Like many couples, Mr. PN and I have different views when it comes to finance. I am a penny-pincher and he tends to splurge a little more. Occasionally this causes conflict, but for the most part we keep each other on track. He reminds me that it is okay to spend money on clothes, nice haircuts and a pedicure (all things I view as non-essential), and I remind him that our TV is just fine and doesn’t need to be replaced yet (since it is less than 2 years old!).**
The number one conflict in marriage is money, and one of the biggest factors that contribute to divorce court is debt. Now let’s face it, money is very unromantic. It can be difficult to discuss and if you and your honey have different spending habits (which is often the case) it can be even harder to reconcile.
Mr. PN and I lived together for over 4 years before tying the knot. When we moved in together in 2004, we established a “money routine” which we have been using ever since. It has been modified a bit over the years but for the most part we have kept the same routine. Mr. PN has always made more money than me (I was in school for 3 years), so he pays the rent and his personal bills (like cell phone and credit card) and I pay for everything else (groceries, utilities, cable, household supplies, etc.) and my personal bills (cell phone & student loans). He also pays for the majority of our dinners and vacations. This system has served us well over the last 4 years.
Since our engagement we took a big financial step. We now have a joint credit card where we charge a majority of our purchases and build reward points to use towards travel. Even though we have a joint card, we still treat it as separate accounts. I keep meticulous records of my purchases and usually pay off my portion of the credit card in full with each pay check.
Now that we are married, we are faced with the decision of how to deal with our finances. Should we combine our money into one account? Keep separate accounts? Have joint and separate accounts? And if we have joint and separate accounts, how much do we contribute to each? There are so many options!
At this point Mr. PN and I have decided to open a joint account and contribute a small percentage of our income while keeping our separate accounts. We will continue with the same financial arrangement and use our joint account to save for major purchases or vacations. We might decide to combine more of our money in the future, but for now we plan to stick with what we know. No sense rocking the boat!
Ok hive, your turn! What type of financial arrangement do you have? Have you talked with your partner about your spending and saving habits? How do you plan to combine your finances after the wedding?
Check out this article for tips to manage money for richer or for poorer.
**Mr. PN is reading over my shoulder right now and has started rambling about the new technology in TV’s, employee discounts, high def, and all the other reasons we “need a new TV” (he just proved my point!)