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How are your finances structured (non-investment)? For example, should newlyweds have one joint account (savings and checking), totally separate accounts, or mostly joint accounts with each spouse retaining an indepedent cash reserve.

Pre-marriage, I had X dollars going directly to an investment account with the balance being split 80/20 to my checking and savings. Should that continue post marriage.


You may want to set things up with the expectation that they will evolve as you figure out what works. We have been married for over 10 years. We started with one single savings and checking account, and individual credit cards. However, we discovered that she was unable to control her credit card spending when there was room left on the credit limit. After a small crisis, when we (I) discovered what her credit card balance was (you don't want to know!), we decided to change our system.

We opened up two more accounts, mine is an investment account with check writing and hers is an online checking account with a debit card. She deposits her paycheck (about 1/10th of total income) into her account and is responsible for certain segments of the budget (kids clothes, her clothes) and her personal spending money. She still has a joint credit card for certain expenses (groceries, gas) but has agreed not to use it for impulse items. My paycheck (9/10ths of total income) goes into the main account and my personal money gets siphoned off and transferred to my brokerage account. We try to keep things balanced, if her paycheck is less than she needs, I supplement it from the main account.

We also both maintain our own 401(k)/403(b) accounts and 529 plans for the kids. These are on autopilot.

We are constantly revising this system as needed and I think that's the key. I try to give her updates every 1-2 months (although her eyes glaze over) and see if any changes need to be made.

Good Luck and keep an open mind!

Adenovir
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