One of the last things that most couples think about before getting married is money. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons why couples go through a divorce is also money. If your marriage is on a rough patch because of money, this article could potentially save your marriage.
I have to admit that when I got married, money wasn’t the first thing on my mind — it was love. Although we each have our own financial quirks, I have to say that we are lucky to be about 99% financially compatible.
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For the most part our money is combined; except for our IRAs and my 401k, all of our accounts are joint. However, I don’t meddle much in our Citibank account, which was originally hers, and she still considers it hers (that’s where she deposits her paychecks). And for the most part she doesn’t meddle in our brokerage account, which was originally mine (that’s where I deposit my paychecks).
We operate semi-independently — i.e., we each pay our own bills, more or less. But the nice thing is that I can always ask her for money if I am short, or vise versa. In general, I tend to be the one who’s short on cash because I pay most of our household expenses — i.e., mortgage, property taxes, utilities, etc. (that how it was before we got married). Basically, we each have our own little financial domain, but in truth we give to each other without hesitation and without keeping track. Well it probably doesn’t matter for her, since she told me more than once that what’s hers is hers, and what’s mine is hers.
As much as I want to say that the way my wife and I handle our finances is the best, I couldn’t. My parents have been married for over 30 years and they kept their finances separate. They each have their own accounts and don’t meddle in each other financial affairs. Actually, my mom doesn’t let my dad mess with her money, because she thinks he’s irresponsible. For me, his only quirk is his kindness and generosity.
So, there’s evidence to suggest that this method works too.
The answer is, I don’t know. But here are a few things that seem to help — whether you combine or separate your finances:
In the end, I don’t think there’s a single right answer, and each couple has to make it works for them. Although I do believe that the worst thing any couple can do is not talking to each other about money