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Any married folks use separate checking accounts?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   LDfan

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Posted October 12 2001 - 06:15 AM

My wife and I have a joint checking account and have since we were married 3 years ago.
However it's been the source of endless fights and stuff like that. I've been considering getting my own checking account so I'll finally have control over my money and not getting b*tched at for buying a dvd after she pops out $200 for a new coach purse.

Do any of you married guy/girls use a sep. checking account method of handling the finances?

thanks
Jeff

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted October 12 2001 - 06:19 AM

Wouldn't it be the same money even if you had 2 accounts?

We only have one account, but we've talked from time to time about having two accounts, since it in some cases would be more convenient (easier for each person to keep track of his account). But since it's the same money anyway, it doesn't really make sense.

Unless you decide to just give eachother say $500 month that you can spend however you want on things just for you, or save, or whatever. That would solve the problem better, IMO.

/Mike
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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted October 12 2001 - 06:29 AM

Some couples I know have 3 accounts:

1 for him
1 for her
1 for monthly expenses

Each contributes to the monthly expenses account evenly, and the rest goes into the individual accounts. When they need to make a big purchase that benefits both of them (buy a new couch, etc), both move funds from the individual account to the 3rd account and pay from that account.


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#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Kevin P

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Posted October 12 2001 - 06:54 AM

Quote:
Some couples I know have 3 accounts:
1 for him
1 for her
1 for monthly expenses

Each contributes to the monthly expenses account evenly, and the rest goes into the individual accounts. When they need to make a big purchase that benefits both of them (buy a new couch, etc), both move funds from the individual account to the 3rd account and pay from that account.
That exactly what we do. That way I have "my" money (for buying computer stuff & HT toys), she has her money (to buy facials and other stuff to make her beautiful), and we have "our" money that pays the bills and buys the groceries.

I have more income than my wife, so I contribute more to the joint account than she does, but we basically do what you said. Works pretty well (though I desperately need a raise!) Posted Image

KJP



#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Brad_W

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:02 AM

My wife and I have a joint checking and savings account. We have done this even a year before we were married. We've been married for only about 4 months, but our money problems wouldn't be solve by seperate accounts.

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#6 of 22 OFFLINE   John Johnson

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:04 AM

We have two accounts purely because of laziness. Haven't gotten around to combining the accounts (married last December). Besides, we're moving in 3 months, so it might as well be easier that way.

I do like the idea of three accounts. That way, she doesn't have to know that the $350 HD box was actually $800... Posted Image

#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Mark Schermerhorn

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:11 AM

I'm not married, but I know a lot of couples that have seperate accounts with a joint account for bills as others have mentioned. This includes my parents, so I'll do it if I get married someday (heh). That by itself seems to reduce stress levels.

Of course, this isn't going to solve any problem if:

One or both people in the relationship can't handle money,

One or both people in the relationship always have a need to whine and complain about everything,

Money is really tight in general.


Now to find me a calm, rational woman, so I don't end up with problems like this....hahahaha...
Actually, they do exist...they're called female engineers. Unfortunatly, there aren't a whole lot of them Posted Image


#8 of 22 OFFLINE   PhilipW

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:24 AM

The 3 account idea sounds pretty good.

However, how do you save up money for large purchases, such as, a down payment on a home or new furniture or such. I mean, if I had my own separate account it'd be gone on DVD's and equipment.

With my wife and I sharing the account, I am more inclined to discuss large purchases (I got a 53" HDTV for my b-day) with her since she is going to see the bills (or the equipment) anyways.

But as far as checking accounts go, we're both lazy and don't keep up with it at all. We just use credit for most purchases and pay for that at the end of each month. Besides I get 1% back (have about $200 this year so far) on my Mastercard and it doesn't cost me to use where you have to purchase checks.

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#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Bill Eberhardt

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:24 AM

My wife and I have always had separate accounts. We both work and manage our own money. We split up the bills - she takes all the utilities and the car payment for whatever car she wants to drive. I make payments on my car, the mortgage and any major expenses. Anything extra, we can spend as we please. I don't worry about what she is spending on clothes and such and she doesn't worry about what I'm spending on my hobbies.

We have discussions about money and our desires on future purchases but we've never had an argument over money. In fact, I can't remember an argument we've had over anything. We make very few requests of each other and both of us are most often willing to do what the other one desires.

I was glad early in our marriage when I let her take care of the utility bills. She has less of a tolerance for heat and cold so I let her set the thermostat anywhere she wanted. Also, I've never been concerned about her long distance phone bills - and you know the lady loves to talk. Posted Image

So it has worked out for us, we've been happily married for over eight years now. But, I don't know how easy it would be to switch after having joint accounts. That would be tough. Good luck.

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:28 AM

quote:

I have "my" money (for buying computer stuff & HT toys), she has her money (to buy facials and other stuff to make her beautiful), and we have "our" money that pays the bills and buys the groceries.
[/quote]

So, here's a question: if you stopped buying "computer stuff & HT toys", would she mind?
If she stopped buying "facials and other stuff to make her beautiful", would you mind?

I know I wouldn't like my wife to completely stop buying "stuff to make her beautiful", so I have a hard time seeing the money she spends on that as "her" money.

How do you draw the line on things like that?

