Separate or Joint Finances?

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I started this blog years ago as mostly an accountability journal for myself.  Writing has been a therapeutic outlet for me for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved reading blogs so I thought I’d try my hand at creating my own. HollyGainsSomeSense is primarily geared at helping people working with a small budget, especially single parents. I also throw in some semi-tiny home living tips, and advice on discovering your second half life/dreams when your kids grow up and move on.

Separate or Combined Finances?

Today’s post will be a bit different as I pose a question to my readers. How do you manage the finances in your household? I know this blog is geared primarily at single-income families but I know some of my readers are married or have significant others. Does one person handle the finances in your home or is it a joint effort? One bank account for those of you that are a couple or do you have separate accounts?

Obviously I’ve been widowed for a long time so I’m fully in charge of my finances. My husband and I had a joint account when we were married. I was the primary one in charge of our finances. This was a mutual decision for us because my husband knew handling the finances was not a strength of his.

It didn’t even occur to us to have separate bank accounts once we married but I know many couples choose to. Some couples have a hybrid approach where they have a joint account that handles their household expenses and then they have separate accounts for each spouse that they have free reign to spend with. Some have their own accounts and they split up the bills.

Reasons to Keep Finances Separate

I still think I would want to have our finances combined if I were ever to remarry. I can see though where some people would prefer separate accounts.

If you are a blended family it might be easier to keep finances separate. This is especially true if one or both of you are paying childcare costs from a previous relationship.

Marrying someone whose past (or current) financial habits have been bad is another good reason to keep finances separate. You don’t want their past mistakes hurting you.

Benefits of Combining Finances

It’s easier to manage. It’s simpler to have one account that all the money goes into and all the bills are paid out of. You don’t have to decide how you’re splitting up the bills and worry that one person feels like they’re paying more than their share.

It forces you to work together for shared financial goals. On person in the relationship might be the primary finance handler (that was me) but it’s important to communicate with your spouse so everyone is on the same page.

Something to Keep In Mind

My choice is having combined finances in a marriage but it’s important you do what works best for your family. One thing I would caution against is  being oblivious to your finances. Regardless of whether you are the one handling the checkbook, or your partner, everyone needs to be aware of what their financial situation is. Communication is definitely key. You hear too many horror stories about one person running their financial household into the ground and their partner has no clue until it’s too late. 

Who is in charge of your finances? If you’re married or in a relationship, do you keep your finances separate or are they combined?






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2 Responses to Separate or Joint Finances?

  1. Becky Mishler says:

    We’re a blended family who decided upon joint accounts. Ease was one factor, however, we both wanted me at home…so, shortly after our marriage I retired from nursing. As the one who is here, while he works, we settled into a pattern whereby he earns it & I manage it. I’m also more computer savvy, so that helps. We do, however, discuss everything, & he is much better at building savings than I am. We’ve learned a lot from each other. With a strong faith in God, our focus on Him, it has been a wonderful blessing.

    • Holly says:

      Communication is definitely important. We learned we had very different money styles when we got married. Rick was happy if we made it from paycheck to paycheck but I needed a buffer and savings to be comfortable.

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