Everytime I say the word "money" with any sort of exclamation, it makes me think of this video, which always makes me laugh till I cry.
So. Funny. The one girl's "dance" methods are hilarious.
Anyway, back to some more serious-ness. Deciding what to do with your money once you're married is a big decision for most couples, and I think for many people it can be a rather uncomfortable conversation to have. Not so for me and Matt, but I understand how it could be. Money has never been something I've liked talking about, but we eased our way into these discussions so it has gone relatively smoothly.
What works for some people doesn't work for others. I know many people who have joint checking accounts with their husbands, and many others who keep everything separate. I am a firm believer that a woman should have her own money. Not for the purpose of keeping secrets or hiding things from him, but rather for the purpose that if anything should ever happen, I'll have access to money if/when I need it. Matt agrees with this. He is supportive of me keeping my own money to do with whatever I choose. But we also both agreed that saving is important. For our future, for our future kids, for vacations, for emergencies...
We've also been living together for several years now and have our bills and mortgage payments down to a pretty good science. We split the mortgage 50/50, and the same with the bills. I write him a check for my 1/2 of the mortgage in the middle of the month, and my 1/2 of the bills at the end of the month. It sounds convoluted and like there is a lot of money changing hands, but it's what works for us. And this way I can keep track of my money and decide how much I can afford for other bills of my own (credit card and student loans) and how much I can sock into savings. We are [basically] planning to keep this same system.
But we are joining our savings accounts. Actually, he is closing his and transferring his money to my savings, and I'll add him as a joint holder. My savings account gets significantly better interest rates than his does, so that's why we chose mine. Each of us will contribute whatever we can towards our savings per month, with a minimum contribution that we've agreed on. We both typically end up putting in more every month, but we agreed that holding ourselves to a minimum amount was important. Once kids come into the picture, we will open an additional savings account for future college tuition. My parents did this for me and my sister, and we were both able to finish college debt-free (my afore-mentioned student loans are from grad school), so it is very important to me to do this for our children.
We will continue to reevaluate this system to make sure it continues to be the right thing for us. But for now, this is what works for us individually and as a couple.