Separate or Combined Finances?

Mr. Pop: In my mind, having separate finances made no sense at all if we were really committed to the relationship. I spent years trying to figure out if I wanted to get married to this girl; if we were going to do this, it would be all the way, as a team.
Some could say that the question was made easier because she didn’t have any debt at the time, but thats missing the point. Her money handling skills were part of what made her a good match for me, and the life I would like to build….I don’t think I could have respected somebody who made bad decisions the way I respect her.
Separate finances could very well be the right answer for many couples, but I wanted to build something together with Mrs. PoP and to me that meant combining finances. My parents had combined finances as well, despite one being a spender and one being a saver.

Mrs. PoP: At the time, I probably could have gone either way on this one. My parents had combined finances and they never had a clue on finances, whereas my older sister who had been married for 6 years at that time had completely separate finances with her husband and they seemed to have a good handle on things. They had similar incomes and just split all the bills 50/50. Separate, but pretty well balanced. But, since Mr PoP wanted to combine and I didn’t see our spending patterns as too unbalanced, I went along with it.
Since then, I think this is one of the strengths of our relationship. Sharing money makes us talk about finances and where we see ourselves in the future. I’m not sure those conversations would be quite the same if the bank accounts didn’t have both our names on them.
As an example, Mr. PoP’s parents are friends with a couple nearing retirement that have separate finances.  Mr. and Mrs. H.  They married later in life, so that may have been a factor in that decision to keep all the money separate. However, unlike what I saw from my sister’s marriage, the income and savings in the H family relationship has not been balanced. Mrs. H has a decent pension coming her way in a few years and has already bought her Florida condo.  Mr. H runs a small handyman business and doesn’t have much in savings. Their ‘joke’ is that she’ll get to retire to Florida and he’ll just get to move his business as he’ll never have enough to retire. Haha? Not so funny to me.
I think while separate finances may make sense for some couples, in our situation, combining them makes us a more unified front, and will hopefully be one of the things that keeps our marriage strong for many years to come.

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