This Christmas it has become more clear to SB and I that with our combined life, having a combined bank account would be really handy. My work is more flexible and I'm often able to run more errands - a large amount of the Christmas presents we've bought have been discussed by us and then bought by me. Not to mention the pain-in-the-rear it is with his weekly budgeting and my fortnightly pay and the inevitable 2nd Tuesday night discussion of how much I need to transfer to his account to cover bills. It might work for others but for us, we've decided that when we decide to combine our lives officially, we may as well combine finances.
SB is in a considerably better financial position than I am (I know, on the web it often seems like things are the other way around) - he left school and went straight into employment, he lived rent-free (only paying expenses) until we moved in together. He has no debt from car purchases or student loans. I on the other hand... was pretty much in the financial pooh when we got together. All up, five and a half years of study had drained the well dry. My credit card was maxed out and my car (which cost me at least the purchase price in repairs in the four years after I got it) had ensured that I had stayed in overdraft pretty much as far as they will allow a student to go. A year later, the credit card is paid off and I'm attacking the overdraft... slowly.
Which leads me to the conversation I had today. Facebook chatting with a friend, she told me she was getting Subway today. I returned with I was eating what we had at home because we're trying to save money. She asked why and I returned with the fact that we are planning on merging our accounts but that I want to pay off my overdraft first. I did not expect the reaction I received. I got told that it was too soon (even though we will have been together over two years when we finally do merge the accounts), that it hadn't worked for her other friends (we don't even know their situation) and what if we broke up (uh, not planning on it)?
I was a bit stunned at the reaction - this isn't something that we've taken lightly. It's not even something that we're doing right now and we're still working on the fine tuning of when it will actually happen. I don't expect his investments to be counted in the pool of "our money" until we're married. As we get closer to the actual merge I have no doubt that there will be many more conversations about what will come from the "ours" account and what will come from the "his and hers" accounts.
I understand she's concerned... I understand for every positive experience that people have had, there's probably someone who has had a negative experience too. What is getting my goat the most is that she didn't even give me the chance to explain all of this.
Scribblettes, what's your experiences with money mergers? Have you had strong reactions from people too?