Every so often our friends and family ask whether we’re sharing our finances so it gave me the idea to write about it.
Amanda and I both share one joint account that deposits everything we make into this account. We established a joint account at the age of 24, the moment we bought our house (which was before we got married) and had to take out a $520,000 mortgage with a 30 year amortization at 2.39% interest rate. Luckily because we had a 20% down payment on the house, we could spread our mortgage over 30 years instead of the maximum amount of 25 years for high ratio mortgages (less than 20% down payment). What that in turn meant was that our mortgage payments were more manageable at $2,000/month as opposed to $2,300/month and we had an extra $300 buffer/cash flow every month in the event of emergencies.
At the time, we both were making roughly the same amount so it naturally felt like the easiest thing to do especially with us both having to start making mortgage payments and other monthly expenses on the house. Believe it or not, she actually had almost twice the down payment I had saved for the house (she had $110k vs. $70k that I had saved). Thinking back, I definitely was marrying up and I had nothing to lose and arguably people could of said she was nuts. Sometimes I joke with her and tell her I’m with her only for her money and she’ll get me back by saying she’s with me because of my looks.
She didn’t think that sharing all our finances was crazy and the reason was that we both had similar spending patterns, habits and financial goals (i.e buying a house before 25, paying it off in our 30s). Neither of us had credit card debt and for the most part, we were really responsible with our money and not spending more than what we made.
Going into home ownership was a big thing but what was a bigger thing for the both of us is being able to just get rid of this $520,000 mountain of debt over our heads so that we wouldn’t have to pay $2,000/month for the next 30 years of our life.
We knew that home ownership would change the way we live so we had open conversations to ensure that we were buying what we could afford and only what we needed. This was key for us because we knew that if we bought a smaller house, it would carry less expenses, it would require less maintenance (less chores), and that in turn would free up money/time and create a lot less worry for us (probably save us from a few arguments as well).
It was these open conversations throughout our relationship that I feel really ensured that we were both on the same page and had we not had them, I don’t think we would have even considered having one joint account for all our spending and pay cheques.
Obviously every couple is different so we’re curious to know whether you share or split your finances with your partner!