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    • cloudninety
    • By cloudninety 24th Sep 16, 4:18 PM
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    cloudninety
    Finances as a couple
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 16, 4:18 PM
    Finances as a couple 24th Sep 16 at 4:18 PM
    My partner and I were discussing finances and when we get married we plan to have a joint account with some money each for personal spends but this is where the issue is. We seem to have rather different ideas on what should financed from the joint account and what what should be paid for from our personal spends money. For example, I thought that if we bought books to read for interest (as opposed to for work) this would be part of personal spends, he disagreed. I am interested in what types of things other couples who use this type of system for their households would put under the heading of personal spends.


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    Last edited by MSE Jessica; 11-10-2016 at 2:21 PM.
Page 9
    • maman
    • By maman 5th Oct 16, 11:54 AM
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    maman
    My wife and I also earn similar amounts. However, we are definitely in the "our" money camp.

    You would never hear this in our house...

    "Why? It's my money. I've paid my half for this month's bills"
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom

    I gave the information about earning similar amounts simply because our situation isn't the same as people with differing incomes where 50:50 might seem unfair. I've never really been in the position where I've needed to be subsidised so can't speak from experience on how I'd deal with that one.


    Of course it's every couple's own business how they deal with their finances but the OP did ask for opinions and it's good to hear differing points of view. Strangely, after hearing differing viewpoints, I was asking my DH this morning whether he's still happy with our arrangements (keeping personal accounts). He says it's fine although his brother once described our financial arrangement as 'odd'. When I reminded him of this he said that it's because his brother likes to be in control. My DH on the other hand likes me to handle the shared finances as then he can get on and do more interesting things.
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 5th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
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    missbiggles1
    My wife and I also earn similar amounts. However, we are definitely in the "our" money camp.

    You would never hear this in our house...

    "Why? It's my money. I've paid my half for this month's bills"
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    It may be just me but I found that quite chilling.
    Last edited by missbiggles1; 05-10-2016 at 12:36 PM.
    • maman
    • By maman 5th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
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    maman
    It may be just me but I found that quite chilling.
    Originally posted by missbiggles1
    I know what you mean but not sure I understood the point so gave benefit of doubt.
    As Gloomendoom is for the totally shared pot and no separate personal money camp I suppose he means 'my' money is never mentioned because it doesn't exist as a separate entity in his house.
    There are so many layers to this subject. As I've said I like to manage my own spending. But what if I was profligate then I suppose I'd love the idea of one pot so I could fritter it all. Or do we accept the implication that you only have a shared pot if you trust your OH?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 5th Oct 16, 4:49 PM
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    FBaby
    I think there is a big confusion for some posters between appropriateness and control.

    OH and I have separate accounts because we like to be able to manage our own budget. I like to know what's in my account and like the freedom of being able to make decisions on whether I want to spend or save without to get approval first. It has nothing to do with thinking that the money in my account is mine only and therefore all to be spent on me only. It is about appreciating that although we are a couple, we are individuals within that unit and some things we like to keep independent. For instance, we could have one email address for the two of us, but we like to have our own to manage our own emails, even though we have nothing to hide and each know each other's password.

    I think most couples who chose to have separate accounts have come to an arrangement that really isn't that different to those who have only one joint account. In both instances, bills are agreed to pay first and then what is spare money is to be spent in a way that satisfies both parties, mainly by spending the money on things/services that will satisfy both jointly, or by having an unspoken agreement that each gets to use the spare money fairly.

    OH and I have separate accounts and each pay some bills separately, but we worked it all out once so that in the end, we were left with similar disposable income. We can both do what we want with that disposable money, but the key point is that we share very similar values and beliefs when it comes to money. Both don't like spending for the sake of it, don't like to buy things that are not needed and both are good at seeking bargains. With the years, a trend had been set by which most of the money he saves at the end of the month will go towards something for the house whilst most of what I save will go on the kids.

