Over the past year, my fiance and I have experimented with different methods of keeping track of our finances and sharing expenses.
We started with keeping everything separate and just paying each other our share of the bills. Next, we started an envelope system for shared expenses and opened a joint savings account. I kept diligent track of who put in what amount into the envelope system and the savings account. You know, “just in case” we needed to split the money back up.
Right about the time we got engaged we moved another step forward in merging our finances by opening a checking account together. We still kept most of our income separate but deposited a set amount to cover household items, dog expenses, etc. I still kept the majority of my income and paid him rent and half of the utilities.
This has been a slow merging of expenses, starting a couple of weeks ago I now only keep the amount I need to make my debt payments and a little extra for spending allowance into my own account and the rest goes into our joint account. I thought it would take me longer to merge our finances, as I’ve been in control of my own money for decades. As our relationship has progressed, I realized that when money goes into our joint account, I don’t feel I can spend it willy nilly. That has helped a lot in allowing the money to grow. My fiance isn’t quite there yet, he still puts in a set amount, but he is starting to consider the allowance thing.
The fact that he doesn’t just put most of his pay into our joint account doesn’t bother me. I brought the debt, he didn’t, and he needs to get to the same place in his own time.
Our goals are merging; our goal being to get me out of debt. It took me awhile to accept his help to accomplish this, but now I am on board. I foolishly kept saying “no, this is my problem”, but it’s not it will soon be “our problem”.
From here on out “we are in debt” not “I am in debt”. I am sorry I put him there, but happy he decided to climb aboard and help me bail.