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Our money merge plans

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we;ve been living together for four years and have been sharing money since then. I make slightly more than FI - we both have 70% of our salaries that go into joint checking and then I move money around to our joint savings as we can. We also have joint credit cards.

 

In addition to all our sharing - we have separate credit cards and retain the balance of our salary for play etc. If we want to buy something - and we don't want to go to savings - one of us normally just volunteers to pay from our "fun" account.

 

This has worked amazing for us - I like managing the $ like Morgan and FI is not a fan at all - so it works perfectly!

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That's almost exactly how we manage our money. It works extremely well, and I really like not having to feel like I have to ask for "my" splurge items.

 

In addition to that plan though, we also have a budget for everything that is a joint expense and also a variable expense. For example, we budget $400 per month on food and do not go over. We budget a certain amount of money per year on joint gifts for others throughout the year by planning out all the birthday, xmas and special occasion gifts which are coming up. We also budget gas (although this is becoming more and more difficult- ARG).

 

And the only other difference is that when we eat out, we pay for ourselves out of our own fun money, because that is a treat we need to budget for as well. If one of us wants to treat the other, then that person uses their fun money to do so. Let's just say, Colin usually has more treat money left to treat me than I do him! haha

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We are not mergers that is way too much work! LOL He has his personal checking account and I have mine and I like it that way. We do have a joint money market account but we had that well before we got married. We both contribute to that, it's really easy with online transfers. We don't take money out of our money market often.

 

We pay bills out of our personal money, sometimes split in half (if we are on the ball) or whoever gets to it first. Lately he's been paying all the bills...I haven't paid a utility or phone bill in months, but I've been paying for food/groceries/gas. It isn't planned, it's just how it is happening right now based on our schedules and that could change next month...after living together for 9 years I can tell you it all balances out.

 

Neither of us are going anywhere so really all money is our money, we just like the autonomy of personal checking. I know exactly what will be there when I log in to my checking account and so does he. No mishaps, like missing money and the "I thought I told you I was withdrawing $500 for..." drama. Our "fun" money comes out of our pockets/checking, and when we go out it's whoever gets to their wallet fastest...haha

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This sounds like a good plan, Morgan. We are trying to figure out how to do this now....FI is an accountant and watches his money really closely, while I never even look at my bank or credit card statement (ignorance is bliss), so we'll have to work out something like this...how did you decide how much or what percentage to put into your fun fund?

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Morgan your plan sounds great. Right now we are doing what Starchild is doing. It works great. We have a really weird living arrangement. FI lives and sleeps here and he stores his crap at his apartment. So for the past 3 years we have been paying 2 rents and 2 sets of utility bills. Some things like internet, phone and cable has been disconnected at his house. Since he unofficially lives here, he offers to pick up the utility bills. To me this living arrangement is wasting money but our jobs give us $ for living expenses... but still its silly if you ask me. We did open up a joint savings when we got engaged but right now nothing is going into it except for monetary wedding gifts we have gotten. Since planning our wedding, he pretty much paid for it. I am so happy its paid off! Right now we are looking for a house that is worth both of our living allowances put together so we can move in right after we get married. I think when we do finally merge I will suggest putting our living expense money in one joint checking and using that to pay bills, then put x amount of money each pay period in our joint savings. I do have my own personal savings that I plan to build up while we are married. I dont want to be that woman that cant leave my husband if I need to because of money reasons...HEAVENS FORBID!

Im not really looking forward budgeting but I know its coming up soon!

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I think its each to their own really. I learnt the hard way not to merge ALL the money from the first marriage.

 

Then all my wages and his went into one pot and we took out bills etc but then he ran up 40k worth of debt that I ended up having to pay off myself when he went bankrupt and I escaped!!

 

So this time I'm a lot tigher. We have had a joint account for years but it was mostly savings, now we live together we have a set amount each month that goes in and that covers all the bills - everything after that is our own and what we do with it is up to us. I have no interest what he spends his cash on as long as it doesn't have an impact on me and vice versa.

 

I'm a saver but FI isn't in fact I shouted at him the other day for always being in the red in his account, took his credit cards off him and cut them up lol He's getting better and is certainly better than he was 5 years ago but he knows our cash will never be merged.

 

I've even started a fund for if we do have kids that will cover my wages for a few months so that I can be off work, he knows I'll be starving before I ask him for anything - he never seems to have that prob tho lol

 

So like i said its personal preference, I've been shafted mega in the past so that won't ever happen again. The house is even mine - and he's signed an agreement that if anything does happen he can't go after the house - sometimes its handy being a lawyer lmao punk.gif