/Mike

[Edited last by MickeS on October 12, 2001 at 02:28 PM]
/Mike

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   KyleS

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:31 AM

I will probably get flamed for posting this but am I the only one who feels that having separate accounts just isn’t right? Now don’t get me wrong my wife and I have 2 bank account, which we both have access to at any time. But to have to have 1 personal account each and a bill account seems ridiculous IMHO. I guess that I am stuck on the fact that if you are fighting/arguing about money before you separate accounts how is separating supposed to help. You have to remember that in a marriage it is "our" money not "yours or mine". You should both agree on what money goes to bills, savings, and then for toys and work together to come to a common agreement. Marriage is supposed to be a union where you talk and share everything (including the money) with each other. I would suggest sitting down and telling your spouse how you feel and how much money you would like to put into a toy savings account. Then there will almost certainly be some compromises that you will both have to come to and agree upon. Best of luck with the 3 accounts if that is what you wish to do though.

Now I am going to go dive for cover Posted Image

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#12 of 22 OFFLINE   BrentK

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:31 AM

My wife and I do have separate checking accounts. We both are happy doing it in this way. We divvy up the monthly bills in a way that we are each paying roughly the same amount each month towards them. There are pros and cons to both ways of doing it....but for us...it is our method of choice.

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:42 AM

KyleS, I can understand your point, and I think a lot of people feel that way. However, if the easiest way to deal with the problem is to split up the money, and both parties are OK with this, why not do it?

I think a lot of married couples have a great life together, but money is a source of a lot of unnecessary arguments, just because the idea of splitting up the money is such a taboo. Just because they split the money doesn't mean they love each other any less. It's more important that they continue living together in happiness, than it is that they conform to the conventional notions of what a marriage "should" be like. IMO, of course.

Of course, in some cases there might be something else causing these conflicts, but I think in most cases the conflict about money is just that, not a sign of something wrong in the marriage.

/Mike
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#14 of 22 ONLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:58 AM

My wife and I have been married for over 12 years, and we still each maintain the individual checking and savings accounts we had when we were single (although now the other person is also on the accounts). I pay all the bills from my account, and my wife contributes a set amount each month to help cover the bills. We also have separate credit card acccounts, as well as a joint account. Our investment accounts are held jointly.

The above solution works best for us. Neither of us overspend, but I am much more diligent in keeping records for tax and investment purposes. However, my wife still wants some money she considers "hers" (we both lived on our own for several years before we were married). I have used Quicken to keep track of everything and electronically pay bills for many years, and my wife would never do this. Life is so much easier at tax time and when we review our investment strategy with our financial planner.

There is no single correct way to handle finances. Pick a method that you can both live with that meets your needs and causes the least stress in your marriage.

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#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Kevin Coleman

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Posted October 12 2001 - 08:01 AM

I am with Kyle,
I think it is wierd. You are either married or not. There is no your money or my money it is simply our money. My wife and I have one checking account and never argue about money. People who seperate their money to me sound more like roomates than lifetime partners. It would be especially hard for us to keep our money seperate since my Wife doesn't work outside the home becuase she takes care of our two Children.


Kevin C. Posted Image



[Edited last by Kevin Coleman on October 12, 2001 at 03:02 PM]

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted October 12 2001 - 11:29 AM

My parents do the separate account thing. They split everything. Then again, their marriage has been "on the rocks" for awhile now, which is what spawned the separate accounts...

I suggest you two sit down and create a budget. Figure how much you want to spend each month, and on the first of the month you both get $500 (or, whatever you decide) in cash. Then don't question what you buy with your own money.

I run all of the finances in my household. My wife is a stay at home mother (by choice), and I give her a set amount of cash each month to spend on herself. Everything else - groceries, bills, etc, I buy. At one point, she had her own checking account, but she's horrible with money. We put a bunch of money in her account to spend and she spent it all & then overdrafted the account in a short period of time. So we closed the account, canceled the credit cards, and she spends cash. When she needs something bigger, I write her a check. Works great, and we don't argue about money at all. (Though, I end up spending more money on her and my daughter every month than I do on myself - it doesn't bother me, and it certainly doesn't bother her, so there have never been any "breeding grounds" for arguments)

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#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Sarah S

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Posted October 12 2001 - 01:20 PM

My husband & I work at the same place so we get roughly the same amount of money. When we got married, we had all our money deposited into the joint checking account, then each pay period we just deduct a set amount from the joint account into our own personal accounts. This has worked fine for us; but has caused some discussion (never fights) about what was a "common" purchase vs an "individual" purchase.
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#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Dan Whalen

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Posted October 12 2001 - 03:50 PM

What's her's is her's and what's mine is her's. Posted Image

My wife and I have the joint checking account that we had before we were even married (just got married a little over a month ago). We discuss what either of us want to buy before we go out and buy it, and it works fine for us. I say do whatever works best for the both of you.

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#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted October 12 2001 - 04:54 PM

There is not "right way". You just have to find what works for you and your spouse. Some people are good with money, others spend it like it's on fire.
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#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Ellen

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Posted October 12 2001 - 11:15 PM

Quote:
I run all of the finances in my household. My wife is a stay at home mother (by choice), and I give her a set amount of cash each month to spend on herself. Everything else - groceries, bills, etc, I buy. At one point, she had her own checking account, but she's horrible with money. We put a bunch of money in her account to spend and she spent it all & then overdrafted the account in a short period of time.
She had better hope you don't drop dead Posted Image Sounds like she'd be in financial ruin in short order.




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