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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

The newlywed series: finances

Categories: finances, marriage


As I mentioned last week, I have a reader who is a newlywed and she has some questions. I am hoping that you guys can chime in, because I am (in no way an expert, and) not a newlywed.

Her question:

How do you handle finances?  This could be way worse, but it is still uncomfortable.  We have enough money.  Together, we do just fine.  I can only imagine if we had to be careful - that time may come of course.  I think the real issue for us is control.  We have been controlling our own money for at least a decade (me) or closer to two (him) so giving up control of how we manage our money is tough.  Again, I think that once we get it worked out, it will be easier.  We are taking baby steps.

When we got married, we combined bank accounts and…that was it. We’ve taken turns being the “primary bread winner”, so it’s been equal over time.

We have friends who use different systems, such as:

  • Keeping your finances separate, but having a joint account for items such as rent/mortgage, groceries, utilities, etc.
  • Having a joint account, but each spouse having an “allowance” that they can spend without thought.

Do you guys have any finance advice/wisdom you can share? Do you have any questions that you want answered?

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4 comments so far...

  • With my ex-husband we had a joint account for everything. Sometimes there was a portion of the budget that was for an “allowance”, but usually he spent more than was budgeted. During the tight times the only wiggle room was my allowance, so guess what, when he went over budget I didn’t get to use my allowance. Can we say resentment?

    When thinking about the next marriage I think I would be ok with a joint account for everything except my “allowance”. I wouldn’t care if he could see what was in my account and what I have spent my money on, but I wouldn’t want it mixed in with the general money.

    RebeccaL  |  October 4th, 2011 at 11:57 am

  • This is an excellent question and I can’t wait to hear the responses. I think we might try the joint account with allowances idea but I’m not sure. We are coming into this with slightly different financial situations (I don’t have any debt other than the house and I have money saved up; he has student loans/car payments/credit cards to pay off). I’m sure it will be difficult at times but I think we can manage to work it all out.

    K  |  October 7th, 2011 at 11:34 am

  • We do the same as you. We got joint accounts when we got married, and nothing has changed in 13 years. I usually look after the finances, mostly because we pay most things online and I am the computer savvy one (Rob hardly knows how to send an email without assistance).

    Hannah  |  October 7th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

  • We do joint. We’re in this together, so why keep anything separate? It also works for us because we both work FT and we make roughly the same. I can see how it would be hard if you didn’t make the same or one person had a lopsided amount of debt.

    Tia  |  October 11th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

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