Friday, May 28, 2010

Marriage and Finances

Do you have a joint checking account with your spouse? We do and don't. My checking account is the joint one. He has another smaller one for some of his bills and play money. He doesn't take money out of the joint account for things like golfing, going out with his buddies, etc. It seems to work fine or at least it has for the last 8 years! I think we would probably save more money if we put all our money in one account, but it would probably lead to more arguments as well. I don't really want to know how much it costs to golf all day and I don't want to feel guilty if I need to buy new shoes. What works best in our house may not work for you. What do you think works best?

FROM NBC: Should married couples keep their money in separate or joint accounts? Financial times are changing and more couples are going for separate but equal. does that make sense?
"Tradition has it that when two people get together, they pool their money into the relationship. But not so fast. Today, many couples are sharing their lives together, but not their bank account."

Pete and Terri Kansler walk hand in hand in balboa park. The two have shared their lives together for 18 years, share two children, but they do not share a bank account. Terri Kansler: "I have my checking account and he has his. I pay my bills and he pays his." Now that may sound harsh but Pete and Terri say having separate accounts actually saved their marriage. Terri Kansler: "If I didn't agree with something he bought, I'd be like, 'why did you spend that, we could have used this on something I wanted.' and he would be the same way." Pete Kansler: "One day, I just came home and said, 'here's your other atm card, I got my own account and that's it."

Kristen Lindsay: "we come from different backgrounds but we have the same goals."
And those goals include a joint bank account. Ryan and Kristen Lindsay have been married nearly six years with two children and they say they never even thought of separate accounts. Kristen Lindsay: "It just keeps you on the same page and helps you be unified in your financial decisions which is important in keeping unity and working as a team." "Years ago, it was common practice that couples shared the family finances but that's not the case today. separate or joint, which is best?" Kristen Lindsay: "

When you join together in holy matrimony, you're supposed to be joining everything together, your household, your finances, and everything."
But clinical psychologist Christina Zampitella says the rules of the marriage game are changing with the times. Christina Zampitella/clinical psychologist "Couples who are cohabitating or if one or both partners were previously divorced, they tend to have more separate accounts than a joint account." But that's not to say it's the only way to go. finances, like marriages, are very personal and for some people keeping separate accounts works best.

Christina Zampitella, clinical psychologist: "There's times where you'll say, 'you know I really want to go to this place.' and she'll say, 'I really don't have the money to pay for that. you have to pay for it.' ok, fine. no problem." And for others, the tradition of keeping the money in a joint account is also the best decision. Kristen Lindsay: "Both of our parents had joint accounts, right? Your parents and my both had joint accounts so I think that served as a good example of how we would do our finances." The key is to be open and honest about money. Financial problems can quickly break apart a marriage, but even counselors can not say which financial plan is best for you. Christina Zampitella: "

And I would love to be able to say one is better than the other, but it's just not true. research is not supporting one way or another at this time."
Our psychologist tells us money issues are common topics in therapy. Christina Zampitella says couples get into trouble when they fight for control of the finances. she says when you're dating and things get serious in the relationship, it's never too early to talk about how you will handle your money.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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