General chatter - What is wrong with individual checking accounts?




4myloves
12-18-2006, 10:41 AM
I realize that a lot of married/long-term couples have joint checking accounts, but is there anything wrong with separate accounts?

Having a separate account doesn't mean that I don't trust my husband, it just means that we like to keep our finances separate.

What's y'all's take?


lizziness
12-18-2006, 11:26 AM
I have joint finances, and wish I hadn't. Part of it is feeling validated that I worked hard and this is my money, and these are my bills etc.. .that I think I am missing. I also think that each person helping to make the financial decisions is a good idea...

that said, I do have joint finances and feel awkward and stuck about it. And now that it's all together, it's just to much of a pain to separate.

nelie
12-18-2006, 11:31 AM
We have seperate checking accounts but 90% of DH's money comes to my checking account. I pay all the bills, I put money into various savings accounts and DH has some money which he can use to do whatever he wants to do with in his account. I don't know if we'd progress into a joint checking account but it really is a lot easier when I know how much money is in my account and where it is going. I do give him a status report on how much money is in savings as well as I ask him about some expenses on his credit cards if I'm not sure about them so I can keep track of the money he spends.


midwife
12-18-2006, 11:35 AM
We are joint all the way. Part of that may be because we married at the ripe old age of 19, when $250/week was a lot of money, and we have pulled ourselves up together. He supported me (he was active duty military) while I finished my bachelor's degree, we both worked hard while I finished my master's, and now he is going back to finish his bachelor's. It is all-for-one and one-for-all around here, and has been from the get go. We dump our money together, and everything we spend comes out of our joint $$. I suspect people who had careers or some sort of independence prior to marriage may be more likely to go for some type of individual account, but it has never crossed our minds.

2frustrated
12-18-2006, 11:37 AM
We have separate day-to-day accounts but since we got married I think we're gradually moving towards a joint account. We've opened a joint account with some cheques we got but that's mainly savings at the moment. I pay DH for half the rent, he pays elec, council tax and probably most of the grocery shopping :) We have a joint credit card that he pays off which I only use for groceries.

I've still got a huge student overdraft so I wouldn't really want to get a joint account till I pay that off. It's not really very fair for him to be paying my overdraft!

srmb60
12-18-2006, 12:03 PM
We always say we don't have enough money for more than one acount. :D
We're about like Midwife and her fella ... I remember thinking everything would be sooo much easier if DH could make $200 a week!

GreatBigMonsterMomma
12-18-2006, 12:04 PM
Joint accounts. Our bills are joint, so why wouldn't our accounts be? I've honestly never understood married couples who divide up the bills. I mean, I can understand it if you're paying your own credit card bill or whatever, but household bills?

Of course, when I work my paycheck is cashed & mostly spent by me. And that's the way my husband wants it.

tqvirgo
12-18-2006, 12:15 PM
I think it all comes down to what a person is comfortable with.
My mom always taught me to have an account of my own (she would have been with my dad 35 years today), and she was taught that by women who were married for a long time and somehow got screwed by having all joint finances.
I don't understand not wanting some kind of financial indipendence, but we're all different. :D
Tracy

Jen415
12-18-2006, 12:24 PM
I think every situation is different. In my case, my partner and I have separate accounts and one joint one for joint bills. As long as both of us contribute enough to cover bills, that's all that's necessary.

We have no joint credit cards (I have none, period.) We also have separate savings accounts. I take care of my personal bills, like car insurance and life insurance.

Every situation is different. The best thing is to sit down with your SO and work out a plan that suits everyone.

FrouFrou
12-18-2006, 12:44 PM
Up until 3 years ago we had separate accounts and it worked fine for us. Now we have joint accounts and it too works fine. Having had joint accounts now I don't think I would get a separate account again. This seems to be easier for us now and it's working so...but I don't see anything at all wrong with separate accounts. What ever works for you.

just_a_dreamy1
12-18-2006, 12:45 PM
My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years, and living together 1 1/2. We have seperate checking accounts and a joint savings. We share the bills evenly, so at one point, we did try a joint checking, but our attitudes about money just differ too much. He's super carefree (but not reckless) and I get to the point where sometimes I worry too much.

I believe that figuring out what works for you is part of a trusting, honest relationship.

