Family finances...

Family finances...

Yours, mine and ours... the money triangle

For some couples, keeping eveything combined works like clockwork whereas for others, the thought of not maintaining separate accounts produces a cold sweat.

There is no right or wrong way - the only thing that matters is that it works for you both. We had a chat with three women about their money-love strategies:
Natalie, 35, Freelance writer
"My husband and I met travelling so pretty much combined our accounts from the start. We have similar spending habits (as in we like to spend) so this has never caused any friction."
"We’ve also often relied on the other for income. For example, when my husband was studying I was the sole income earner and when I was home with children or between jobs it was on his shoulders."
"We’ve discussed each having a personal account that we can use for our own spending and for gifts, but we’ve never got around to it."
"I do think though that this option only works for couples with similar spending habits and who don’t keep tabs on who’s spending what."
Tina, 41 Mortgage Broker
"I've never been comfortable with the idea of combining all of my finances with my partner. It's nothing to do with how I feel about him - it's about how I feel about my independence and control over my own money."
"We have a house together and with it the usual bevvy of bills, mortgage payments and up-keep. We split the costs down the middle: he pays his share and I do the same - from our own accounts."
'We've talked in the past about accounting for differences in income - for example, when I was setting up my business cashflow was quite tight for a while. But in the end we decided that splitting things down the middle worked best for us. It felt clearer.
"Managing money like this might not be the romantic picture of partnership we grow up envisaging, but for me and importantly also for Scott, it suits our needs. I like to know exactly where I am finanically and doing it this way means we can share in our home (and asset) as well as retaining the independence we need too."
Sophie, 29 Teacher
"Combining our accounts was a really big step for both of us, so we decided to retain a little independence as well. It seemed the easiest solution to have a couple accounts together - one for saving and one for expenses - so we could maxmimise two incomes, but Josh and I were both pretty relucatant to lump everything together - all of our spending and money."
"It's funny looking back at it, because neither of us wanted to be the first one to own up to the fact that we wanted to keep some separation in our money. I mean, aren't you supposed to just have it all combined if you really love them? That's what I was thinking anyway until we talked about it and realised that there is nothing wrong with sharing a lot of things, but keeping some independence too."
"In the end, we decided to have a joint savings account - we're saving for a house - and a joint expenses account for things like the bills, groceries etc. We both transfer money into each of these accounts and use our own accounts for entertainment and other bits and pieces."
"It works for us. We have just the right amount of 'shared' in the mix as well as the freedom to spend our money on things we personally want to."
Susan Jackson, founder of ms money, says talking is the all important ingredient. "It is easy to assume that your partner views money the way you do, but in many cases, it's just not true. Couples that invest the time in understanding each other's money personalities are the ones that have fiscal harmony at home."



Amy Tinker on 22 June 2012 10:45
At the moment we are a one income household and although we dont have a shared account I have my partners eftpos card in my wallet (he has his debit plus card). It just means if I dont have enough in my account or need something extra I dont have to wait, I have his card. i always let him know when I have used money from his account just so he knows, but he never minds. We were going to get a joint account but its something that we have never really got around to doing. Luckily we have pretty similar spending habits (well saving habits, we arent huge spenders) so I can't really foresee any problems in the future money-wise.


Kalena Pratt on 26 June 2012 17:38
we are a one income household my partner is out working and i am a stay at home mum but when it comes to the money side me and my partner have worries whatever we need we get it no fighting over its my money not yours as we say its ours.

You must be signed in to comment. Sign in or Register