First, let me preface this post by saying I don’t necessarily believe that combining finances is the right step for every couple. I’m not nearly obnoxious enough to suggest such a thing that *my* answer is also *your* answer. As I’ve previously stated, we’re certainly no financial experts, we’re just trying to get our act together. Obviously, each couple needs to assess their own situation and do what is right for them, which may be maintaining separate finances, combining them, or some sort of combination of the two. We each have to do what feels best for us. This just happens to be what we decided.
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As Todd and I discussed our current financial situation and goals in all of this, we began to formulate our plan for proceeding. Part of that plan, for us, included combining our finances. Prior to this point, we each maintained our own separate finances — Todd worried about his bills and payments, I worried about my own, and never the two met. It started, of course because for four years we maintained a long distance relationship, with him in Moncton, me in Halifax. Everything we did financially was separate. When he moved here it just naturally continued on that way, despite us making noises about “eventually” combining our finances. We just never got around to making it happen.
Combing our finances made sense for us. Although Todd makes more money than I do, he has greater expenses (like child support for two children, car payments, etc.). We had a loose financial arrangement worked out — he paid car-related expenses, I paid household-related expenses, and we split the rent. The only problem with this system was that I generally had more money left over at the end of the month, leaving me with a nice little savings account and him with none. Which made little sense anyhow, because then that savings would be used for things like family vacations in the summer and Christmas gifts.
Didn’t really seem right.
We could have worked out a more equitable (and undoubtedly complicated) system of bill payments and household contributions, I suppose, but for us, our laziness really made that option unappealing. Our solution is to put everything into a single pot, and use that one account for paying everything. We will each get our own personal “allowance” each month, and all savings will be joint. We will each be able to see each other’s financial transactions as a way to keep us both from “dipping into the pot” when temptation strikes. Sure, there may be a great pair of shoes on sale, but unless I’ve saved my own allowance for it, then I will just have to pass them by.
Accountability and joint finances is a good thing for us. Or at least, it sure seems to be at the moment. Of course, we are also open to the possibility that this whole thing will blow up in our faces and we’ll have to come up with a whole new plan. Could get exciting around these parts, folks, who knows.
What about you, dear readers? How do you handle your finances with your spouse? Are you a combined household, or do you split things? I would love to hear how others do this.
Until next time,