BlueToBlue
12-18-2006, 12:50 PM
My SO and I keep everything separate. This is most certainly in part because we aren't actually married. We've been together for 11 years and have lived together for 6 of those years, but haven't ever gotten married.

We have separate checking, savings, IRA, and brokerage accounts. The house is solely in my name. We have no joint credit cards or debt. We used to divide up the bills but now I pretty much pay them all. I also pay for all of our groceries. When he is working, which he hasn't for the last two years, he writes me a check once a month for about half the mortgage payment. This seems a little unfair but there is also a huge disparity in our incomes (even when he is working). He works in the non-profit sector which typically pays pretty low. My annual compensation is 2 to 3 times more than his, so it makes sense that I cover more of our monthly expenses (although I do wish he'd get a job and start contributing to the mortgage payments again).

I really like things separate; it's one less thing to argue about.

alinnell
12-18-2006, 12:56 PM
DH and I have had a joint account since we were married 18 1/2 years ago. We've never had a problem. I pay all the bills. I decide to move money from checking to savings to CD's, etc. There was a time when the day-to-day living expenses were more than our paychecks so the headache was mostly mine to deal with, but these days that headache is more like finding the time to sit down at the computer and record our checks and pay our bills online. I've never made as much $$ as DH and when we were first living together he would give me money for me to pay bills and I tried to keep everything equitable, but it quickly became evident that he would bear the most of the burden of bill paying. So I tried to do more around the house (like managing the finances) to make up for it. It worked out quite well for us, besides, I like being in control!!!! It's cool that he has to ask me for a check to pay for stuff (unless he charges is which is most of the time). When he does take a check, he gets to use the pretty flowered checks that I ordered!!!

The only thing we have separate is our individual 401(k) accounts.

Spinymouse
12-18-2006, 01:11 PM
I am single so my take doesn't really "count"
But, I think it would be less problematic to have separate accounts. (Unless your bank account balance is really large.) If not, say you have $500 in your account, and you decide to buy something for $300 and your spouse also decides to buy something for $300 - OOPS. Or you have to consult each other all the time before buying anything - whoa; I wouldn't like that!

nelie
12-18-2006, 01:22 PM
Allison, I really like being in control of the finances and because I care about general finances and getting the best deal, DH likes me handling the financial matters.

Before we got married, we had split the bills and handled our finances seperately. So I'd pay for certain bills, he'd pay for certain bills and we paid for our own expenses. I'd ask him for money for our joint savings account but that was basically it. Then a few months before we got married, he missed a credit card payment. He charged $10 to a card he never uses (for some reason), forgot about it, and then that credit card decided to charge him a $30 late fee. So he calls up the credit card, gets the late fee removed but I told him that was it, I was taking over paying the bills and it has been like that since.

DH also has an aversion (for some reason) to online billing and accounts. He prefers the old fashioned way of doing bills by looking at the bills as they arrive in the mail and calling the bank on the phone to check a balance and basically anything that didn't involve online involvement. I on the other hand check my credit cards and checking accounts very regularly. If a credit card payment is posted, I know about it within a day or two. If a bill is due, I know about it as soon as the bill is posted. I don't know if I would've been so willing to take over the bills if the online capabilities weren't there.

Sheila53
12-18-2006, 03:01 PM
We've had a joint account since we married 25 years ago, and I handle all the finances. My DH is an engineer. 'Nuff said.

I've heard financial advisors recommend having a joint account for household bills, and then individual accounts. Each person would put a percentage of their check into the household account based on how much s/he made. Seemed pretty fair.

lilybelle
12-18-2006, 03:46 PM
We have one checking account with my name ONLY. It has to be this way. My DH is horrible with checking accounts. He never remembered to write his checks down or would write the wrong amount. I'd find literally a stack of ATM receipts in his car, when I couldn't figure out why we were overdrawn. Believe me, I tried to teach him better and it just wasn't worth fighting about. Now, he cashes his check each week, gives me money,and I put it in my account. I handle all the bills and we both prefer it this way. I like knowing the mortgage is paid and the heat and lights will stay on. He gets a weekly cash spending money of $150-$200 and that is it. After the first 5 yrs. of marriage, I gave up on the idea that he would ever know how to manage money. 4 yrs. later now, he reinforces to me weekly that this was the right way to go.

sotypical
12-18-2006, 03:49 PM
seperate and I like it that way - I have my money and he has his. We each pay the same for bills, etc - we take turn buying food and what not

Inconceivable
12-18-2006, 04:15 PM
There is no right or wrong way to do these things, just opinion.

