- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

How We Handle Our Coupled Finances

In the past I asked whether married couples should combine their finances [3], knowing full well that my fiancee and I have had our finances combined for quite a while now, and I’ve also received emails as to how it is that we handle the whole coupled finances thing – who pays the bills, who balances the checkbook, who does whatever. Part of the fun of personal finance blogging is the fact that you can peek through someone’s financial keyhole and see what they do, so I’m going to show you.

Where The Income Goes:

We share a bank account (savings, checking) that has both of our names on it. That bank account is actively fueled by a direct deposit of my my income. My fiancĂ©e has her income direct deposited into another legacy bank account which she then transfers into our main bank account. The fact that she has another account isn’t a point of concern or anything, she just hadn’t gotten around to dealing with her HR to handle it yet (she actually has real work to do).

How We Pay Bills:

Our main bank account, fueled by our direct deposits, is what we use to pay all of our bills. The mortgage payment, including the escrow for all of the real estate related taxes, is direct debited each month. Each of our credit cards use that account as its main source of funding. We each have our own credit cards, individually named, and are responsible for paying them off in full each month using this account. The only card we share is a Discover Open Road [4] card for buying gas because it has 5% cash back, that card is in her name but I’m using it (how’s that for security).

How We Save:

We siphon off savings from the main bank account into three separate accounts. Two of the accounts are high yield online savings accounts, one earmarked for business income taxes and one earmarked for general savings and the wedding next year; the third is a brokerage account. The online savings account [5] we use is FNBO Direct [6] because we have the existing bank links in place and 5.05% APY is pretty good. We use Vanguard as our brokerage and we put all of our funds into a Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Fund.

There you have it, a peek into how we handle our coupled finances and another data point for you if you’re thinking about doing this yourself. There might be little specifics I might have left out so feel free to ask via email or comments below. Also, if you’re doing the coupled finances thing, certainly share how you do it as well – we’re always looking to improve the system and since we’re both pretty inexperienced it might not be hard to do.