I Do...But Maybe I Don't Want to Share My Money

by Stacy Tharp 10. January 2013

Combining Finances in Marriage

So you've decided to take the plunge and get married! You may be perfectly willing to share your hopes, dreams, living space and deepest, darkest secrets with your soon-to-be spouse…but sharing your money? If you are like many couples, no matter how long you have been in a relationship and how well you know each other’s likes, dislikes and quirky habits, your finances may have remained fairly private from one another.

Traditionally, when couples get married they immediately combine all of their money into joint accounts. However, we’ve all heard some statistic or another about the correlation between finances and divorce. That’s not to say that immediately combining all of your assets into joint accounts is always a bad decision; it’s simply not the only choice out there.

If you’d like to join accounts but are reluctant to go all in when it comes to your money, here are a few options that modern couples are opting for these days.

Divvy Up the Bills

Using this method, you and your significant other would compile a list of all of your bills and split them up however it makes sense. For example, if one person likes to crank up the AC, that person might take control of the electric bill. Or if one person insists on getting a large cable package with all of the premium channels, it might make sense for that person to be in charge of paying the cable bill. This is a great way to be able to enjoy your indulgences without your partner nagging you about the bill.

The “Divvy Up the Bills” method is also great for people who enter into a marriage with debt. Being in charge of your own car payments or your own student loans is a good way to avoid arguments or resentment.

Separate but Equal

In the “Separate but Equal” model, you have one joint account and two separate accounts. Add up all your bills, split the total evenly down the middle, and both partners contribute that amount equally. The rest of your income is yours to spend, save or do whatever you want with.

This method is good for independent couples in which both partners make a decent living and want to be able to use their hard-earned income however they choose. It helps avoid feelings of dependence or control.

Separate Accounts in Marriage

Equal Slice of Pie

This method is similar to the “Separate but Equal” approach in that you have one joint account for bills and two separate accounts for everything else. The difference is that instead of contributing an equal dollar amount to the joint account, each person contributes a certain percentage of his/her income.

This is a good method for couples in which one person makes significantly more money than the other. That person might want to enjoy a nicer lifestyle than his/her partner would be able to afford without assistance. This gives both partners a fair way to contribute to the bills and still have some money left over.

The Imaginary Salary

Remember our blog post about the imaginary mortgage? (Quick recap – you “pretend” you are paying a mortgage on a home that you do not yet own as a way of preparing yourself for the monthly payments to come while saving up for a down payment at the same time.) Well, “The Imaginary Salary” is similar. Using this method, the two of you live off of one person’s income and save the other person’s income.

Besides this being a great way to put away a large sum of money, this method is great for people who plan on living off of one income in the near future. Think about it – how great would it be to stop working and not have to change your lifestyle? This is also a good method for couples in which one person has an inconsistent income.

These aren’t the only options you have when it comes to combining your finances, and of course you can combine techniques or change your method at any time. As long as you and your partner both agree on a method and are honest with each other, you are off to a great start!

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out these related articles:

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Stolen (and Late) New Year's Resolutions

by Renee' Anderson 8. January 2013

It's January 8th, have you made any progress with your New Year’s resolutions? With everything to do surrounding the holiday, it took me until now to really think about resolutions for the New Year. Well, if I’m being honest, I actually just stole some resolutions that I heard from my family members! If you’re like me, and have yet to take the time to come up with a New Year’s resolution or two, consider some of mine:

Resolution #1 (Stolen from My Sister): Do not use my phone while driving (unless using Bluetooth).

With smartphones, it is extremely tempting to use your phone while driving. Besides being against the law, it is also extremely dangerous! My sister sent a text saying she’s throwing her phone in the back of the car, so if anyone needs her she will be back in action after the car ride. I thought this was a great idea. That way, you can’t reach your phone even if temptation gets to you, and if you really need to use your phone, it forces you to pull over.

Cell Phone Etiquette

Resolution #2 (Stolen from My Husband): Limit my cell phone usage around other people.

It is very tempting to use your phone while in the presence of other people, especially when businesses like 1st Mariner have user-friendly apps allowing you to access your bank accounts 24/7. I feel that there are times when it’s just inappropriate to be on your phone. Common courtesy rules have evolved with technology, but there is still a line to be drawn for being inappropriate, unprofessional or just plain rude. I’m going to think twice about pulling my phone out while in the presence of others, whether at a meeting, at the dinner table, or while interacting with a cashier while checking out.