Mine? Marriage is a total partnership - not an agreement to be "roommates" for life. I don't get the "my bills vs. his bills" concept. Once you take that vow, they're OUR bills - every last one. And every dollar that comes in to your collective pocket should be part of your family finances. We do this - but we still spend plenty of money on ourselves - but it allows us to both be aware of what the other is spending - no judgements, just sharing of a life.

blueberry3
12-18-2006, 04:46 PM
separate, I like it that way!

jules1216
12-18-2006, 08:43 PM
Been married for over twenty years and have separate accounts(both names on both accounts), divide the household bills equally based on who is making what. It works for us.

jillybean720
12-18-2006, 09:17 PM
Jeff and I have been together for almost 3 years now and have been living together for over a year. We are talking about buying a home next fall (we currently rent). I brought up the idea of having a joint account, and he immediately rejected it. I thought it would be helpful for us (mostly for him, really) since I make about 1.5 times what he makes, so I think we can afford more than he thinks we can afford, ya know?

I know he isn't reckless with his money at all--he refuses to get a credit card, so the only debt he has is his car loan (which he plans to pay off in the spring, more than a full year early). I know he's got a pretty penney saved up in his bank account (I didn't have to snoop--he told me how much he has). So it's not a matter of him hiding anything from me or anything. I'm 99% sure the reason he doesn't want a joint account is that his parents went through a very messy divorce just a few years ago, and there were lots of financial issues that went along with it. With that as the only example of adults (and when speaking of his parents, I use the term "adults" very loosely) handling money together, I can't blame him for being overly cautious.

We split our rent evenly, and he pays our internet/cable bill. I pay for the water (which is super cheap) and our home phone and groceries, and he usually pays when we go to the movies or out to eat. It works out just fine--if he's not comfortable with a joint account, I don't see any reason to push it. We can be open about our financial situations just fine without having to have the money in the same place.

liz321
12-19-2006, 12:21 AM
I make more money....the bills get paid and there is always extra...including savings, education funds and other investing....it is all in one pot...had never been a problem for us 20 years.

L

featherz
12-19-2006, 08:59 AM
We have been married 14 years and do the individual accounts with a joint account for 'household' bills. I pay all the household bills out of the joint account and pay individual bills (credit cards for personal stuff) out of the appropriate individual account. Works for us - as long as the joint account gets paid if my hubby wants to go buy something he can do what he pleases (and v/v).

brandewijn
12-19-2006, 01:02 PM
Marriage means a lot to DH and I. If we weren't going to share everything together, then what would've been the point of getting married? A friend of mine has a seperate account from her husband. In fact, everything in their lives seems to be seperate. She must have one day each week "away from him", everything she buys with her money she deems as "hers". I really don't understand why they got married? If it was just to live together and have sex on a regular basis, they shouldn't have gone to all of the trouble. They can do those things without the commitment (marriage) that they don't seem to really want. She's a pretty big feminist as well. I'm all for that sort of thing but, it definetally over time has had a negative affect on their relationship.

If we were to have "seperate" things, then I wouldn't have married DH. That kind of scews the point of marriage and "becoming one". Not to mention, I'm a stay at home mom so I'd really be screwed if we had seperate accounts. LOL

Now in the case of...one account for bills and one account for the rest, or one account for spending money/bills and one for a seperate savings type of account -- fine and dandy. But seperate as in "this is my money and that is your money" sort of thing, that just doesn't fly with me.

jules1216
12-19-2006, 06:38 PM
Marriage means a lot to DH and I. If we weren't going to share everything together, then what would've been the point of getting married?
If we were to have "seperate" things, then I wouldn't have married DH. That kind of scews the point of marriage and "becoming one".

My husband and I work at the same company, ride to and from work together, have lunch together most days, and are very committed. As I said we have been together for over twenty years and have been totally faithful to each other. He is more than just my husband, he is my best friend. We are one and do share everything even though our bank accounts are separate.

brandewijn
12-19-2006, 07:50 PM
My husband and I work at the same company, ride to and from work together, have lunch together most days, and are very committed. As I said we have been together for over twenty years and have been totally faithful to each other. He is more than just my husband, he is my best friend. We are one and do share everything even though our bank accounts are separate.