    Exactly! Each to their own, but I couldn't be/wouldn't be in a marriage where my wife thinks it's OK to squander almost half a grand without mentioning it to me first.
    So what would happen if she told you that she was intending to squander -interesting choice of word!- half a grand on something that she really really wanted but you thought was a complete waste of money? Or would it be ok as long as she told you? Because if it's latter, I don't really see the difference, I too would tell my OH if I went ahead and bought something expensive. If it is the former, how do you resolve it? I personally would go ahead and spend the money if all the bills had been paid and you had access to the same amount of money to buy something you might want that I would consider frivolous, so again, no different to having separate accounts.
    • maman
    • By maman 5th Oct 16, 5:03 PM
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    maman
    Good post FBaby . I just hope that if I find the perfect coat for 'almost half a grand ' that nightmares about peterdon't spoil it for me.
    • northernsaver
    • By northernsaver 5th Oct 16, 9:49 PM
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    northernsaver
    My husband and I both have single accounts, and joint accounts (including saving accounts). We both put in the same % of our wages each month into the joint account, where all the house bills come out of.

    Everything else is paid for individually.

    Birthday presents for family comes from the joint account (except I buy my parents more so that extra I pay for), and friends comes out of the single accounts.

    Shampoo and stuff like that is paid for out of the joint, unless I fancy some expensive stuff in which case I'll buy that out of my own money. The same goes for my husband who likes expensive protein bars - he buys these as I don't have them (although I'm sure he's used my shampoo before ha!)

    Hope this helps. Every couple is different, you'll have to take it day by day and see what works for you
    • monkeychops
    • By monkeychops 6th Oct 16, 8:20 AM
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    monkeychops
    My OH is self employed so his monthly wage could be nil (if he doesn't have any work or he has customers who drag their feet about paying, give a bouncing cheque etc) or could be over £4,000. If we had a joint account how on earth could we decide how much each to put into it?

    It is just so much easier with a joint account
    • catkins
    • By catkins 6th Oct 16, 8:29 AM
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    catkins
    I didn't think I deserved any say because the estate was left to m'wife and her brother - not to me.
    You presume, catkins. Actually, my wife did want me to have a say and I was perfectly happy with her decision to invest for retirement - but it was her decision.
    I think insisting that you deserve a say in your partner's finances would be an awful attitude.
    The terms and conditions of the will may make a difference if the deceased was bothered enough.
    As others have mentioned above - that does happen and it comes out in the divorce court. People who have been there before - or seen it in the family might be wary of it.
    You haven't directly answered the question of why close your personal accounts as well as opening a joint account... but reading between the lines here, it seems that you are making a statement (to each other?) that "ALL money is OUR money". If that is important to you both - fine. We agreed that we were now a team and would back each other as much as needed but that didn't stop us being individuals as well.

    Here's a dilemma for all the readers then...

    You might share the cost of running a car - but what about a speeding ticket? Does that come out of the joint account or is it the responsibility of the one who was driving? (The answer may also depend on whether you are an MP or not....)
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    I haven't "insisted" I have a say in my OH's finances though. As I have said ALL money either of us get - wages, winnings, inheritance or whatever is OUR money.

    We have seen a copy of the will and no mention is made of me. Even if it had said I was not to see a penny of it my OH would ignore that and, let's face it, how on earth could that be enforced?

    We both closed our single accounts because we didn't need them. Why would we? We were getting marred, going to share the rest of our lives together so only needed 1 account. We certainly didn't think we had to keep single accounts in case we split up!

    I don't drive and my OH has had quite a few speeding/parking tickets over the years. Yes of course they are paid out of the joint account
    The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie
    • BNT
    • By BNT 6th Oct 16, 9:12 AM
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    BNT
    We both closed our single accounts because we didn't need them. Why would we? We were getting marred, going to share the rest of our lives together so only needed 1 account. We certainly didn't think we had to keep single accounts in case we split up!
    Originally posted by catkins
    Some accounts pay a higher rate of interest on balances up to a certain value. We find it makes sense to have separate accounts and a joint account each with that balance in order to maximize the interest income.
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 6th Oct 16, 9:30 AM
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    NBLondon
    Even if it had said I was not to see a penny of it my OH would ignore that and, let's face it, how on earth could that be enforced?
    Originally posted by catkins
    At the risk of going off-topic - it could be challenged in court by another beneficiary if the will had those conditions.
    We both closed our single accounts because we didn't need them. Why would we?
    Originally posted by catkins
    That question has been answered by people elsewhere in this thread, most recently by BNT.
    We were getting marred, going to share the rest of our lives together so only needed 1 account.
    Originally posted by catkins
    That was your commitment and if it works for you, fine. I hope it continues to do so.

