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Financial counselor says communication is key when mixing money and marriage - Grand Forks Herald #374130
01/21/15 12:47 AM
01/21/15 12:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline OP
Board of Directors
AntigoneRisen  Offline OP
Board of Directors
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
Michael and Jill Donahue of Tolna, N.D., have separate checking, saving and investment accounts.

They also split household expenses equally, paying for them out of an account to which each contributes the same amount.

They've been managing their money this way for 30 years.

"We would not do it any other way," Michael said.

"(It's the) only way to go," Jill said.

When they married 30 years ago, each had been divorced and both were employed. Michael was paying child support; Jill was receiving it. They opened a separate checking account for her child.

Having separate accounts "leaves a clear audit trail," Michael said. "We could track everything."

They have a similar approach to handling money.

"We're extremely value-oriented which is a polite way of saying we're cheap," he said. "It's been said that when Jill is done squeezing a nickel, the buffalo's eyes are bulging."

The couple set financial ground rules early on.

"It was all discussed before we ever got married," Jill said. "(Having that discussion) made us more comfortable. We knew how we felt about money and how it should be handled and saving, too."

The Donahues' decision-making system for purchases is clear.

"If it's for the household or the farm, it's definitely discussed," Michael said. "If it's an individual (purchase), we ask each other's opinion."

Jill said, "We feel we can do as we wish with our money or not do."

Each has individual mutual fund accounts and together they have a joint mutual fund account "that we use for ready cash, if we ever need it," Michael said.

Their system does not resemble that of their parents, who had "one joint account, one checkbook," he said. "I can't fathom how you could operate that way anymore."

Maintaining separate accounts "is fantastic for us," he said. "I don't understand why more people don't do this."

Among the biggest benefits is "no money arguments ever," he said...

Financial counselor says communication is key when mixing money and marriage

Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Financial counselor says communication is key when mixing money and marriage - Grand Forks Herald [Re: AntigoneRisen] #374141
01/21/15 12:32 PM
01/21/15 12:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,879
Marta Offline
Marta  Offline
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,879
Interesting. I always thought that separate accounts were bad things because they have a higher incidence of independent behavior... When you get married, the money is no longer yours and mine but ours. We need to decide how all of it is spent. My husband has certainly made 100 times more than I have, yet we make all decisions together. That said, we don't clear little purchases with each other. ( Though we might if our financial situation didn't have as much cushion.) But we set goals together and both know exactly where we are headed. If he died, there would be no problem as I know where everything is. If I died, my husband would probably miss a few bills until he got used to it since I do that, but it isn't a case of he doesn't know what to pay or where it is. We have a list of passwords for everything in a notebook..

Being on the same page is important. Just interesting as most marriage advice I've seen is to merge your money so you are truly married.

Re: Financial counselor says communication is key when mixing money and marriage - Grand Forks Herald [Re: Marta] #374189
01/21/15 06:43 PM
01/21/15 06:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 9,007
The Farm
Jayne241 Offline
Jayne241  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 9,007
The Farm
We don't have separate accounts. We've done some things like putting medical bills and insurance in my name, and since there were complications when our kids were born, all the "bad credit/high debt" stuff was in my name, and purchases like houses and cars were in his name because he had the better credit rating. I would have been vulnerable if he had left me at certain times, so that wouldn't work for everyone.

But if I had kids and remarried someone with kids who was paying child support, I would want to keep our finances separate. I wouldn't want my money (I.e., my kids' money) going to pay child support to someone else.m in case one of us died, in terms of inheritance I would want it very clear what went to which set of kids.

Re: Financial counselor says communication is key when mixing money and marriage - Grand Forks Herald [Re: Jayne241] #374192
01/21/15 07:03 PM
01/21/15 07:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,381
CajunRose Offline
CajunRose  Offline
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,381
I live in a community property state, so it really doesn't matter whether you have one account or separate accounts - the assets and the debt accumulated during the marriage belong to both of you, no matter whose name it starts out in.

In both my marriages we had/have joint accounts, but I married men who had very similar money philosphies to me.

My H's child support gets taken directly out of his check every month before the check hits our bank account. The child support I receive goes directly into the joint checking account - and that's where we pay for day care, activities, medical bills, and the daily stuff that adds up to our standard of living.

In terms of inheritance, our kids were aged 3-7 when we got married, so they are being raised as siblings. We're going to split things equally among the 3 of them. If they were older at the time we married, we might have chosen differently.

OTOH, my grandparents had separate accounts for almost their entire marriage. She soon discovered he took frugal to an extreme, so in the late 1940s she got a job. He gave her a set amount every month to pay bills and buy groceries, and the rest was "his". All of her money was "hers". She said that's the only way they managed to stay married.

Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

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You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.


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