Just my opinion. Having seperate anything when it comes to money or belongings just isn't my way of how marriage should be. Everyone is different.

ennay
12-19-2006, 10:42 PM
I was an "other" and didnt have time to post

dh and I have joint everything, but for about 10 years we had "playmoney" accounts. A certain amount each month was set aside that could be used for ANY purpose. We didnt actually have physically separate accts. It was just tracked in quicken --i guess it was more a budget. The important part was no matter what, we both got the same amount.

Eventually we were solvent enough that it wasnt really necessary- it had started because dh bought a lot of toys and there was never room in the budget for my stuff because I wanted bigger ticket items that would require saving awhile. This way he couldnt use ALL the excess at once.

We also used it to buy presents for eachother. (and what an easy shopping trip, more than once I gave him some of my playmoney)

There were times in that period where I made more than him, and times where he made more than me.

Last year I decided I was tired of tracking it, so now we just have joint accts. I do all the finances and tell dh if he needs to watch his spending for a bit.

And HEY Sheila...I'm an engineer....lol

ennay
12-19-2006, 10:46 PM
I guess the one thing about separate that would bother me...well dh and I were both engineers, so our income was pretty close...but when sis and her dh had separate, her dh always had more spending money because he made more. They split household expenses evenly, and what was leftover was their own.

I dont like that concept, because it undervalued her...she was worth less because she made less.

jules1216
12-20-2006, 04:29 AM
A little more detail on how we manage our separate accounts--we have both made sometimes more and sometimes less than each other--I was a stay at home mom and then went to work part-time when the kids went back to school and he was laid off for a brief period of time but did odd jobs to pull money in. We both have had times where our income has fluctuated. Each time there is a major change we reevaluate so that we our both sticking to budget, all the bills are evenly distributed based on percentages and who makes what and we both end up with the same amount left over. We must be doing something right because in six months we will be totally debt free in our lower 40's and we don't fight about money.

jillybean720
12-20-2006, 05:28 AM
I guess the one thing about separate that would bother me...when sis and her dh had separate, her dh always had more spending money because he made more. They split household expenses evenly, and what was leftover was their own.

I dont like that concept, because it undervalued her...she was worth less because she made less.
This is what I was thinking about, too. Jeff makes less than me (and probably usually will since I have a degree and more specialized experience than him), so my thought was that by combining finances and paying our bills from a joint pot, it would be more like we were each spending the same percentage on bills, not the same amount. I just don't think it's fair that we split our bills evenly when I make more than him--I should be shouldering slightly more or the burden since I have the means--but he just wasn't getting it and said he didn't want joint. Hey, if he's happy getting the short end of the stick, then that's just fine :p (then again, he has no debt besides his car loan, whereas I just paid off my credit card a couple months ago and I have student loans in addition to my car loan, so I have more personal expenses)

jules1216
12-20-2006, 06:55 AM
Jill--whichever way you choose--communication is the key and what works for you as a couple--guys have issues when the wife/gf makes more money--I went through it when hubby was laid off--just talk about it and it will work out.

I can tell a few horror stories about joint accounting, of course a few worse case scenarios-

1- My SIL's first husband was very controlling--they had a joint account and he controlled it--she had to beg for money and account to the penny of what she spent--talk about feeling undervalued

2-My friend the financial advisor and her husband who owns an electric company--all they do is fight over "their" money

3-My 45 year old friend who's husband just died--didn't know how bad things were financially because he took care of everything and didn't want to worry her

lilybelle
12-20-2006, 07:57 AM
I think there isn't a right way or wrong way for every couple to handle money the same. In a perfect world every married couple would be blissfully happy and there would be no money issues. But, in reality financial issues are the number one reason for Divorce. So, each couple needs to work out a solution with money that fits their individual situation.

Gardenwife
12-20-2006, 08:56 AM
Mine? Marriage is a total partnership - not an agreement to be "roommates" for life. I don't get the "my bills vs. his bills" concept. Once you take that vow, they're OUR bills - every last one. And every dollar that comes in to your collective pocket should be part of your family finances. We do this - but we still spend plenty of money on ourselves - but it allows us to both be aware of what the other is spending - no judgements, just sharing of a life.

