Sharing money works for our marriage
David at My Two Dollars seems to have a very similar marriage, at least with regards to finance, as we do. He wrote a short article about how sharing finances when they got married worked for them.
Way back when I first start this site, I wrote an article about keeping Joint vs Separate Checking Accounts. I still stand by my argument that keeping separate accounts is selfish and reflects and breeds distrust in your relationship.
My wife and I had all of our serious money arguments before we got married, and really the only arguments after the wedding revolved around my problem with wanting new cars. It’s really just a spring fever type thing, and I still haven’t gotten over it, but we’re at least analyzing our car options before doing anything now.
Back to sharing bank accounts, I really don’t see any reason to have separate accounts except for personal vs business accounts. We set a rule that any expenditure over $50 (give or take) must be approved, and that prevents both arguments as well as larger impulse purchases.
I think, overall, this works for us because of the following:
1. We trust each other
2. My wife doesn’t have time to manage the checkbook (which can cause a problem in the future if something happens to me)
3. We don’t really care about keeping up appearances of being wealthy.
Let me explain #3. My wife doesn’t wear make-up and uses very little hair stuff, but she’s beautiful anyway. I keep my hair cut short (or else I’d look like a clown), and don’t need to “dress for success”. Neither of us are sloppy, but we just don’t need high-priced clothing or anything fancy. Consider us frugal (not cheap).
Outside of paying off debt, buying a new shirt, pants, or skirt (obviously not for me) every few months, and dining out, we really don’t spend much money. We take trips and vacations every so often, like a marriage conference in 2 weeks (which I HIGHLY recommend attending from past experience). We splurge on a car rental so we can change up our routine on longer trips. But again, we just don’t spend much money.
Obviously, my blunt opinion above will provoke some anger among some of you, and that’s fine. However, think through your response before posting. I really am open to listening to and understanding your reasonings against (or for) joint finances, but please, please, don’t just rant.
So, let me know what you think, and prove me wrong that you can have separate accounts and still completely trust your partner. By “trust”, I mean if you two decided tomorrow to merge all your money, that you would be totally content with the idea and assured your spouse would spend the same amount after the merge as he or she did before.