Managing Your Money and Marriage

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Setting Up Appropriate Accounts Can Help You Manage Your Money During Marriage

Studies have shown that money is often the number one reason for marital disputes.  Therefore, finding the right way to manage your money and marriage is essential to getting your household budget and happiness in order.  Here are some of the ways we've seen married couples manage their money.  If you haven't settled into a routine that works for you, maybe you can take away some ideas from us.

Joint Accounts.  The traditional, or old-fashioned way of managing your money during marriage is for all accounts to be shared.  Usually this works best when one of the partners is responsible for most of the income and one partner takes more responsibility for managing the accounts.  The pros of this method is that, like a business, all monetary transactions go through one account and can be easily monitored and controlled.  The cons of this approach are that it is difficult for two people to use the same account and also keep it in order.  Furthermore, if one spouse is a spender and one is a saver, you will run into money disputes.

Seperate Accounts.  Many couples get married older these days.  That means that they're already used to managing their own money.  Also, many couples have separate careers with separate retirement accounts.  Also, many divorced or widowed couples get married later in life after having kids.  All of these situations are common reasons why marriages separate their money.  With separate accounts, the monthly expenses can be split up between the partners.  For example, one spouse can pay the mortgage and property taxes, while the other is responsible for monthly utilities, groceries and other bills and expenses.  If one spouse earns more than the other, the expenses should be separated accordingly.  Another options with separate accounts is for one spouse to transfer money to the other spouse each month.  That way one spouse can be ultimately responsible for optimizing and organizing all of the family expenses and budget.  This method also helps make spouses feel like they are in control of their money, especially if one spouse is a spender and one is a saver.  One con of this method is that spouses can hide money and hide purchases from the other spouse.

Separate Joint Accounts.  Another way to manage your money and marriage is to have two joint accounts, with each spouse having control over one account, and online access for both.  This way each spouse has access and visibility to the other spouse's account, but can feel in control of their own finances.  Another pro of this method is that each spouse continues to manage their own money.  Down the road if a divorce or death happens, there will at least be some continuity in their finances.  This method can work regardless of who earns the most money.  The responsibility to pay bills can be divided between the spouses or fall to one spouse.  Money can also be transferred to and from the accounts to make sure that each spouse has enough money to spend on his or her private expenses.

 

See Also:  Family Budgeting Articles