Howie and I look at it this way, too. I am not good at planning and budgeting, so he handles the reconcilliation and does the bills. He inherited credit card debt when he took me on, and he never balked. When we were first married, he had a very low paying job and I had a decent paying one. Now, fifteen years later, he has the higher paying job and I work just a part-time "fun job" at a coffee shop. Feast or famine through the years, it's been in one pot and there's never been strife over who's spending whose money. It works for us.

nelie
12-20-2006, 09:29 AM
I guess the one thing about separate that would bother me...well dh and I were both engineers, so our income was pretty close...but when sis and her dh had separate, her dh always had more spending money because he made more. They split household expenses evenly, and what was leftover was their own.

I dont like that concept, because it undervalued her...she was worth less because she made less.


That really doesn't make sense to me in that someone have more spending money than someone else. If everything else after bills is spending money, then where is the savings? I know many couple do allowances out of their budget and then the rest is savings. DH and I aren't at that point but one day soon I may sit down and give both DH and I a budget for non necessities/personal items. Right now, we are careful about our purchases and do a mental check - are we spending too much on this? are we eating out more often than we should? We need to cut down such and such expense, etc. Then I pay for all the bills, of both DH and I and the rest goes to savings. Its not a perfect system and I'd like to tighten it down more to a budget system but I'm slowly getting to that point.

DH and I haven't fought about financial issues, yet and I don't really expect us to do so but you never know. Since I have a tendency to overspend (although I've been improving over the past few years), sometimes I'll check with DH to see if a purchase is feasible. For our recent family member (a kitty), we talked about many aspects including the financial for well over a month before we decided to take the plunge and adopt her.

techwife
12-20-2006, 04:36 PM
We have joint everything. Dh is the bill payer in our house because I'm a total airhead with finances and he knows what he wants to pay and when and how much in his head, so this way, if anything goes wrong, its his fault and not mine. :lol: I have the old, "Its just money" attitude and it drives him NUTS. This way, he's in control and he lets me know how much 'mad' money I have for groceries and all the rest. I lived on my own for many years and did my own bill paying then, so I have much faith that if anything unfortunate happened and he wasn't able to pay the bills for us, I'd be fine if I had to take over.

kykaree
12-21-2006, 08:33 AM
I'm in a new relationship, and it's so weird! I have had two singinificant relationships, and we always kept finances seperate. This time there is a house involved (his) and he wants to remortgage, absorb my debts, and have everything going into the one pot. After bills and savings, then whatever is left is ours (which won't be much because we're saving for the wedding!)

I think whatever you do with money has to work for you as a couple. I don't think there is a wrong way or a right way. In our case, df is the airhead, never knows how much he has left, or what things cost, and I am the organised one.

Savings are really important to both of us, so I think this will work for us, I'll keep you posted!

Gardenwife
12-21-2006, 08:56 AM
I'm in a new relationship, and it's so weird! I have had two singinificant relationships, and we always kept finances seperate. This time there is a house involved (his) and he wants to remortgage, absorb my debts, and have everything going into the one pot. After bills and savings, then whatever is left is ours (which won't be much because we're saving for the wedding!)

I think whatever you do with money has to work for you as a couple. I don't think there is a wrong way or a right way. In our case, df is the airhead, never knows how much he has left, or what things cost, and I am the organised one.

Savings are really important to both of us, so I think this will work for us, I'll keep you posted!

Congrats on the new relationship, Kylie! Didn't know about that - I'm way out of touch with 3FCers lately. How new is it?

nelie
12-21-2006, 09:35 AM
Congratulations Kylie. I'm glad you got out of a relationship in which you weren't happy and found someone who you feel confident enough to marry and mingle finances completely. I know it was a little daunting when my DH (while he was DF) suggested that he deposit his paycheck into my checking account. I had never comingled finances so it was a new experience.

srmb60
12-21-2006, 09:51 AM
say you have $500 in your account, and you decide to buy something for $300 and your spouse also decides to buy something for $300 - OOPS.


It's not that we consult each other for every purchase ... it's more like we just know (from years of practice) what we're going to be spending money on.

Dh reads over my shoulder sometimes and he said something like this ... "If you only have $500 and you spend $300 on something the other doesn't know about .... how your accounts are set up is not your problem."

Gardenwife
12-21-2006, 10:05 AM
"If you only have $500 and you spend $300 on something the other doesn't know about .... how your accounts are set up is not your problem."

