before we got married and at that time everything was strictly separate. After we got married, bought a condo together, and eventually had a kid together, it just sort of all became combined. It wasn't really a conscious choice, it just sort of evolved that way. For us it makes sense and it works.

Dawn said...

We have 1 joint account where the mortgage and all utilities come out of. We each put into this joint account the exact same $$$ on our respective pay days, which happen to be alternating Fridays from each other.We still have our own personal accounts (from before we knew each other) where his car insurance comes out of and same with mine. We each have our own credit cards and these we do not share.

tamdoll said...

We've commingled everything since we were married since that was back when we were in our early 20's and didn't have anything to start with! Ever since then, we've just always had joint accounts. One thing I did a few years ago was to get (my own) a separate checking account for my craft business so I could keep better track of expenses and income - and to keep my yarn and fabric spending off the household budget. Now if I want to splurge, I usually do it out of that account (if it's not at $0), and don't have to hear "You spent $30 on a ball of yarn?!".

Isabel said...

We have joint accounts. Although, i've thought of opening my account for rainy day money. Joey gets really sensative about that though. Or paranoid is the better word.

Suburban Princess said...

The problem with this is that the woman will be happy to demand half or more of his money when they have kids and divorce.

I never understood the whole concept of separate accounts and money - it seems like people dont trust each other or something. What happens if one of them loses their job? Does the spouse 'lend' them the money to pay the bills? How ridiculous! Marriage isnt about bring roommates.

Anonymous said...

Harvey and I have seperate bills for some things; I pay the internet/TV/phone bundle bill, while he pays the house insurance, etc.
I give him some money each month towards this and the utilities, etc...(as I am working, and he is retired)
We split the food bills (restaurant, and grocery)
it works!

BunnyMummy said...

I have a couple of middle aged guy friends who were in dire straights living from paycheck to paycheck paying rent before meeting their wives. The wives came with great jobs, houses with little or no mortgage, and secure savings. Things got consolidated and the house was sold to buy a "our" house. I REALLY had to bite my tounge, wishing all the luck in the world to them but if things dont work out these women will loose 1/2 of everything they spent their lifetimes to save.