The Newlywed Life: Talking About Money

What's his is his and mine is mine, but what about the OUR when it comes to newlywed money?

Betty Series

The Newlywed Life: Talking About Money

What’s his is his and mine is mine, but what about the OUR when it comes to newlywed money?

-Jenna Mahoney

Bride and Groom MoneyThe other day between bites of Thai food (yes, we’re still on a take-out only schedule) Husband declared, “We need to start thinking seriously about our money. Like a corporation. Because now, we are like a corporation.”

Ummm. OK. Now, I know that cashola is the A-number-one, primo prob in all marriages. But calling ourselves (and the cash that goes with it) a corporation seems a little extreme to me. What? Do I need to start reporting earnings each quarter? Or should I discuss my desire for an iPhone with the shareholders?

Yes, I am ashamedly one of those people who forget to pay bills. (Good thing Husband is on that task now.) But besides that minor flaw, I’ve always been pretty good with dinero. I don’t understand people who live beyond their means. I never ever pay full price for clothing. And I’m a decent saver. (Hey, I worked triple extra to get cash for the bash, which is completely paid off and we bought a car during the process.) And so, I thought so far, as a couple we have done a pretty good job of saving, investing and, yes, big purchasing via the house account.

Quick 411 on the concept: Our joint checking account receives a set amount from each party on set dates. The account pays for – you guessed it – household expenses. Rent, electricity, supermarket runs and EZPass all get run through that checkbook. Dinners out – yes, that includes take-out – nights on the town and clothing is off-limits when it comes to charging to the house. Besides that, when it comes to our own money, the duckets we earn at the job, extra job and consulting on the side, it is exactly that – our own.

But it looks like affianced finance and married money are two different animals. And honestly, I don’t remember getting that memo pre-aisle walking. Sure, we’d like to buy a house and save for our (ahem) future children and college. But I’ve always been sort of a Beyoncé Independent Woman type. I can buy APC dressses and Pilates classes if I choose. And Husband is welcome to spend his hard-earned greenbacks on whatever it is he spends his hard-earned greenbacks on. What that is – I’m not entirely sure.

So at first look, I’m guessing that working like a corporation means revising the house account concept. But does that mean we should pool all of our money? That’s an idea I’m not so hot on. Or do we need to be put on an allowance? Friends A+E do that and she still has the leniency to buy shoes, so I’m using my shareholder’s vote for that revised system. But I really don’t know what Husband has in mind.

He has informed me that like a corporation, we will have a meeting to discuss the balance sheet. So in the meantime, hit me with your corporate saving/spending ideas. And please, don’t say Quicken. Just spelling that word gets me feeling all Barbie in math class.

Read the first in this series at: Just Married! Now What?

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0 thoughts on “The Newlywed Life: Talking About Money

  1. I like that your joint checking account is strictly for household things that your share. I’m really weird about my money and definitely setting up an arrangement like this when I’m married/before I’m married is a good idea

  2. i always thought $ would be the biggest issue for me in a marriage, but luckily i married a man who doesn’t really like to spend much but doesn’t care if i do–perfect!

  3. I’m not married yet but I’m with someone where marriage is the goal :) As far as money goes I think that things you spend together should come out of the joint account… electricity, rent, groceries, even entertainment (that is shared, not going to the movies with your gfs etc), vacation and stuff for the house (furniture). All the other things that are spent separately like cell phone bills, shopping, entertainment with your friends or solo, should come out of your personal account. If you’re both working and earning paychecks, then you are free to spend as you wish. But being on the same page as far as future spending goals (home, children) is really important and you should be able to agree on how much you’re both willing and able to contribute.

  4. Not married, nor do I intend to be…but Im in a marrige-like relationship with a house and a child… and we’ve never even considered a joint account. We simply dont need it. We pay the rent and the bills when they need to be payed and it really doesnt matter out of whose account that money comes because if my money runs out before his does, we live on his for the rest of the month and vice versa. We consult each other about major purchases and know the information on each other’s card… done deal :) But of course, mutual respect helps. I hear my friends saying “my boyfriend/husband bought ‘this and that item worth more than a month’s rent’ without asking me,” and although I know the issue is deeper than that, I can’t help but think, how can you be in a relationship like that?

  5. My soon to be husband and I have a pretty good system worked out. He makes almost twice the money I do, and he pays the bills (mortgage, electricity, etc.) I use my money for our recreation (dinners, vacations, new clothes). If one of us needs cash, we give it to each other, and we’ve never once argued about money.

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