Dear Engaged Couples—Anxiety in marriage often comes from money woes. Historically money is the issue that couples fight about most. I’m not sure the rise of dual income marriages (and most are, today, even in families with small children) makes any difference . If anything it may make finances more of an issue, since finances become more complicated. “How do we slice the pie, when we don’t even know how many pies we are talking about?”In what appears below I am borrowing heavily from an online unpublished thesis by Wanda S. Mowry, University of Nebraska.
One Joint Account for your married life?
One Joint Account, two separate , equal share accounts: To my mind this works best if each of you have salaries that are close to the same amount. You each agree to put, say, $900 a month into the joint account and then the rest stays in your separate accounts. If one of you gets a significant raise, however, resentment can result. “I’m getting a new car with my raise. Sorry you still have to drive that 1990’s dinged up gas guzzler.” Also, this is the kind of arrangements that roommates make, so you might ask yourselves if you are really honoring your commitments to each other.
One Joint Account based on proportionality, two separate accounts. In this scenario, the separate accounts you maintained before you married stay the same, but you each contribute to a third joint account based on your income. If one of you makes $60,000 and the other $30,000, then it stands to reason that the one who makes $60,000 will contribute twice as much as the other spouse to the joint account. So, if your joint living expenses per month cost $1800.00, one puts $1200 in the joint account and the other $600.00.
That’s enough to get you thinking and planning, I hope. Bottom line is, marriage is a life-long commitment and extends way beyond the wedding and the vows. Daunting? I’ll say. but you love each other, right? Good for you!