To wonder about the obsession of joint finances?(154 Posts)
Inspired by another thread, what is the obsession with having joint finances with your partner/spouse?
So many people display such horror and shock when you tell them you have separate finances.
I have heard to plenty of stories where one partner has cleared the whole account and no action can be taken against them.
People are free to have separate finances, it does not indicate a less strong marriage or partnership.
I have separate account from my DH. He pays for all household expenses, bills and childcare from his own account. It works for us
We've never had a joint account. Married 20+ years and still don't feel the need for one.
YANBU. I would not give up my financial independence to my DP. It's not a measure of love.
Well that's great if it works for you, but with couples who post, its the women, after childbirth, who end up with the shitty end of the stick regarding money i.e. when they are a sahm, their partner is sole earner and they need permission of the sole earner for joint childcare fees etc. or they contribute more where the childrwn are concerned etc. Hence if you have a joint account for all finances, it is joint money, not his money which he can control.
We've never completely merged our finances.
But complete transparency is, I think, a requirement. Plus agreement about spending priorities and family financial direction.
We have joint and separate finances. Each put a share into joint account for mortgage & bills. The rest belongs to the individual. Works perfectly for us.
I am not saying that this is the case for all obviously, but when women post about financial control by their h, it does concern the above issues.
We don't have joint accounts, however I have my salary paid into DP's. We don't earn a lot between us and we get paid on the same day so it makes sense to have the larger amount there than two separate ones, all the bills come out of his account on that day. We then split what's left and that monthly amount gets put into my own account. I also keep Tax Credits and Child Benefit.
It is pretty much joint finances I suppose, though we portion off our own spending money at the start of the month to spend as we please. It will probably change over the years when we move up in our careers.
I think it's because so many people find themselves in financially abusive relationships, particularly those who have stopped or reduced their earning to care for children, but don't have access to a fair share of family money.
DH and I have separate accounts and a joint account for bills, into which we each pay an equal proportion of our salaries. But if one of us were a stay at home parent, or weren't working full time, or whatever else, I think completely joint finances would be the way forward.
I agree - if it works then great.
Think we would struggle working out who pays for what/what is a fair split so joint finances are easier for us. We both discuss any large purchases - what 'large' means has changed over the years but we never argue about money.
I have been wondering about this too after seeing a lot recently on here.
YANBU - it doesn't make a relationship less strong or fair if you have financial independence.
Joint finances doesn't mean joint account. Your finances sound pretty joint if your DH pays for all that stuff.
As Zig says - joint finances does not mean joint account. My DH and I have joint finances but we don't have a joint account. He pays for everything except treats/holidays which I save my CM and child benefit for.
Fine if it works you just see so many threads about women having to ask their partner for money for essentials.
If you don't trust your dh enough to share financies you shouldn't be married.
In a marriage I don't see why anyone should have more than the other. Separate accounts are great but a joint account also is what I would want. Everything goes in the pot then once all household bills/expenses are paid for an equal amount goes into separate accounts to spend how they wish.
It's where one person earns a lot and leaves their partner (and sometimes even their own children) struggling that I think it's a problem. I don't think I could be with someone who bought fancy clothes, had expensive hobbies and generally spent lots of money on themselves when I couldn't even afford to treat myself to a magazine every now and then.
We have separate bank accounts, joint mortgage. My husband pays the mortgage and bills, I pay for food and the children. No real reason, we have just always done it that way-when we were much younger we worked out as a percentage of joint income what we earned and split the joint outgoings to the same percentages but it got a bit tedious! I like to have my own little bit of money because I like to be able to buy my husband a gift (and me shoes) and know I bought it myself.
I'm not earning. When I was, I earned much less than DH. You can be scrupulously equal about who pays what I suppose, but much easier to have all essential payments coming out of one account you can both see.
And I'm buggered if I'm having an 'allowance' to spend on myself and the household. If i didn't have access to the joint money i would feel very vulnerable indeed. Besides, I do plenty of work even if I'm not paid for it.
I just think a family works as a financial unit better than the alternatives - but of course as long as no one is being financially abused you do what works for you.
I think a good compromise is one joint current account, then say an ISA each. Working out who's paying what bill, who's paying for what meal out or who's paying for the cups of coffee, seems like a pain and a lot of hard work to me.
Like so many others have said - it's not an obsession.
If it works for both of you, then fine, but all the threads where you get a lot of people post those replies, are always to do with the OP not having the money to do things whilst their partner does. That is when it becomes an issue.
We have a similar set up to you OP but I consider our finances to be joint. Separate accounts work for us but we don't do anything like lend each other money or keep tabs on who has paid for what. For us that means it's all 'our' money, no matter whose name is on the bank account.
DH pays for most things as he's the main earner, and he keeps my account topped up so I'm never short of money, and we don't ask each other's permission to spend on anything.
It's important to make sure you're covered in case one of you dies suddenly. Having shared money in your partner's sole account might not come to yours if they die, or not immediately. I also heard of a case recently where a new widow had to fight with all her utility companies to not be cut off because her husband had all the direct debits coming out of his sole account, and that was frozen on his death.
to start with there is a difference between joint finances and joint accounts.
Then it depends a lot of what sort of situation you are.
Two people working with similar wages, then you can really just agree who pays what and then just handle whatevr is left from your own account.
Two people where one is not working or has a much much lower wage, then having totallyu separate finances isn't a good idea AT ALL. It's unfair on the person who isn't working etc etc
Finally, iof you are married, your finances ARE shared by law so why on earth would you not want to share it anyway? Eg if your DH/DW suddenly gets a lot of debt, you are also responsible. I would want to know about it but fully separate finances might not allow for that (I'm thinking of the situation of a good friend there). If you separate,. everything is taken into account (ie savings from both sides as qwell as debts from both sides). You might as well share it on an everyday basis imo
do you pay for some other joint things Organon8 ? As it stands, it's easy to see why you are in favour of this arrangement I'd say most of us need to pool incomes to meet all the family expenditure, so a joint account that we both pay into makes sense for our finances. But each to their own - I'm not telling you how to run your life!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.