Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc? - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 12:02 PM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

We're mostly separate. And you should always have some financial independence in any marriage. Anyone that's been through a divorce can tell you that you're going to need access to immediate funds and if you have children, you need to manage their upkeep when your accounts may get frozen.

I've seen soooo many people who get stuck and can't get divorced or have to beg from friends/relatives to get divorced because they don't retain some financial independence during marriage. And their kids suffer for their poor planning.

In our marriage, his money is his money and mine is mine. However, we have a joint account for the monthly budget which we both contribute equally to.

We have separate credit cards too...and I pay my bill and he pays his. It took us a full year after marriage to stop fighting over the check when it came to the table after dinners out.

Our homes, our cars...we both use equally and would be split equally upon any dissolution of the marriage.

Our business is the same. The money we make goes into the business accounts and would be equally split since it was equally earned.

I think as long as you have a clear understanding and clear plan of what happens in the event of the marriage ending, you're fine.

When it gets messy is when one person violates the rules and does things which are financially dishonest. And that can happen whether your combine finances or not.

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 04:00 PM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

Originally Posted by Chris42 View Post
One of us feels like having things joint or combined is just normal as to how a marriage is- and the other feels combining bank accounts, car ownership, etc. is a loss of individual identity and that these types of items should be bought separately and owned individually as one or the other's property.
Well, by law, it doesn't matter whose name something is in, if it was bought after the marriage, it belongs to both of you. And in some places, the home you live in belongs to both now even if the paperwork still only has the name of the one who had it before the wedding.

If 'your' car is the brand new expensive sportser and 'her' car is the old run-down family wagon, you're still dividing them both up in the event of divorce, no matter what name(s) are on them.

There are two views of marriage these days. There's the traditional merging of finances, becoming one financial entity, no matter who earns the money. And then there's the financial partnership, where both remain individuals and keep some things separate.
If you marry young and establish yourselves after marriage, and stay together a long time, you're more likely to be the first type. If you marry later in life, either because of establishing a career first, or it not being your first marriage, I think you are more likely to be the second type. Especially if there has been any sort of financial infidelity in your past!

So I'm thinking that one of you has been burned in the past and wants to maintain some independence as security.

Honestly though, calling something 'your' car or 'my' car is done no matter what's on paper or how finances are handled. It's the car your partner drives vs the one you drive. Computers and furniture may be bought out of joint funds, but still get called 'your' computer or 'my' side of the bed for ease of reference.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 10:05 PM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

We have separate checking accounts that our money goes into....but we are each on the other's account, so they are actually joint but neither of us use them as such. Joint savings account. Joint credit cards.

As far as whose name is on what..... it was all based on credit scores. When we both got divorced we each had crap credit. So we worked together to build up our credit individually. The house is in my name because I had the credit at the time, but we both pay for everything. I've been meaning to get his name added to the deed at he can have some legal ownership (altho I understand marital property, I'm thinking just ___________ ....not sure what word I need there, but so that his NAME is on his home too).

The cars are in his name, because I sold my clunker and inherited his and he got another....but we call it my car and his truck. Personal items are his mine and ours...mostly depending on whether we brought them to the marriage, bought them jointly, or who uses it (ie: tools= his, computers =mine/his, all other appliances = ours, garage = his, art room = mine).

Money jar on the dresser is "ours"...altho I never put change in, and sometimes take change out. His desk and all the stuff on it is HIS. Our dressers are mine and his and we don't go into them, but we could....same with phones, computers and cars.

I really do love the way this is working out. We have all these mine/yours things, yet we share everything anyway.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 04:20 AM
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Wow sounds like some of these marriages have a great deal of trust issues. Sorry but I find that sad
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 04:42 AM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

If you decide to title a vehicle in two names, use "and/or" as opposed to "and" between the names. In my state, if you put "and" between the two names, neither of the parties can sell the vehicle without both signatures. You might not think that's a problem but if one dies or is in a coma, you suddenly have a minor bureaucratic pain in the behind that you don't need.
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:10 AM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

Forgive me for being naive - but I thought that after some short amount of time (5 years?) that pretty much any assets are considered joint regardless of whose name is on them. Is that not true?

We have operated under that assumption so little thought is given to what title anything truly has. It is all treated as joint and our funds are pooled to manage it.

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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 10:43 AM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

We don't live in a community property state but even before marriage both our names were on almost everything. We did keep 3 checking accounts, mine, hers, and a joint account. She closed hers, but I kept mine for a bit because I was doing lawn work as a side job and put money from it in there. We would use it as a no interest savings account since I had no checks for it and kept the debit card in our lock box at home until we both agreed it was needed. The only withdrawals I would make regularly were to purchase parts/fuel for the tractor and to pay the monthly tractor note.

Our current vehicles are NOT in joint names. Mine was purchased by the company where I work then I recently bought it for basically nothing. Hers was bought when my credit was crap so we kept my name off it to get better financing terms. But in both cases we came to the decision together and each have keys and full use of the other's vehicle as needed.

We don't look at anything as "mine" or "hers" it is all "ours". To us little things like that show a lack of total commitment to the marriage.

Heck, most of the time when someone text/kiks/calls one of us it will be the other one that answers. Except in the case of a phone call the other party rarely has a clue which one with whom they are conversing.
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 12:00 PM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

Do what works best for you. When the wife and I first got married we surveyed all of our married friends and family about how they did that sort of thing too. It seemed to be pretty mixed between couples who did everything jointly and everything separately.

In the end we kind of designed a hybrid system for ourselves. We have a Joint checking and savings account, and we each have an individual checking account. When either of us gets paid, the direct deposit is split. 90% of it goes into our Joint account and 10% goes into our individual accounts.