    I don't drive and my OH has had quite a few speeding/parking tickets over the years. Yes of course they are paid out of the joint account
    Originally posted by catkins
    Well they have to be in your case if "ALL money is OUR money". Just pointing out that this also could mean "ALL liabilities are OUR liabilities". If you're both happy with that, that's fine. I would prefer to take personal responsibility for liabilities that I incur totally by myself.
    One day I'll think of something witty - Apparently I have!
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 6th Oct 16, 9:44 AM
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    NBLondon
    , but the key point is that we share very similar values and beliefs when it comes to money.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    I agree - that is a very key point. When you have similar values; many arrangements (as described above) can work. If there's a big difference in attitudes - one partner may feel the need to protect themselves/ the family unit - or they find a system that works for them but would look unbalanced to an outsider.
    One day I'll think of something witty - Apparently I have!
    • maman
    • By maman 6th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
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    maman
    I agree - that is a very key point. When you have similar values; many arrangements (as described above) can work.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    Well they have to be in your case if "ALL money is OUR money". Just pointing out that this also could mean "ALL liabilities are OUR liabilities". If you're both happy with that, that's fine. I would prefer to take personal responsibility for liabilities that I incur totally by myself.
    Originally posted by NBLondon

    Having broadly similar values works for the independent people as well as the 'one pot' ones though. With the parking ticket: if I'd been on my own and stayed over time then I'd want to pay it myself. Bad enough making a stupid mistake without expecting DH to bale me out. If we'd been out together and jointly incurred it IYSWIM (like neither of us realising restrictions) then we'd share the cost. I think that's why this thread's been so interesting it' been throwing up people's attitudes to taking personal responsibility as well as the obvious financial questions.


    I know my DH would give me every penny in his personal account (as I would reciprocate) if something dire happened to me but that's not everyday life.
    • catkins
    • By catkins 6th Oct 16, 12:59 PM
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    catkins
    Some accounts pay a higher rate of interest on balances up to a certain value. We find it makes sense to have separate accounts and a joint account each with that balance in order to maximize the interest income.
    Originally posted by BNT
    As we got married over 36 years ago I can't remember if we even thought about things like interest. If I remember rightly current accounts either had no or very little interest.

    I was earning a reasonable wage, OH had a pretty low wage. Our mortgage was quite high and together with things like fares to work - we had to move quite a distance from work to afford a house, food, bills etc we really didn't have much if any money left over so pretty pointless have separate accounts.


    At the risk of going off-topic - it could be challenged in court by another beneficiary if the will had those conditions.
    That question has been answered by people elsewhere in this thread, most recently by BNT.
    That was your commitment and if it works for you, fine. I hope it continues to do so.

    Well they have to be in your case if "ALL money is OUR money". Just pointing out that this also could mean "ALL liabilities are OUR liabilities". If you're both happy with that, that's fine. I would prefer to take personal responsibility for liabilities that I incur totally by myself.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    None of OH's family live anywhere near us and quite a few don't even know where we live. How would anyone know what we spend the money on anyway?

    Well we have been married for over 36 years, are very happy and so, yes, I believe it will continue to work for us
    The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie
    • maman
    • By maman 6th Oct 16, 2:14 PM
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    maman
    As we got married over 36 years ago I can't remember if we even thought about things like interest. If I remember rightly current accounts either had no or very little interest.

