Question about Finances?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Question about Finances?
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 2:42pm
I just wanted someones opinion/experience about what you did with your finances once you got married? Did you get a joint checking/savings account, and if so, do you regret it? Is it better to have a separate one from your DH? My BF & I are talking about marriage, and this is the only thing that concerns me... I dont want any of my hard earned money going towards his ex-wife. Shes always trying to get a little extra, and I'll be d*mned if it happens again, especially if its MY money too!

He's responsible and all, but Im just thinking about the worst that could happen - I dont want someone to ruin what I have worked so hard for, ya know? Just wanted some advice! Thanks!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 9:37pm
Well since you asked, DH and I combined all of our finances when we moved in together - and that was 5 years before our marriage. We maintained separate titles on the vehicles, he kept the house in his name (I have right of survivorship), and later bought another house (rental) in MY name only - and all of our money goes into the same pot, all of the bills are paid from that pot, and we discuss what to do with the rest of it.

Of course, our solution is unique to US only - and would not necessarily work for ANYone else, including you. And I think that is the key - you and DH need to have a heart-to-heart about money and all your concerns about how to handle it once you are married, then find a way to compromise. The two of you must find your OWN way.

You are a unique person. He is a unique person. The two of you together will be like no other couple on the face of the planet. So really, it makes absolutely NO difference how other people handle their money - because they are unique, too, and their solutions probably won't work for the two of you.

Best of luck - and have that talk with him soon, before you walk down the aisle. Peace and blessings to you both.



Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 3:23am
Specially if he's got ex to deal with. When I first got married (and still married), he had my name added with his name. He paid all the bills and he gave me an allowance of about $250 (to spend whatever I wish). But we were also poorer, no children just dog and two birds. Our rent was about $350mo. We put aside about $50 for food a week. We have to take along a calculator to make sure we don't go overboard. Then, when I went back to work, the money I made went into my own checking acct. as my allowance or to help w/bills.

Because I save my money more there are always leftover, that I end up using those to help with car payments, pay for credit cards and smaller bills like phone, electric, heat, & water.

What I'm saying is: his money is OUR MONEY. My money is MY MONEY to do whatever I please.

We have one credit card. We buy everything with the credit card. We pay it off every month. We don't pay AF, late fees, ATM fees, cash advance, balance transfer fees, except our credit card gives us 1% for each dollar we spend. So, we're being paid to use the card. Imagine getting $300 back after spending $30,000.

My advice is: don't put your money in together with his. Have your own checks in your name. Until he signed the dotted line, and agreed to be your husband, make sure you keep your name left in your checking account. If you need to pay bills, write two checks. Don't order checks from the bank. They cost lots more. Order from the mail, found in Sunday paper. If you ever get divorced, he'll withdraw money that you have. You want to be prepared just incase something COMES BETWEEN YOU.

You can ask me anything about finances. I'm 28yrs. experience in marriage and finances!

I also learn from other's bad experiences w/divorces and relationships gone sour.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 9:36am
I think your instincts are good on this one. Your BF seems to have a blind spot where money and his X are concerned. You really do need to have complete control over your own money. You might even want to make sure that the wedding doesn't take place until after his DD graduates and CS has been legally discontinued. This is already a big issue, and might even become a deal breaker if he gave any of your money to the X. Its a place I don't think you want to do.

We combined fincances because I suck at checkbook maintenance and DH is very good at it. But, we had custody of all of our children, and we were both in similar financial spots. Our situation was much different than yours.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 11:00am

I really didn't like the comment a previous poster said where "His money is ours but my money is mine."

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 2:28pm
Thanks to all that responded! I have really been beating my brains to try and have a decision before we talk about it (we are going to have the big talk this Wednesday! Im so excited!) I wanted to see what the majority of you said - I definitely do not want to have a joint account til he has to stop paying child support. Thats too much of my money going down the drain. I guess I will see when we get there.

Please keep responding! I really appreciate your input.
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 2:39pm
My husband and I have a joint savings account and individual checking and savings accounts. We have a budget that we work on together and have decided what I will pay for with my income, what he will pay for with his income, how much each of us will put into the joint savings, and then what is left over we put into our individual savings or use on discresionary things. The seperate checking and savings accounts are really for logistics. I handle my accounts much different than he does (he is very anal about things - has to balance to the penny and all that, I am fine if my account is within $5) so this circumvents some potential fights. Also, with the check cards it is too easy for people to both spend money on the same day and over draw the account. Also, with the discresionary income, each of us can choose to save it up or spend it as we want without the other one accidentally dipping into it.