My wife and I met during university in 1999. Since then our finances have just kind of slowly melded together and formed solid like a good jello. It is actually difficult to pinpoint exactly how all of this evolved, but a turning point must have been before we were married when my wife (girlfriend) at the time loaned me $4,600. When I completed university I decided that I wanted to do away with my $4,600 student loan, pronto. The only problem was I didn't have $4,600. However I knew someone that did, and she happened to live in the same one bedroom apartment with me. I drafted up a win/win proposal where she would lend me the money right away in full, I would pay off the loan and then proceed to pay her half of the monthly rent until the loan was paid back with 5% interest. It saved me from paying the Ontario Scholarship Assistance Plan any interest, and instead she made an easy $230. I'd much rather give the interest to her. This showed her trust in me and began to foster the trust that exists now in our relationship around money. I really think most of managing money in married life comes down to trust.
Fast forward to 2008 where we run our financial household like this:
- One joint bank account, 100% managed by me
- Pay for everything possible on credit cards and always pay balances in full
- We're both pretty frugal, and have very similar money habits and attitudes toward money
This has to be one of the simplest ways to manage your joint-finances. I basically manage the works and my wife likes it that way. I enjoy it as you can probably tell, and it's one less thing for her to worry about. She trusts that I'll do a good job. I have the best interest of our family and our future as my driver in managing our family finances. I am really happy to say that I can not recall a money-related argument ever cropping up. The key to the whole thing is likely the last bullet point above, and we are lucky that this happens to be the case.
How do you handle joint-finances?
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