Amen to that! Howie does the bills and keeps me apprised of our balance and what's coming out of the account soon. We never make large purchases without talking to each other about it beforehand. Joint checking = joint decisions here.

jillybean720
12-21-2006, 10:21 AM
"If you only have $500 and you spend $300 on something the other doesn't know about .... how your accounts are set up is not your problem."
AMEN! That is exactly what I was thinking when I read that. Even though Jeff and I do not have joint accounts, we don't make major purchases (I would consider anything in excess of $100 to be "major") without mentioning it to the other first (Christmas gifts and such aside ;) ).

I guess I'm luck in that both Jeff and I are pretty tight with our money--neither of us has a spending problem or any enormous debt. Barring any major catastrophes, I don't think there would ever be a time when we'd have only $500 in an account (I get nervous when I have anything less than about $2k in my checking account, and I know Jeff has way more than me). I did have some credit card debt leftover from college, but it's all paid off now, so we just have cars and my student loan to worry about, which aren't bad debt to have (credit-wise, anyway...of course, I'd rather have NO debt, but then I also wouldn't have a degree or a car :p ).

nelie
12-21-2006, 10:40 AM
I don't think there would ever be a time when we'd have only $500 in an account (I get nervous when I have anything less than about $2k in my checking account, and I know Jeff has way more than me). I did have some credit card debt leftover from college, but it's all paid off now, so we just have cars and my student loan to worry about, which aren't bad debt to have (credit-wise, anyway...of course, I'd rather have NO debt, but then I also wouldn't have a degree or a car :p ).

I hear you! When I was in college, I would never let my account balance drop below $1k or else I'd be really nervous. These days, I get really nervous if my checking account drops below the $2k mark. Even though I'm the only one that withdraws/pays bills out of that account, I really like my safety buffer.

4myloves
12-21-2006, 11:45 AM
Well, now y'all are starting to make me feel bad :)

At this point in my life I have HUGE credit card debt, car note and only about 1k in my SAVINGS account!

lilybelle
12-21-2006, 12:19 PM
As for spending money when the other one doesn't know about it. I've actually had my XH buy a brand new vehicle ($30,000) while I was at work and not even call and say a word to me about it. We had a joint account at the time. I was making at least 3 X as much as he did. This is the type of crap that spells DIVORCE. I kicked his butt to the curb. He eventually saved up and bought the tags for it. He never even made a payment on it before it was reposessed. I am just thankful that my name was never on it. (He also had bragged to his co-workers that his wife was an RN and he could have any vehicle he wanted , because she would pay for it).

After experiencing stuff like this, it's no wonder that I control the finances with my current DH. I do try to have my DH take an interest in our finances. I sit down with him each month and show him the bills. I have him help pay some on-line. I want him to know where the money goes. I do worry that if something happened to me, he wouldn't be able to figure it out by himself. He always says "you're great with the money and I like you handling it". I know that what he's saying is "I don't want to have to worry about it". I can say that anytime we're running short, I tell him and he volunteers to work overtime to remedy the shortage.

jules1216
12-21-2006, 01:39 PM
Amen to that! Howie does the bills and keeps me apprised of our balance and what's coming out of the account soon. We never make large purchases without talking to each other about it beforehand. Joint checking = joint decisions here.

Separate Checking = Joint decisions here
--we talk before either of us makes a purchase $50 or more that is not in the budget. In seven months we will have our 3 bedroom two bath home with a 40 X 60 workshop for hubby on 32 acres along with all credit card bills and daughter's college tuition completely paid off. We kept one credit card for emergencies and online ordering that is paid off monthly. I am 41 and he is almost 47 and we both make decent money - thinking about buying a retirement place either in the Carolinas or Arizona.

Gardenwife
12-21-2006, 01:41 PM
Exaggerated expectations often eclipse exceptional realizations

Love that sig!

Jen415
12-21-2006, 02:41 PM
Kimberley!!!!! How are you? I've missed seeing you around here!

lilybelle
12-21-2006, 02:52 PM
Jules, Man I wish we were in that great of shape. We have a huge mortgage we're paying on. 2 carpayments. Everything else is paid for. We're about the same age as you are. No credit cards here at all. I'm still hoping to win the lottery someday to get out of debt. LOL.

Gardenwife
12-21-2006, 03:11 PM
Kimberley!!!!! How are you? I've missed seeing you around here!

