How do Married Couples Divide Money?

November 24, 2010

in Financial Future

Just Married Balloon

Image via Wikipedia

Finance is a big topic in a marriage. After the wedding you are usually left with the task of joining two separate individual accounts, debts, and financial information without losing your or your spouses financial freedom.

There are many different ways to handle finances in a marriage. Some couples split bills, others combine all their finances into one account, and many do something in between those two.

Mint.com recently posted an infographic showing how married couples divide their money with regards to young professionals (under 30 years old and making 50K or more), affluent households (making more than 100K), and the general population. Young professionals do not look good in the finance department.

Discussions on household finances leads to arguments in 72% of the young professional married couples. This is compared to only 45% of the general population and 44% of the affluent couples. Since the general population statistic is so close to the general population that rules out the idea that these arguments are from lack of income.

So why do married couples made of individuals under 30 making more than 50K a year fight about finance more often than other groups? A few differences according to the infographic are keeping some or all of their debt separate (43% vs 20%), each individual having a separate checking account (25% vs 15%), and each individual having a separate savings account (28% vs 17%).

The comment that somebody left saying “Gen Y is doomed” is a huge overstatement, but there are some great points you can pick up from this information.

When you get married your debt becomes your spouses debt and vice versa. You can still make your own decisions and decide to have your own spending money, but if you keep your own accounts and split the bills (like you would with a roommate) then there will be more arguments in the long run.

You will have to make financial decisions in the future that are for both of you. If one spouse stops working to take care of the children or due to an illness it will be easier if you have set the precedent that “my money is our money”. The same goes if one spouse ends up making more than the other. If you fall into the trap of one spouse getting all the “toys” they want and the other having to spend most of their income on bills then you will end up with resentment and hurt feelings.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

humble opinion by sirrob November 28, 2010 at 8:25 am

It’s interesting to know this since I’m a newly wed.

Be a Lifesaver Of Goodness

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Heidi November 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I’m glad to help. Thanks for visiting.

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Wahdaholic December 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm

This is a very good post, thanks for sharing it. Money matters can be an issue among married couples.

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Heidi December 1, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Thanks, it is such a big topic in marriages!

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