We Should Have Joint Debts, Not Joint Assets!

by Kristina on August 29, 2011 · 5 comments

doll houseGood Morning DINKS. Today we are discussing the ever important question of merging our single money into our joint bank accounts.

I overheard a co-worker talking about her upcoming nuptials in the lunch room this week and I feel the need to share her story.  I couldn’t believe what my ears were hearing and I want to know what you think about her money management skills. As DINKS we are all in couples and we all have to manage our budgets with dual incomes, but would you use your individual income to pay off someone elses debt?

My co-worker Julie is about to get married in a few weeks. She is currently house hunting with her fiancé.  They both came into our branch for their mortgage pre approval, but now I overheard Julie saying that their future family home will only be in her future husbands name.  Does this sound crazy to anyone else?

My co-worker will be contributing money towards the down payment for the home and she will be paying half of all the monthly house related expenses, including the mortgage payments.  However, the house will only be under her fiancés name. Julie will be paying off debts that are attached to her fiancés asset.  Julie says that she fully trusts her finance and when he becomes her husband he will take care of her.

The one thing that Julie is forgetting is that when people get divorced they (usually) hate each other.  If Julie and her fiance do get divorced in the future I am not convinced that Julies (then) husband will still want to take care of his soon to be ex wife.  I have to ask myself (and all of you) does Julies future husband really love her and want to take care of her, or is he just really a huge con-artist?

As you may remember I am all in favour of joint debts but not joint assets.  My boyfriend Nick and I have joint credit cards but our bank accounts, savings accounts, and retirement accounts are all held separately.  He actually has his own Personal Financial Advisor, I don’t even give Nick financial advice or review his investment strategies and goals. This may not work for everyone, but it works for us as a couple. The only time that Nick and I share joint assets is if there is a joint debt attached to them, such as our (former) car and our (former) car loan.

Does marriage automatically imply that we should share everything with our spouse?  Money is money and love is love, but does love automatically mean that we have to share our money?  I understand that marriage should imply that we fully trust our spouse, but do you trust your spouse 100% with your own money?

Money may not be the most important thing to everyone, and therefore not everyone actively manages their own money and their own assets. However, money is a necessity for everyone to live.  Without money we couldn’t eat and we couldn’t sleep in our comfy beds every night. Without money we couldn’t stay warm in the winter and we couldn’t stay cool in the summer (if you are lucky enough to have air conditioning).  Without money we couldn’t look forward to coming home every night and spending quality time with our spouse.

Would you prioritize the love in your relationship before the management of your own money?

Photo by Downing Amanda

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