Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let's Get Controversial - Joint Accounts in Marriage

I’ve decided to use this week to get through some of the controversial issues I see on other blogs. I’m simply going to post my opinions and see what you think.

Today’s topic:  Joint Finances in Marriage

My husband and I have joint finances…joint bank accounts, checking accounts, and both our names are on the mortgage.  My husband insisted this was the only way to go a couple of years before we actually got married.  Honestly, I didn’t care.  I wanted to be able to see all of our money.  I wanted to talk about our money.  I wanted to set joint goals.  BUT, I couldn’t care less about joint accounts.  Obviously, he cared, I didn’t, so we did it.

Looking back, it is SOOO much easier this way.  So, yes honey, you were right.  :-)

We both knew that I’m more detail-oriented (aka anal) when it comes to money.  Almost immediately after getting married, we just settled into the flow we have now.  I manage our budget, bank accounts, checking accounts, my 401k, and our only Roth IRA (for now).  I hate dealing with stocks, so he manages our Scottrade account and will be managing our second Roth IRA as well.  We talk about all these things all the time since we love talking money and goals…it’s our thing… :-)

As a side note, I doubt I will blog much about stocks…sorry people, the research involved bores me.  If you really push me, I will get my husband to do a guest blog post.

So, we didn’t have a come-to-Jesus meeting or anything…our financial responsibilities were pretty easy to figure out.

Here are my questions for the non-joint account married people:
How do you handle your retirement goals?  Is it still going to be mutual money when you both retire?  Do you currently split the bills and plan to in your old age as well?  What happens if one person just doesn’t save, does the other one have to save for both retirements? 

Thanks in advance for any answers.  I’m sincerely curious and not judging at all.

For those of you who have joint finances, how is that working out?

For those of you who don’t have to deal with this right now, what are your future plans in this area?


  1. We don't have all joint accounts, which I suppose isn't quite the same thing as not having joint finances. (We do his, hers & ours checking and savings accounts, but our retirement accounts are separate.)

    We basically intend to handle our retirement goals the same way we handle our other financial goals and daily living expenses. We each contribute to joint expenses, and pay for the things we want to do on our own individually.

    We talk about retirement (and our other goals) though, and make sure that we're investing enough, etc. (Where "enough" = "as much as we can since we are both way behind".)

  2. Hi Crystal!

    I just started reading your blog--congratulations, and thank you for including me in your blogroll!

    Paul and I (my fiance) joined accounts and finances two months after getting engaged, and right before purchasing our first home together. I handle the finances (surprise!, but it is something that I LOVE to do:), and then periodically we discuss them so that he knows where we are, and we keep the same financial goals.

    Have a great day!

  3. We have a combination of the two. For all household items, there is a joint checking and savings account. We each have our own checking accounts for our allowances, which are allowed to be spent on anything you want. Retirement accounts are seperate, but managed like one pool of money. I manage everything but her checking account. Seems to work for us.

  4. Jackie, thanks for contributing! Sounds like it works. So, you two talk about everything but keep it separate to keep it simple?

  5. Amanda, hi and no problem on the blog roll...everyone on it is one of my favorites, so I should be thanking all of you! Since this blog is for fun and mainly to prove to myself that I can successfully pull it off, I can be picky. :-)

    Did everything go smoothly when you joined your accounts? Are you changing your name on everything after the wedding?

    Thanks again for posting! Have a great week!

  6. MikeS, that sounds like a system that works as well. If hubby and I got more than $75 a month for our "allowance", I think we'd open separate checking accounts for it too.

    I'm actually posting about how we came up with our "fun" money system next week...let's just say that I was struck with Scrooge McDuck syndrome and something had to be done. :-)

  7. Can't wait to hear about Scrooge McDuck syndrome!! :-)

  8. Well, we don't really keep it separate in order to keep things simple. It's a little more complicated that way. It's more that we both had bad experiences previously with joint finances, and we feel more comfortable this way -- even though we're on the same page about stuff anyway.

  9. Jackie, that makes sense too...fool me once and all that. Hope it continues to work out!

  10. We have joint savings and checkings accounts where most of our money goes and separate savings and checking accounts for our fun money. We do budget $200 a month per person for fun money (which sometimes doesn't get spent) so that's why we did it this way. My husband is the only one on the mortgage loan (because it was the only way to get the lowest interest rate for us), but both our names are on the deed of our home.

  11. Julie, sounds like joint finances to me. :-)

    If hubby and I raise our "fun" money alottment, we may need to open a couple of extra accounts too.