Where's Margie's Money?

Married Money

DH and I have been married for almost six months! It’s amazing how time flies. Before the wedding it felt like the days moved so slow.  Now, with a baby on the way, I feel like I can barely keep up.

Inspired by Frugal’s post today, I thought I’d write a little bit about the way we manage our finances. BTW, I won’t be writing a menu plan for this week until tomorrow or Wednesday.  This weekend I was thrown off by the holiday and DH being out of town. Tonight, DH is cooking and tomorrow we have a dinner planned with friends. 

DH and I married when both of us were a little bit older (him 38, me 30) so we already had quite a bit of time living very separate and independent financial lives and that definitely influences the way we manage our money now: we do NOT have a joint checking account.  Each of us continues to maintain our separate accounts although we did open a joint savings account (and in the last six months have saved almost $10K – we’ll hit the big mark by the end of the month!!).

We have a few mutual bills: rent, utilities, and internet/cell phone plan.  We also have bills that we each brought into the marriage: car loans, student loans, and credit card debt (mostly me).

Prior to being married I dated and lived with a guy in my early to mid twenties for almost five years.  Throughout this relationship what was his was mine and vice versa.  Because we were pretty poor (for the majority of our relationship one or the other of us was finishing our college degree) whoever had the money to pay a bill was responsible for paying it.  We didn’t live on a budget and we just took life as it came.  Because I was the one who graduated first and got a full-time job, I ended up being the primary bread-winner and I came to resent the fact that I was pretty much the only one paying the bills.  I soon came to realize that my boyfriend wasn’t particularly motivated and I ended that relationship thank goodness!

I resolved to never put myself in that situation again.  I promised myself that my next relationship would be with a man who had a stable income and knew how to manage his money.  I found exactly that in DH.  He is very frugal and rarely splurges on anything for himself.  He does have a few months left on his car loan  and has student loans (he went to a private university that was MUCH more expensive than my public school) but that’s pretty much it.  He pays off his credit cards in full each month and the biggest splurge he is known to make is occasionally buying a new surf board (maybe once a year – he’s an avid surfer and has built up quite a collection but uses all of his boards, rotating based on water/wave conditions). He doesn’t go shopping for new clothes very often (fortunately for him, one of our good friends is a designer at a surfware company and DH is the same size as their fit model so she brings him a bunch of samples on a every months or so basis – it’s a very sweet deal and I’m totally jealous!!

DH is used to managing his own money and I’m used to managing mine.  I really value my financial independence after my previous experience and I just don’t want to give it up.  I don’t want to have to justify why I spent such and such amount on any item to him and he doesn’t want to do the same to me. 

We make almost the exact same amount of money (he brings home  2-3 thousand more a year) so what works for us is this:

He is responsible for managing our utility and phone accounts.  I’m responsible for maintaining our relationship with our land lady (i.e. writing the rent check and being the primary go between if there are maintenance or other issues – DH hates doing that stuff).  We split each bill down the middle and contribute exactly half.I purchase the majority of our groceries but DH does do some shopping as well.  He usually is the one to buy dog and cat food as well.  DH pays for the majority of the time we eat out but sometimes I pay.  It seems to work out pretty even and if it doesn’t one month that’s okay. 

We have access to look at each other’s accounts (I have his password and account info and he has mine) so there is accountability.

As for savings, we currently agree to put aside $625/month for our “baby fund” (the equivalent of what childcare will be come November) and $250/month for our misc. savings fund.  As I mentioned, combined with the money given to us at our wedding, we have built our funds to nearly $10,000 in just six months. 

I hear and understand the argument that it would be easier for us to get a joint check to pay for mutual bills and maintain our side accounts for our individual stuff and perhaps one day we’ll do that.  I’m sure adding a child into the mix is going to complicate our finances in a big way.  It’s definitely not out of the question, we just haven’t opted to go joint at this point.

Also, I will add that I’m currently working on paying of my debt all by myself.  DH is willing to help but I feel that this is a personal mess that I got myself into and I want to get myself out of it.  Yes, I hear the argument that it hurts BOTH of us to have this debt and it will be paid off sooner if I allow his help, but as crazy as it seems, it’s a matter of personal pride.  

So, it’s not perfect or even ideal compared to who you may talk to – but this system currently works for DH and I.  🙂


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  1. * Serendipity says:

    I have seperate finances from Rambo and while he has talked about wanting to combine finances, I am okay with not. Rambo and I both spend money on things the other one would not approve of and while I’m in debt and Rambo isn’t, I want to pay things by myself! I also like having my own checking account because I am a realist.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 1 month ago

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