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Smart Handling of Married Money Part 3 of 4

Posted on: Monday, April 18th, 2016

Probably the area that has experienced the most change and variability with pre-married couples the area of managing bank accounts either separately or jointly. Many models exist and some couples find it easier to each have a set of bills they are separately responsible for.

  • Most common setup: spooling – split & pooled accounts
  • Use pooled/shared account for common expenses, savings and investments
  • Contribute equal amounts if salaries similar or a percentage if salaries are very different
  • Create a Budget: must start here – framework for all future discussions
  • Split/separate account for individual discretionary spending
  • Spending limits for discretionary expenses – must talk if over $X?
  • At least one separate credit card – maintain + build individual credit

It’s important to make good use of your team for two:

  • Discuss and decide who pays what bills, monitors the investments and files the statements
  • Be aware of what your partner is doing so you can take over if needed and can contribute constructively to discussions
  • Have a monthly budget meeting
  • Sometimes it is helpful to have separate accounts for separate items e.g. quarterly bills, yearly bills, education fund, vacation account etc.

In our final instalment in the series we will look at setting short term and long term financial goals together.

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