My fiance and I have just moved in together and we were wondering if we should combine our incomes into one checking account or keep separate accounts? I say we should keep separate accounts, but he thinks we should combine them. Who’s right?
-His and Hers
Dear His and Hers,
Well, this is one of those funny situations where I believe that you are both right.
It is very important for you to keep your own bank accounts. It is important to maintain a sense of financial independence even within your relationship. This way, if you want to buy something for yourself (like a new pair of shoes, for example) you don’t have to clear it with him first. Equally, if he wants to purchase something for himself, no drama ensues. And, if the relationship ends (which, of course is not an option you want to think about) neither of you will be left destitute.
At the same time, it is a good idea to also have a joint account that you both put money into every month to cover your joint expenses, like food, meals out together, rent or your mortgage, utility bills, etc.
Both of you should sit down together and work out a monthly budget that covers all of your joint expenses and see how much you have at the end of the month to put into a savings account for your future big joint purchases (or even fun vacations!)
It may not seem like a sexy thing to do, but working out the finances now and being open and honest with each other about your monthly income, any debt you may have and issues you have when it comes to money should be put on the table now so that you can work through them and come to an understanding about your monthly budget.
It will save you a lot of heartache and frustration in the future and make your lives a lot easier.
As my grandma always says, “Never fight about money or family.”
She is one wise woman!
Good luck and thanks for the question!