This has been one of the many actions that has improved our marriage because of the things that has led us to do as a couple. Not only does it make it easier to handle our finances/expenses, but it has also allowed us to consistently communicate.
But, being honest this was not the case at the beginning. You see, after our wedding we kept our bank accounts separate, even though we were both contributing to the family’s expenses. At that point, one of our excuses was that our personal expenses were automated for withdrawal and combining the accounts would have been a hassle. So, we would split the family’ expenses and pay them as we go. There was no real budget being put together; it was more of a “hey, don’t forget we need to pay the rent, babysitter.” When additional money was needed to cover a month’s expenses, it would make us questioned each other on how the money was being spent. This was mainly because there was no real transparency with one another. It was more of a “this is my money and that is yours”.
It took us about seven years to combine our bank accounts. Yes, SEVEN (7) years. Why did we do it? Well, this is when we decided to get serious about buying a house. We decided that it would be easier by having all the income come into one account and track all the expenses out of that single account. The way we looked at it was this: “by combining our bank accounts, we agreed on our goals/dreams and the approach on how to accomplish them”. After many years, it became that simple. Our transparency about money came into existence. There was no more questioning on how we were spending “our separate incomes”. This allowed us (and still does) to hold each other accountable. Not that we ask each other permission on spending money, but instead we communicate and ensure that “our separate expenses” do not interfere with the family’s priority.
We do have our separate accounts in which we deposit our monthly allowances. Our allowances are listed as expenses/bills in our budget, which grant us the access to that amount on a monthly basis. The allowance is agreed between both parties that could be used for our own desires (hobbies, clothes, etc.).
After combining our accounts, not only did it become easier to manage our money and expenses. But, saving became an easier task for the both of us. In addition, our communication improved and started using more of “we” instead of “I”. What we mean by this is that, we used to say things such as “I am paying for the babysitter and rent”. While now is “We are paying for the babysitter and mortgage”. We became a real team/couple. It is no longer a divided house and no more of a “I don’t know what he/she is doing with their money”. No secrets are being kept, except when we buy surprises for each other, but that is why we have our own expense accounts.
Overall, combining our bank accounts united us more and has strengthened our trust and marriage. We are both on the same page. It was a simple task that was done by adding all the automated payments into one account and deposits into that single one. We also made sure that both names were added as account holders.
Stay the course!