Hey, Jen! Life-wise, I'm doing great - working part-time at Caribou and enjoying a daytime schedule with Howie now. Diet-wise, ups and downs. I'm shimmying back into 3FC after being absent for too long.

4myloves
12-21-2006, 03:24 PM
I just did a rundown of my finances and I owe close to $80,000, which includes 2 BIG credit cards, 2 vehicle loans and our mortgage (which is really small compared to the rest).

How do I even START to dig my way out of that!?

And, FYI, that debt load is a lot of what my original question stems from.

4myloves
12-21-2006, 03:28 PM
Another FYI,

My credit score is 733

nelie
12-21-2006, 04:06 PM
4myself,
Whether a couple has seperate or joint finances, they should be able to work on their combined debt. If you aren't already on a strict budget with looking for ways to trim expenses, then I would highly suggest both of you discuss how to handle the debt. I paid off about 30k in CC debt in a couple years and it basically involved looking at my expenses and seeing where I was spending too much money and where I could save money here and there. Even though I'm in the positive (not including mortgage), I still look for expenses to cut and make sure that my spending habits are in line with my future goals. Although some people have more leeway than others, there always seem to be unnecessary expenses that can be cut or reduced in which can be applied towards debts.

Not knowing your finances, these are questions I'd use to start thinking about how to manage the debt you have: For your CCs, if they are at high rates, have you negotiated to lower rates? Transferred balances to lower rate cards? For your auto loans, are the autos you purchased in line with your financial goals? If not, can you sell the cars and get cheaper cars? Are the auto loans at a decent rate? If not, try a credit union or online broker to get the rate lower. Is your mortgage at a decent rate? It costs a lot of money to finance usually but if you are paying over 7% for your mortgage, then refinancing may make sense.

I know how frustrating debt can be but don't let it get you down. There are ways to cut it down and manage it. If you (or anyone in your household) has a problem with CC spending, then it might be wise to stop using the CCs entirely and go to cash only spending for a while. When I realized I had a spending problem, I stopped using credit cards entirely, transferred the balance of my credit cards using fixed rate balance transfers and used cash for all purchases. After I believe I broke the CC habit, only then did I start using a credit card again, one with a 0 balance and that I paid off every month.

Battling debt isn't fun but as you chip away at it, you will become closer every day to becoming debt free.

almostheaven
12-21-2006, 04:07 PM
Having joint or separate accounts is going to be dependant upon the situation. I've always had joint, but it's not like I'm a high-priced doctor with multi-million dollar assets hidden away somewhere. A good reason for separate is for those of that richer category, as well as those in blended families, where an ex could attach wages for support/alimony and that can affect the new spouse as well. But I think most of society fits the joint situation better and it's probably what works for most.

ennay
12-21-2006, 06:08 PM
4myself -

In general...

Start with the credit cards...negotiate them down to lower amounts, roll them over to zero interest cards or since you have a decent credit score, look at a home equity loan. BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN KEEP YOURSELF FROM CHARGING MORE

Do not charge more to any credit cards. You have to decide and be honest. CAN you use credit cards wisely. If not then you need to destroy the cards (but do not cancel the accounts, that will hurt your credit score)

Work your budget so you can pay off as much extra as you can every month. Then cascade it.

Lets say after all your negotiation, the highest interest rate you have is a $200/month payment plus you can swing an extra $150 a month

Pay that $350 until the first loan/cc is paid off

Then cascade the ENTIRE amount into the next highest interest rate debt --lets say a $300/month car payment...PLUS $350

then when THAT is paid off, move on to the next one...now you are paying an extra $650 a month on that debt - it will dissappear in no time

Anytime you get a raise, bonus etc.- put the entire net increase into the payment scheme. If you get a cash gift for birthday or Xmas, use 1/2 for fun and 1/2 to pay down debt.

If you get paid every 2 weeks, set up your monthly budget based on 2 paychecks. Live within that budget including the paydown strategy. Twice a year you have an "extra" paycheck usually May and November - use it to make an extra debt payment.

---

I dont know what your numbers actually are, but my dh and I did a car loan and 2 student loans like that...and at the time we could only pay $25 more than the minimum on the car loan. But when that car loan ended, that meant an extra $275 for our 1st student loan...etc. Until we started rolling it in to our mortgage and by the time we were mid 30's our mortgage was paid off.