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCheese View Post
Morgan thanks so much for sharing this plan!! I would like to use something like this for FI and I, and see how it works bc right now we are not doing anything and its not exactly working.
this is kind of where we're at.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xandrafaye View Post
He makes WAY more money than I do, so we just try to split things up according to how much we make. Example: he pays the rent & I buy groceries. If we go out for dinner to a nicer restaraunt, he pays, but if it's take out or whatever, then I pay. We buy our own clothing & stuff like that & he occasionally gives me a bit of extra spending money here & there. It works well for us for the time being.
ditto as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TA Maureen View Post
Sounds like a great plan. I hope it works out well for you. I don't know what would work best for us because he makes significantly more than I do. As of right now our money is still separate. We have a joint account with no money in it because we still use our sepaerate accounts. I just have bills that I'm in charge of and he has bills (a lot more than me) that he takes care of.
this pretty much sums it up, i have certain bills that i cover, and doug has things like child support that the closest i come to contributing to is to hand the check to his ex wink.gif
we use our joint account for things like big ticket items, and to transfer money from his account to mine, and vice versa, like when we pay rent i transfer my half of the money and he takes it, but when we pay his sons soccer dues, he transfers it and i take it to write a check with.

i REALLY really like morgans plan tho. i'm hoping we can come up with something similar when the wedding paying is done, but for now it's confusing because we have all the wedding stuff we are both covering, and the $ we spend on his kids to consider as well.

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Originally Posted by Pisces View Post
That's almost exactly how we manage our money. It works extremely well, and I really like not having to feel like I have to ask for "my" splurge items.

In addition to that plan though, we also have a budget for everything that is a joint expense and also a variable expense. For example, we budget $400 per month on food and do not go over. We budget a certain amount of money per year on joint gifts for others throughout the year by planning out all the birthday, xmas and special occasion gifts which are coming up. We also budget gas (although this is becoming more and more difficult- ARG).

And the only other difference is that when we eat out, we pay for ourselves out of our own fun money, because that is a treat we need to budget for as well. If one of us wants to treat the other, then that person uses their fun money to do so. Let's just say, Colin usually has more treat money left to treat me than I do him! haha
We don't budget. I did a budget once & I felt so confined that I went out & splurged on a bunch of junk at a shell shop. But, budgets definitly work for some people which is why plans need to suite the couple. What works for me is to total up my savings each month. I just take my bank statement & look at deposits vs withdraws & then account for money transfered to another account. I don't factor in interest or the market. I have a goal for each month. I also set an annual goal, but that takes everything in to account (interest & stock market). To figure that out I add up how much I have in each account. I set a 6 year goal, too. I am so excited to see that I reached my 6 year goal this month in only 4 years! It's great timing because I was worried about merging money & not being able to keep track of my savings goals. Now I can start over & we can set our goals together.

It does make sense to take eating out from the fun money. I thought about that, but mike & I don't eat out much. If we find we need to tighten up someday we'll probably set a budget. Or maybe just tally everything up for the month & see where we are overspending. But, with our lifestyle now we are comfortably cheap so it works. If it's not working we'll reevaluate & that might be something we change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kleslie5 View Post
This sounds like a good plan, Morgan. We are trying to figure out how to do this now....FI is an accountant and watches his money really closely, while I never even look at my bank or credit card statement (ignorance is bliss), so we'll have to work out something like this...how did you decide how much or what percentage to put into your fun fund?
We haven't figured that out yet. We are going to try $200 each at first & see how that works. Neither of us are the type that will spend it just because it's there so if we see that is too much, we'll cut it down. The goal is to find a plan so we don't feel constricted that doesn't take a lot of work. I hope once we get things going it will be simple. I try to keep bills & stuff on autopilot so I don't have to worry about that & have more time to think about getting a better return.

I love looking at my credit card & bank statement. I think that is a positive thing about how we manage money. It's very motivational & feels good instead of feeling restricting. I like seeing my credit card statement because I enjoy accumulating points. So I hope our system can keep dealing with money positive.

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Originally Posted by Hartyt509 View Post
I think its each to their own really. I learnt the hard way not to merge ALL the money from the first marriage.

Then all my wages and his went into one pot and we took out bills etc but then he ran up 40k worth of debt that I ended up having to pay off myself when he went bankrupt and I escaped!!

So this time I'm a lot tigher. We have had a joint account for years but it was mostly savings, now we live together we have a set amount each month that goes in and that covers all the bills - everything after that is our own and what we do with it is up to us. I have no interest what he spends his cash on as long as it doesn't have an impact on me and vice versa.

I'm a saver but FI isn't in fact I shouted at him the other day for always being in the red in his account, took his credit cards off him and cut them up lol He's getting better and is certainly better than he was 5 years ago but he knows our cash will never be merged.

I've even started a fund for if we do have kids that will cover my wages for a few months so that I can be off work, he knows I'll be starving before I ask him for anything - he never seems to have that prob tho lol

So like i said its personal preference, I've been shafted mega in the past so that won't ever happen again. The house is even mine - and he's signed an agreement that if anything does happen he can't go after the house - sometimes its handy being a lawyer lmao punk.gif
thanks for sharing your story. I think it's so important for both people to know what is going on with their money. Although I'll be the manager, mike will have access to all account passwords & know where I keep the notebook. I've heard many stories like that (probably because I watch a lot of suze orman). I'm glad you have a plan this time around to protect yourself!

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you have a good plan! we merged a years ago when we bought our house together. the way we have it worked out is he pays for the house & ins and i pay for any other bills such as cable, internet, utilities. then we each have our own credit cards that we pay ourselves. but because we have a joint acct if either one of us is short the extra money is always there.

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