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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Joint finances?

DJ and I met with an accountant today to discuss my eligibility for the $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers. I’m pretty excited to say that I’ll be getting probably $8,000+ back in taxes, which will seriously beef up the rather paltry savings account. And DJ will get a nice sum back too.

Sidenote: as we were standing in the lobby, I mentioned to DJ that while I sucked at math in college, and hated it, I kind of thought it would be fun to be an accountant. :::BAM::: Mom, MOM! Wake up! You fainted at ME saying I wanted to be an accountant.

Back to the point, we’ll be filing separate taxes for the 2009 tax year (since we’re still separate, duh). And I asked the accountant if we should file joint taxes for 2010, since we’re getting married in 2010. His answer was a yes, since it streamlined the process and made the whole refund thing more streamlined.

We are, however, at my insistence, going to maintain some kind of financial independence from each other once we’re married. Frankly, it just seems easier. I don’t have to worry about not knowing what he’s spent out of our checking account; he doesn’t have to worry about me not tracking purchases down to the penny in a register. This is called the “Yours-Mine-Ours” strategy.

And I think every woman should retain some level of financial independence. You never know what will happen in life, and my parents paid for a college education so that I can always provide for myself. I’ll take that a step farther and keep the majority of my finances my own. Independent.

We did set up a joint checking and joint savings account in November though. The bank where my accounts are offered a promotional deal if we got our mortgage through them and opened a joint account at that banking institution.

The plan for semi-joint finances is as follows. DJ will transfer all of his accounts over to the bank where my personal accounts and our mortgage are in the next month. We will both continue to have our paychecks direct deposited into our personal checking accounts, and from there will set up auto-transfers of a specified amount via online banking into our joint checking account. Bills paid out of joint checking will be the things we share. Right now, that’s only mortgage, home insurance, taxes, and cell bills. Eventually though it will include car insurance, groceries, etc. All of these will likely be set up on an auto-bill too, so we won’t have to think about it.

Mine, Ours, Yours

Right now the joint savings account is only seeing action as a wedding fund. We’re both putting a specified amount into it each month, so we don’t have to put wedding expenses on charge cards. Once El Weddingo is past, stuff like tax refunds and monetary gifts will probably go into our joint savings account.

Our personal accounts are that, personal. I don’t care to know how much DJ has in checking. Or for DJ to know how little I have in checking. My personal accounts will pay for stuff like girl’s weekends, gifts, fun money, etc. And we will both only be able to see the accounts our names are on when we log into online banking.

Do you think it’s foolhardy to try to keep accounts separated? Are you an all-in type of person? Or did you join accounts, but now wish you wouldn’t have?

Do you think this plan is going to go down in a ball of flames in a year?

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