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Traditionally, when couples married, they combined every aspect of their lives to work and operate as a unit.  This means sharing a house, cars, expenses and bank accounts, amongst other things.  But times have changed, and getting married no longer means you need to share property or money.  With a divorce rate of about half, it's no wonder people are reconsidering just how much autonomy they would like to retain after the rings are exchanged.

Some of the most obvious reasons for keeping bank accounts and assets separate, include debt, a poor credit score or one spouse paying alimony or child support. In these cases, there is neither the obligation nor expectation that these expenses or credit histories should be shared. While romantic dreams and ideals may disagree with keeping parts of your married life separate, one individual's financial burdens or obligations could easily create resentment and bitterness with the other spouse when forced to also take such responsibilities on.

separate bank accountsMany couples who get hitched later in life are also more hesitant to give up their fiscal independence after marriage.  After years (even decades) of self-reliance, many people don't want to give up such independent control of their finances and credit history.  

In any of these cases, it's completely justified to maintain separate accounts to preserve the marriage and meet the needs of both partners.  However, managing the household expenses by two separate incomes can get tricky and sticky.  

There are two compromises that many couples employ to make the situation work.  One option is to create a single, joint account, to which each partner contributes an equal amount.  This also requires full disclosure of spending from both parties and careful monitoring of input and output.  

The other option is to split up the household expenses between each partner, as equally as possible.  This could mean trading off paying the mortgage every other month, or writing two checks when the payment is due.  There are endless combinations of possibilities for divvying up expenditures, but it can be accomplished if both parties are onboard and committed.

The truth is money and happiness are more closely tied than people may think, or perhaps a better way to put it is that although money may not buy you happiness, a lack or depletion of it can make life hell.  Realism is underrated, but couples all over the country are catching on, as it is now estimated that approx. 50% of marriages keep separate finances.  

While I have no trouble writing about keeping separate bank accounts and check books, I know it could never work for my marriage.  Or, maybe more accurately, I know there's no way I could juggle checkbooks and stay sane.  Tonight, I'm cooking my husband a big meal and planting a fat kiss on him as soon as he walks through the door; I love him to death and our marriage that includes just one checkbook.

What’s your thoughts on this matter?

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Apr 14, 2010
    • I agree that there are times when keeping seperate accounts is the best thing to do.
      I do think the most important thing to do would be to have an indepth conversation before combining households and make a decision that is best for you.

      It may be a joint or it may mean multiplies but without having that conversation first it won’t matter.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Apr 14, 2010
    • Our marriage could not survive joint accounts.  All our finances are seperate. His paycheck goes into his account which is in his name only and my paycheck goes into my account which is in my name only.  Our credit cards are in our respective names only.  

      When we moved in together we had a long talk about this sort of thing and worked it all out.  It works for us.

      One area where we have begun to combine things (after 8 yrs) is vehicles.  We now own the newest one jointly.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vielka Burey-Jacas wrote Apr 15, 2010
    • Whatever works for you but in my marriage separate accounts have been the best blessing ever. Although, when we plan to have a major purchase we discuss it between the two of us to see if the purchase is necessary or worth it.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Victorious wrote Apr 21, 2010
    • We have been married for 11 years and we consider what we earn our  money. When we got married 'two became one'. I manage the home and the finances. What ever I do I advise him about it. Major stuff is first discussed and we plan how we are going to go about it.

      We have been very comfortable with it and money have never been an issue in our marriage.

      When I become a stay at home wife/mom we both know and understand that our financial arrangements will certainly be the same. We are both working in the marriage even it either of us is not carrying home a pay cheque.

      I works for us.heartheartheart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle05 wrote Jun 24, 2010
    • When my husband and I first got married, he still had his own checking account at a separate credit union with auto payments attached to it.  I had my own bank account.  He’s the spender and I’m the saver and 100%  in charge of all of our finances... not by choice!  He refuses to take care of it!!!frown

      I was added onto his account, but kept my account solely in my name for the very reason that he would dip into money I had set aside for bills!  After about 9 years of marriage and going insane trying to not only juggle 2 accounts, but 2 DIFFERENT banks, I gave up and we now only have 1 joint checking at a totally new credit union.  It has been SO much easier tracking our money and bills, but I have nowhere to hide rainy day savings from him.  I know this sounds bad, but it’s the brutal truth of our relationship.

      I guess whatever works in the relationship is what should be.  I just wish my husband was more of a hands-on kinda guy and helped budget our finances... that’s my 1 of 3 wishes!  happy

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