Even though The Banker and I have lived together for over 3 years, we haven’t ever really combined finances. We have a shared account that our rent comes out of, to which we each contribute equally. But our other expenses are split. We take turns buying groceries, he pays for internet and cable (with a contribution from me), and he pays the hydro bill. It may seem unfair, but he does make a significant more than I do at the moment, and I typically buy all of the “home” stuff (things like décor, organization items, other supplies, etc.). We have talked a few times about combining our finances, but never really made a decision.
Now that we’re getting married, we’ve had the discussion again and decided that starting December 1, we’ll be combining all of our finances. The reason for the wait is to switch over direct deposit pay, and automatic withdrawal bill payments. We’ve decided that we will each keep $200 a month for our personal spending. This is a tentative number to see how much we spend and we may adjust that as we see how it all affects our spending and budgeting. We both think it’s a good idea to have some spending money, where we can get stuff that the other might not think is as important as the other (I love my lattes and he loves craft beer), and we are both on the same page for having a little spending money that we don’t need to justify to the other. I’m hoping that putting our money together will keep us even more accountable to our budget, and hopefully we’ll be able to pay down debt more aggressively with combined finances as opposed to tackling it on our own.
It will certainly be an experiment, and I’m sure we won’t get it right straight away, but it’s a learning curve and hopefully we can make it work well.
How do you work combined finances? Any tips or tricks to share?