My husband and I have always tried to keep our finances separate. Based on the numerous articles and posts I’ve read about joint finances, budgeting for the family, etc., I realize this concept is a little strange. It does not come from a lack of trust or any other negative.
We have been together for 7 years and have had numerous conversations about finances along the way. We have very open communication about our financial situations however have never attempted to merge our finances. And honestly, we don’t want to. We have created a system that works for us. It also encourages us to utilize our communication skills, particularly for joint purchases.
Why We Keep It Separate
As I mentioned earlier, we have been together a while. This means we are very well aware of our own and each other’s spending habits. My husband and I have very different ways of managing, saving, and spending money. That’s not so say either of us are bad with money, only different. My husband has a distinct savings plan, and I have my own savings plan (that may vary from year to year). We have also worked out a system for our bills to divide them.
My husband has a savings account and a joint account at a nearby bank. He also has a savings account at Capital One for the majority of his savings due to the higher interest rate.
I have a savings account and joint account at a local credit union, as well as our mortgage. I also have a savings account and IRA at Capital One.
We have a single joint checking account at his bank.
Dividing the Bills
We have attempted to maintain independent finances throughout the majority of our relationship. When I was in grad school, I made significantly less money than he did and we adjusted our bills as a result. He paid more rent, the electric bill, and the internet bill. I paid less rent, the water/sewer bill, and bought groceries. Even though we try to maintain our distinctive finances, he has never let me suffer. If I needed to borrow money or didn’t have enough to cover a bill at the time, he covered it. Eventually I graduated and we moved back to our native area and began focusing on our careers and my debt.
After I began repaying my student loans, we had a discussion about how we wanted to split the bills. We both individual bills that we pay, such as cell phones and student loans. We also have joint bills, like the mortgage, utilities, etc. We both make around the same amount of money but my student loans were a top priority for both of us. As a result, we agreed to the following plan:
Husband- Utilities, Mortgage*, $450 towards my student loans
Me- $1000 towards student loans, Groceries
*We have a low mortgage.
We have a joint checking account he deposits money into and I write checks as needed for select bills. Every possible bill we have that can be automated is drafted from this account. We do not use this account for any of our individuals bills.
How’s It Working?
We have been using the aforementioned system for about 2 years now and it continues to surprise me how well it works. I appreciate that despite the fact that our finances remain as separated as possible, we remain open and honest about our finances.
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How do you and your partner manage your finances?