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How Do Married People Handle Money?

As an online divorce review site, we’re always looking for interesting bits of information to pass along, especially to those of you who are thinking about tying the knot again and are concerned about what many believe is the number one cause of divorce — money issues. Today, we’ve compiled our favorite suggestions for how to handle money as a long-term couple as told by the reddit community. Let’s get started.

1. “My wife and I have four main bank accounts: The joint account, My account, Her account, Savings account. Every pay period, we each get a little bit ($60) auto-deposited in our individual account, and the rest goes into joint. This means that each month we each get roughly $120 to play with, go out, buy stuff, whatever – without having to justify, ask permission, or explain it to the other. Everything else comes out of the joint account – mortgage, bills, utilities, if we go out to eat together, etc. The savings account gets a certain amount each month (obviously you would set this amount based on what you’re comfortable with). This method has worked perfectly for a long time, we don’t argue about money. If you have debt to pay off, I also recommend looking up Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (you don’t really need the book, just look up the ‘debt snowball’ and start from there).”

2. “Married 10 years with 3 kids — always shared accounts, we now make roughly the same income. Money battles are a fact of life for most marriages. For a while I was making almost twice what she was, and worst, while she wasn’t working and caring for the kids … her income was much lower than mine. It wouldn’t be fair to her to restrict her spending money because she didn’t ‘earn’ it. When we got married we stopped being two individuals and became 1 family unit. When we need a car we look at what we can afford together, same for all major expenses. For the day to day small things [we] just give each other warnings about upcoming expenses to avoid over spending at the wrong times. … We have friends that maintain separate accounts but they don’t have kids yet. I can’t imagine a good system once children come into play.”

3. “We decide how much each pays towards bills by a ratio of our incomes rather than 50-50….”

4. “My grandparents have been married for 57 years and they still have separate bank accounts. They take turns paying for things and split their bills. They are living a comfortable life.”

5. “We have 4 accounts — a joint checking, a joint savings then individual ‘allowance’ accounts. Each paycheck goes directly into checking, only enough for expenses is kept in it, the rest is transferred into savings. We also have automatic transfers of $150 the day after payday that goes into each of our allowances … This helps enormously with fighting about expenses like my daily coffee stop, his hobby parts, shoes I want but don’t need. If it isn’t a regular house expense, it has to come out of allowance. We usually don’t count work clothes, but since my work is pretty casual the lines get blurry sometimes. I highly recommend it because we rarely fight about money.”

What do you think are some good money management suggestions for long-term relationships/marriages? Sound off in our comments section.

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