This is something we talked about on and off since we got engaged. We were married seven months after our engagement, and things moved quickly. I got pregnant on our honeymoon and we bought our first home six months later. Almost six years, almost three kids, a second home (and renovations) later, we still have not fully combined our finances. I never changed my last name, paperwork and making things more official than “we’re married and having a baby” never felt urgent.  I’m going to talk about why we haven’t combined our finances, and why it’s worked for us. 

Why We Haven’t Combined Our Finances

Neither of us feel strongly about combining, and if one of us had, we probably would have done it by now. Every few months, Conor will bring it off and I’m just like…meh. When I mentioned that we hadn’t combined our finances, I received a lot of questions about what works for us. About why we made the choice to keep things separate. It’s just something we fell into. Our current system works really well for us, so much that we don’t (ever) fight about money. There’s been very little motivation or pressure to change things.

As someone who didn’t grow up with money (we were comfortable but my grandparents helped a lot), I have made some money on my own, and like having my own little nest egg. I like being able to pay for things on my own. If something happened to Conor, I’d be there to cover for our family in a heartbeat – I don’t see my money as not ours, if that makes sense? But I like that it’s mine. Many of my friends who got married within the last couple of years are exactly where we are. They’ve had kids, own homes together, and see everything has theirs, but like us, haven’t (officially) combined. It’s working so well, so why change it? I’m still not sure we should.

So here’s what we do, which has worked really well for us.

The down payment on our house was split 50/50, we share a joint checking account and credit card, and each month, we each transfer the same amount into that account. The funds in our joint account pay our mortgage, nanny, and all day-to-day/household expenses (groceries, bills, etc). Our bathroom renovations and all major purchases are also split 50/50, so even with this big project, there’s no wondering who paid for what. Everything else is still technically separate.

We talk about our finances collectively and are saving up to eventually buy an investment property together. We’re invested in our family and financial future, and again, talk about everything as ours, and for now, it’s working really well for us.