We roll the extra into savings now and pay cash for everything.

brandewijn
12-21-2006, 10:24 PM
A little more detail on how we manage our separate accounts--we have both made sometimes more and sometimes less than each other--I was a stay at home mom and then went to work part-time when the kids went back to school and he was laid off for a brief period of time but did odd jobs to pull money in. We both have had times where our income has fluctuated. Each time there is a major change we reevaluate so that we our both sticking to budget, all the bills are evenly distributed based on percentages and who makes what and we both end up with the same amount left over. We must be doing something right because in six months we will be totally debt free in our lower 40's and we don't fight about money.

That is great that seperate accounts work out well for you. We are both in our twenties with zero debt. Our motto is "if we can't pay for it right then, we don't need it." So with that said, we don't have credit cards and refuse to ever own any. He makes our money, we consult one another on big purchases and I pay all of the bills and take care of the checking/savings accounts. DH is gone most of the year (he's military) so if i were to leave even one bill up to him, I'd be screwing myself because it would never get done, especially when they haven't had a port stop in more than a month. We have been married for 4 years and have never fought about money. It isn't an issue. Next year when we buy a new SUV, we will be paying for all of it at once with our own cash. So obviously this must be working for us as well. To each their own.

WaterRat
12-22-2006, 03:01 PM
Very interesting thread. I agree that whatever works for you is the way to go. Communication is the key, along with complete disclosure! My DH and I lived together for 16 years before we got married (been married 19 years in Jan) so we had separate accounts. We each put money into a "pot" to pay the household bills. We've just continued this since we've been married. We have a joint credit card which we use to pay all our household bills now (and earn airline miles :) ) and every month we just sit down, each put in $$ for our own charges and 1/2 the household charges. We've made an agreement that we won't spend over $1,000 without talking about it, and in reality, we do this for things costing much less. We're both pretty tight with our $$ so this works well for us. We have no kids, but we did both pay off fairly significant student loans, and we've paid cash for our vehicles for the last 20 years. I know I'm older than most of you (62 next month) but some of these issues just last and last. If you read Suze Orman (several books, and a monthly column in Oprah mag, plus her own website) she talks a lot about couples and money. Right up there in the top 3 major issues! :)

jules1216
12-22-2006, 03:20 PM
Love that sig!

Thanks..I saw it on a friend's blog and fell in love with it...so true for my weightloss journey--expecting it to fall away in a few weeks when it took me almost 20 years to get here....

jules1216
12-22-2006, 03:23 PM
That is great that seperate accounts work out well for you. We are both in our twenties with zero debt. Our motto is "if we can't pay for it right then, we don't need it." So with that said, we don't have credit cards and refuse to ever own any. He makes our money, we consult one another on big purchases and I pay all of the bills and take care of the checking/savings accounts. DH is gone most of the year (he's military) so if i were to leave even one bill up to him, I'd be screwing myself because it would never get done, especially when they haven't had a port stop in more than a month. We have been married for 4 years and have never fought about money. It isn't an issue. Next year when we buy a new SUV, we will be paying for all of it at once with our own cash. So obviously this must be working for us as well. To each their own.

That is so great to have that kind of grip on your finances so young and early in your marriage. There are so many things that can be fought about in a marriage it's nice to have a system where money won't be one of them!!

jules1216
12-22-2006, 03:26 PM
Kimberley!!!!! How are you? I've missed seeing you around here!

Jen--what a great picture--you look beautiful!!

EZMONEY
12-22-2006, 04:20 PM
I'm confused gals :?: Angie told me men aren't allowed to have checks, credit cards or more than $20 a week ~ THAT'S THE LAW!

4myloves
12-22-2006, 04:52 PM
Gary,

You should probably uphold Angie's law and ignore all the rest of us :)

jules1216
12-22-2006, 05:15 PM
Gary--don't you know by know that Angie is always right no matter what anyone else may tell you???????

EZMONEY
12-22-2006, 06:02 PM
Of course I do...but if I should forget...she reminds me daily ;)

ennay
12-22-2006, 06:18 PM
I'm confused gals :?: Angie told me men aren't allowed to have checks, credit cards or more than $20 a week ~ THAT'S THE LAW!

Oh yes Gary...that is true...ummm we are all talking about ...errrr...ummmm...lesbian marriages..no men! lol