All expenses are paid out of the joint account. I mean all, bills, groceries, mortgage, car payments, eating out as a couple, etc etc. Our individual accounts are so each of us still has our "fun money" to do whatever we want with. That way if one of us wants to go do something, or if she wants to go on a girls night out, or if I want to buy a new firearm we do it out of our individual accounts and the other person isn't affected.

We did this because one problem that we saw with the couples that did everything jointly was that one would often resent when their spouse would spend money on a hobby that they didn't share. My grandfather for example was into restoring cars, which can be a pretty expensive hobby. Every time he would buy a tool or part or something my Grandmother would get a little mad about it. Even though he asked her first and they talked about it. She just flat out didn't like him spending money on his hobbies.

The wife isn't on the title of my Truck, but that is mainly out of laziness. I had that truck for 4 years before we got married. For the car we just bought her and the house we are both on the title of. However, most state laws are written in such a way that it really doesn't matter if one or both spouses are on the title of something or not. Usually in regards to that sort of stuff the spouse still legally owns it as well even if they aren't on the title.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 01:55 PM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

I didn't even think about the possibility of keeping our finances separate. It seems so weird to me.

My wife and I share everything. She is a stay at home mom currently with our 4 children, so she doesn't make any money. We're both pretty reasonable with our finances and I make a pretty good amount of money so we never end up having a problem.

The vehicles are both in my name, but it doesn't matter as they are ours, not mine. Our house is in both names, bills are split between her name and mine. That just depends who made the call to have the services hooked up.

We only have a joint account. I closed my account when we moved in together and we added my name onto hers.

I know she still feels a bit like it's 'my money' since I am the one that makes it though. I get a bonus every year (fairly large sum at 10-20% of my yearly salary) and she always asks 'what are you going to do with your bonus?' to which I reply 'it's ours, not mine' and then we decide together what to use it for (happens every year). And I do have to encourage her to make purchases for herself. She will go shopping and only bring home things for our kids. It is mostly her personality though as when she was working in the past she hardly bought anything for herself.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 08:45 PM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

Joint accounts, credit card and shared financials. What we each earn goes into the shared pot and all the bills and expenses come out of it. It's all shared. We only discuss big purchases.

We have two houses - one is our home, the other an investment. Both our names are on both titles. His name is on the cars as it related to his work and benefits he could claim. We refer to one car as his, the other as mine... simply as preference with who drives which.

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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 02:08 PM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

For us, both paychecks to into the same "Main" account. we invest automatically, so our investment account automatically takes money out of the "Main" account each month. My wife and I have been married 27 years so everything is in both of our names - including all investments, checking and savings accounts.

My wife has a separate account (different bank) that she uses for our monthly groceries - each month this separate account draws money from our "main" account(I have access to this as well and if I go to the grocery store I use this account.) At this different bank we also have a savings account and separate checking and savings for all three kids. Each kid can only see his or her own balances and cannot see the others our ours. I can easily transfer money from the "Main" account into any one of these separate accounts at the different bank.

I manage the "Main" account and actually have it divided into two parts - what I call the Front of Main is where all of the household bills are paid (mortgage, electric, gas, water, car payment, etc.) - there is a budget. Then, I have The Back of Main which is used cover varying expenditures that we have plus all credit card charges (gas, restaurants, home repairs, car repairs, etc) and other monthly bills that can vary. I do have a savings account where I keep four months worth of living expenses and will draw from this if we have to go over budget - but, replenish when we are under budget. We only use one credit card for the entire family (we get allot of cash back) and I log on to see what is charged on it each day - we have a budget for each category and I keep track on a custom excel spreadsheet that I created - the main categories are Auto, Food (any) restaurants, School (college or high school expenses), capital expenditures, entertainment & Gifts. I know exactly what is spent on all of these things and have a yearly budget that is set. I also track in this same spread sheet non-credit card expenses that are not part of the standard monthly bills that the Front of Main Pays - like car insurance, home owners insurance, maid service, lawn service, sport club membership, hair cuts, laundry service etc. This is the only way that I see to keep a budget when you have three kids plus my wife and me living off the same income - without tracking like this, there is no way we could keep control of what we spend. Rule is (except for gas) if anyone needs to buy something on credit card - they have to call or text me so we can make sure we are within budget (if we have to go out of budget for an emergency - I make the call since I am the one who does the tracking.)

Now - if we ever want to buy something that is large and "not" in the budget - this means that we have to sell investments to raise cash. I have not done this much over the last 5 years (except for college tuition for kids) but have actually started doing this in the last six months. When your making 10% it is hard to cash out to buy something - but, when you make 2.5% like I did on 2015 - not hard to do.
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 07:58 AM
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Re: Both names on cars, bank accounts, etc?

We have joint everything ... we've never been a couple who did the "his" and "hers" thing.... it's all ours....

Been this way since our beginnings... shortly after we married.. I was pregnant.. and he became the primary Breadwinner.. while I did smaller jobs on the side after a few years....

Beings I am a very frugal woman ...I'd call myself a "tightwad" even...he's never worried about me over spending... I've always handled all the finances ...I keep him informed on what's happening.. where we are.. if we need to cut back etc... we sit down together & talk over any big projects/purchases that we're considering....and go forth together....

I tend to get all the credit cards in my name (then get him a card with his name on it) & utilities , primarily my name with his on it...just because I handle everything about them... and it's a pain if I need to change something & they need to talk to him, he doesn't really want bothered with it either.. listening to the whole spill, etc.

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