After the Wedding: Combining Finances
Planning for a wedding can be a wonderful time. The ceremony and reception provide the beautiful celebration that your love deserves. And, the honeymoon is a wonderful time to just be together. But, when all of that is over, it is time to take care of the details that come with marrying. You’ll have to take care of the legal name change, for instance, but this is also a time to start considering a joining of finances.
There are several ways that you can manage your money as a married couple, and much of this will likely depend on what stage of life you were in when you decided to marry. The longer a person has been independent, the less likely the couple is to full merge all assets.
The total commingling tends to be the choice of younger couples. Both people put all of their money into joint accounts, from which both will continue to draw for the purpose of paying utilities and making general purchases.
If you like the idea of having a little money all to yourself (perhaps for the sake of buying gifts for your significant other in the future), then you may consider one of two methods that many married couples have used:
- The Percentage Method: Perhaps it is 50%, or maybe 75%, but regardless of what percentage is chosen, it is applied to both incomes, and that portion of the paycheck must be deposited into the joint accounts, while the remainder is kept in an individual account.
- The Flat Rate Method: This method dictates that, regardless of the income level of each party, both spouses must deposit the same amount of money into the joint accounts each pay period. Whatever is left over can be managed on an individual basis.
Finally, there is also the option to keep everything separate and to simply divide the necessary expenses – groceries, mortgage payments, utility bills, etc. – in half. These bills are then distributed, and each spouse pays a share from his or her individual accounts.