Resolution #3 (Stolen from My Sister): Be more organized.

I feel like I’m always trying to be more organized, but maybe it just seems that way because I keep saying that I need to be more organized but am not actually doing much about it. It’s time to actually do it! Lists are always good, right? I should start with a list of the areas I need to be more organized. For example, I’m never on time, what are some reasons for that? Organize my clothes so it doesn’t take an hour to find something to wear. Finances…enough said. My husband shakes his head when I come back from the grocery store and he says, “How much did you spend?” and I say, “I don’t know.” “Didn’t you pay at the register?!” he says. I then roll my eyes, but he’s right. I complain about where our money goes, yet I’m not paying attention to my spending patterns. Mariner360 is probably a good first step to get me financially organized. That way, instead of trying to keep track of my spending on the spot while my kids are climbing out of the cart and throwing items around, I can let Mariner360 do it for me. I just log on when the kids are asleep and take my time to go over my spending patterns. Then, I can turn to my husband and just recite what Mariner360 tells me!

Resolution #4 (My Own): Stop being so lazy that I need to steal someone else’s resolutions!

 

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An Easy Way to Stick with Your Financial New Year's Resolution

by Andrew Schreiber 2. January 2013

2013 New Years ResolutionsThe New Year allows for a fresh start. Many of us celebrate this new beginning by making a New Year’s resolution. I, like most people, make a New Year’s resolution and make a promise to myself to follow through with it indefinitely. However, oftentimes my motivation and desire fizzles out within a couple of weeks and I never look back. Whether your resolution is to exercise more, eat healthier, save money, or quit smoking, we all know how hard it is to stay motivated and follow through with our resolution. Sometimes in order for you to succeed in making a change you need someone or something to hold you accountable.

Financial resolutions can be some of the most complicated and stressful resolutions to make. Whether you resolve to free yourself from debt, buy a new car, save money or spend less, everyone can use a helping hand to accomplish financial goals. One of the most useful tools you can use in creating financial stability is a Personal Finance Manager such as Mariner360. Mariner360 links all of your accounts at all of your financial institutions so you only have to make one stop in order to manage all of your finances. This PFM is a great resource to help hold you accountable and visually see the progress of your goals and budgets.

Mariner360 is simple to use, easily accessible, and free for Online Banking customers. It automatically categorizes your spending which allows you to visually see how much you spend dining out, on a car loan, on your utilities, in gas, etc. each month. With Mariner360, you can also see your monthly cash flow, set up a budget, or set a goal.

So how exactly might you use Mariner360 to help with your financial resolutions? Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Resolution #1: I want to buy a new car by the end of 2013.

If you’re looking to purchase a new car, you have some options. What make and model are you looking for? New or used? What kind of monthly payment you are willing to take on?

Mariner360 can help you narrow down your options to help you set a realistic goal. Let’s say that after doing some research, you decide that you would like $10,000 saved by the end of the year.

Under the “Goals” tab of Mariner360, you can type in your goal and Mariner360 will let you know how much you need to save each month in order to meet your goal:

Setting Up a Goal in Mariner360

 

Viewing Your Goals in Mariner360

According to Mariner360, if you had about $1,500 saved already, you would need to save $701 each month in order to meet your goal. Then you can ask yourself if this seems like something that you can realistically do. If not, figure out how much you feel you are able to put away each month, then think about lowering the down payment or delaying your purchase by a few months.

Resolution #2: I want to limit the amount of money I spend dining out.

This is always a popular New Year’s resolution since it kills two birds with one stone – it helps you eat healthier while spending less money. A great way to stick with this resolution is to set up a budget in Mariner360. Simply navigate to the “Budgets” tab, plug in the amount of money you would like to limit yourself to each month and you’re good to go!

Creating a Budget in Mariner360

You can check back throughout the month to see how you're doing. So, if a friend wants to meet you for lunch, check and see if you have enough left in your budget before agreeing.

Viewing Your Budgets in Mariner360

If your New Year’s resolution is finance related, do yourself a favor and use the services of a Personal Financial Manager like Mariner360. Make it as easy and effortless as possible to follow through and stick with your goals. Your bank accounts will thank you.

Mariner360

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

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