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Joint accounts versus separate accounts?

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  • Joint accounts versus separate accounts?

    Two Physician household here. How do people combine their income?  Do most people do joint accounts for everything or have their own separate account where their money goes?

    Also, how do people split their finances at home?  Do you split expenses down the middle, or does one spouse take certain expenses and the other the rest, or does it all come out of one pot anyways?

  • #2
    Most of our clients have both joint and separate accounts. Joint is the main pot, separate is for specific or personal expenditures. Fwiw, I've found that when couples keep their finances separate, they tend to spend more. There are no joint controls over spending. In those situations, a better solution is to have a "master" joint account and then include a monthly amount in the budget for a "no questions asked" separate account for each spouse. Kind of like an allowance, but I hate that word for adults and have not come up with anything better yet. My business partner has suggested "mad money" but I don't like the implication that the purpose of the account is to waste money. Some spouses actually save for a big purchase. Hope that makes sense.
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    • #3




      Most of our clients have both joint and separate accounts. Joint is the main pot, separate is for specific or personal expenditures. Fwiw, I’ve found that when couples keep their finances separate, they tend to spend more. There are no joint controls over spending. In those situations, a better solution is to have a “master” joint account and then include a monthly amount in the budget for a “no questions asked” separate account for each spouse. Kind of like an allowance, but I hate that word for adults and have not come up with anything better yet. My business partner has suggested “mad money” but I don’t like the implication that the purpose of the account is to waste money. Some spouses actually save for a big purchase. Hope that makes sense.
      Click to expand...


      That is how we are doing it. One major pot and we both have separate accounts we put fixed amount every month. We call it "luxury fund - no question asked"  sometimes my spouse saves her money over the time and does one big purchase (nice watch or jewellery etc) sometimes she just uses clothing etc. So far this works for us.

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      • #4
        Joint.

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        • #5
          Separate accounts here in non married relationship, though planning on a life together. Both happy not marrying for the time being because of tax implications...  We opened a joint checking account that automatically draws equal amount from our individual accounts every month.  This joint account pays rent, utilities, and so forth.  Additional accrued money in the account is just extra cash for an emergency situation.  The rest is separate for now.  I for the most part manage her finances with regard to retirement savings, investments and planning with regard to home savings and loan repayment.  We both feel equally guilty about spending $25 on a t-shirt or sweatshirt, so neither of us unbalances the boat with our frugal spending habits.  We both have same goals (max retirement, rapid loan repayment, save for home purchase).  I find a tremendous amount of stress relief by not having to police spending on either side, although as mentioned we're both fairly frugal.  It would be a different story if we had joint account and very different spending patterns.

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          • #6
            Both. Each spouse directs about 10% of the paycheck into a personal account about which the other has no say and can't see. If I want a Les Paul or my wife wants yet another purse or pair of shoes, there's no permission, no explanations, nothing.

            I can't imagine deciding who's going to pay the cable bill, who's paying the mortgage, who's paying the daycare bill, who's paying for dinner, the next vacation, etc. This is so simple and easy.

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            • #7
              i really think some degree of combination is a good idea, but i definitely know people in great relationships who are 100% separate.

              the luxury/personal fund idea is fine and seems common and workable.

              we solve this problem by both being relatively cheap and living far below our means such that it's not really an issue if one of us makes an occasional big purchase. also to be fair i handle 99.5% of financial stuff.

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              • #8
                We do joint. For the first few years of our marriage, we did separate, but I was managing both accounts, so it made sense to just combine them. I see a day in the not-so-distant future where we might have to resort back to separate accounts, or at least individual “allowance” accounts, like Johanna suggests above.

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                • #9
                  Joint. I make 99.9% of the income, so it would be really unfair to do things any differently.

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                  • #10
                    Joint. Dual income. It's just simpler. We tend to be on similar pages when it comes to big purchases so neither of us felt a need for separate accounts.

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                    • #11
                      Joint, with the added benefit of living in a state that allows for "tenants by the entirety" titling of joint accounts.

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                      • #12
                        Two physician family. Joint account. Fortunate that we have very similar outlooks on money and spending, though only one of us has any interest in managing our money.

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                        • #13
                          Two physicians, joint account.  Assuming my wife doesn't have some secret account somewhere..

                           

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                          • #14
                            Single physician. Wife takes minimal pay.

                            Separate accounts but I pay all the bills and expenses, including the joint Discover and Costco credit cards. She can use her salary and rental income ( on property we own jointly but the checks come to her) any way she pleases. Except for occasional checks and withdrawals, she hardly touches her own account.

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                            • #15
                              Dual income, everything into the joint account.  My wife would definitely spend more money if she had her own pot of money that I didn't know what she did with.  I think my account would end up growing and she'd want access to it.

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