Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How do we balance marriage and personal finance

Yesterday mymoneyblog raised a topic about marriage, love and money and attracted a lot of comments. I have also seen similar discussion in several online forums. Basically there are two common ways for married people to deal with their personal finance. One is to combine all their money after married. The other is to have a joint account for everyday expenses while keep individual accounts for personal expenses like gifts, entertainments etc. There is also a small portion who just maintain individual accounts and each one pays his own bills or the bills assigned to him under some agreement.

How do we handle our finance? I would say we belong to the first group. When we came to the US to pursue our graduate degree, we nearly had nothing after we paid the first month's rent and other necessary expenses. We put all the left money in one account and made it as a joint account. Since then we never thought about splitting our income and expenses. Three years ago, Mr. Circle obtained his degree and found a decent job. Our savings increased rapidly compared to that in the period of study. And there are bonus or promotions for account opening everywhere. In order to maximize our bonus or rebate income, we started to have our so-called individual accounts. Mr. Circle never cared about the process. I just reported to him every time I opened a new account and updated him with the tracking file. Both of us have access to all of our accounts and can make any expenses we want. Of course we always made agreement for big purchases. I also need to keep Mr. Circle notified when to use which credit card to maximize the rebate.

Then you may ask what has Mr. Circle been doing? Actually he makes more important decisions. If you follow my posts, you may find my topics only include banking, credit cards, budget, tax etc. Why didn't I talk about investment? So the answer is Mr. Circle is in charge of our investment activities. Although I have my own opinions about economic phenomenon, as an economics graduates, I do think that Mr. Circle has more business sense and he is more decisive.

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