    I was earning a reasonable wage, OH had a pretty low wage. Our mortgage was quite high and together with things like fares to work - we had to move quite a distance from work to afford a house, food, bills etc we really didn't have much if any money left over so pretty pointless have separate accounts.
    Originally posted by catkins
    I understand that but, unless money is still tight, it really isn't very mse to keep your money in one pot to get maximum interest. ISAs were an obvious starting point a few years back and now the best interest is definitely to be found in current accounts.
    • webitha
    • By webitha 6th Oct 16, 3:14 PM
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    webitha
    Well after 3 years of being together me and the OH have decided to move in together
    and we have decided that all bills will come out of my bill account, both putting in an equal share to cover the rent and any household bills, the rest will stay in our own bank accounts, I will not now or never be getting a joint account as he is a former bankrupt an self employed and his credit rating is shocking whereas mine is quite high and I'm not bringing mine down because we are financially linked.

    Out of the bills account will be all bills with a little extra to cover any unforseen circumstances, food drink for the house and sundries we need for our home, everything else car haircuts hobbies presents we will be doing from our own personal accounts.

    I am very good with money and have already started saving for our new home, whereas he likes to spend, he doesnt go out willy nilly spending, but, he doesnt see the need to save IYSWIM
    If we can put a man on the moon...how come we cant put them all there?

    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 6th Oct 16, 5:33 PM
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    FBaby
    As I have said ALL money either of us get - wages, winnings, inheritance or whatever is OUR money.
    You keep making this point and others are responding that having separate accounts doesn't mean we don't see the money in our account as ours only, just that we like to manage it.

    If DH suddenly lost his job and we only had our salary to live on, then of course my account would cover all our joint costs and vice versa. Of course any inheritance would be considered as money that is coming to both of us, whether being put in a joint account for the purpose of savings, or distributed equally between our two joint accounts.

    I think that it seems to come down to is how much individuals within a relationship make individual decisions on spend or not. I do agree that if everything is going to be agreed before being spent, there is not much point of having separate accounts. If however you both agree on having some financial freedom, by which you are free to decide how to spend an element of your finances, a bit like having some time for yourself when you don't have to tell the other person where you are at any minute, then separate accounts is much easier to manage.
    • Lily-Rose
    • By Lily-Rose 6th Oct 16, 5:50 PM
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    Lily-Rose
    Prefer it to be joint. We have had it joint for many years now.
    Proud to have lost over 3 stone (45 pounds,) in the past year! Now a size 14!

    Slave to 2 mad cats.

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    .
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 9th Oct 16, 3:11 PM
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    LameWolf
    It really is "horses for courses".

    Mr LW and I both got badly burned financially in our respective first marriages, and both felt more comfortable keeping our finances separate; he already had the bungalow when I moved in with him, so the direct debits have continued to be paid by him, while I buy the food. Large spends, eg the car, are paid for by us both, half each. We move money between ourselves at need, so from that point of view, it's really quite informal. When my former marital home was sold, I paid off the mortgage on the bungalow, with the condition that my name was put on the title deeds. We each have our own ISA; and when some extra money came through from his late mum's estate (I never knew his mum) I wouldn't have dreamt of asking for any of it.

    The thing is.... it works for us.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • maman
    • By maman 9th Oct 16, 6:28 PM
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    maman
    That's a good, logical post LW.As you said it works for you.
    What I've found irritating from a few posters is the implication that if you have separate finances then you must have a dodgy relationship.
    Although my DH and I have been together for 39 years we are still individuals and like freedom to make our own decisions over our personal money as well as shared decisions about domestic stuff.
    • southoftheriver
    • By southoftheriver 9th Oct 16, 6:54 PM
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    southoftheriver
    That's a good, logical post LW.As you said it works for you.
    What I've found irritating from a few posters is the implication that if you have separate finances then you must have a dodgy relationship.
    Although my DH and I have been together for 39 years we are still individuals and like freedom to make our own decisions over our personal money as well as shared decisions about domestic stuff.
    Originally posted by maman
    Sometimes on this board people see their way as the template for life. I've had this in a few other threads too. One had the nerve to suggest my marriage ceremony wasn't legitimate because it took place in a non denominational church.
    Current debt: M&S £0(£2K) , Tesco £0 (£1.5K), Car loan 6K (paid off!) Barclaycard £1.5K (interest free for 18 months)
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