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105 Past Due – The Great Checking Account Debate

by Derek Sisterhen on May 12, 2010

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Past Due: Radio 105 – The Great Checking Account Debate

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Today was a mailbag and listener feedback day!  I fielded questions on all manner of financial subjects.  Past Due Radio fans rock with their questions!

Tony in California wanted to know whether he should be paying extra money on his 2nd mortgage, or putting it into a vehicle replacement fund.

Dallon in Iowa was curious about my take on joint versus separate checking accounts in a marriage.  I’m very passionate about this topic and believe it cuts to the core of the level of intimacy two people desire for their marriage.

I also got to brag about my cousin in Ohio and the wonderful gift he provided his new wife for their wedding!

Today’s Mentionables:

Episode 94 – So, I Married a Financial Coach – My wife, Elisa, was my guest and we talked about the ups and downs of getting on the same page financially

Subscribe to the Past Due: Radio Podcast:

  • coach2wealth

    I agree that in marriage we should have one joint account.

    My wife and I had separate accounts for years. Both accounts were joint accounts and all transactions were downloaded into Quicken regularly. I actually thought it was easier this way. The regular bills and my spending came out of “my” account and my wife operated out of her account. The reality was I was always transferring funds between the accounts to maintain their low water mark. We also did 90% of our spending on credit cards. We paid the balance monthly, but that added to the stress because the bill was almost always higher than I expected, which was foolish because those transactions were downloaded at the same time as the bank transactions.

    When we took control and started budgeting the “perceived” need for the two accounts disappeared. We stopped using credit cards for purchases and went to one account and it couldn’t be easier. We still have multiple accounts. For example, there is the business checking account, money market accounts for the emergency fund, car fund and annual bills. All these accounts are labeled and tracked in Quicken too.

    On the separate accounts for blow money, I don’t think there is a difference between having separate accounts for blow funds and having cash in your pockets. Personally, I’m the type that might only use part of my blow money monthly and save most of it for a big purchase. I would hate to carry that around in cash. I also don’t think it matters if this account is shared or not. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the account transactions being viewed by your spouse, if that is what you choose. It might even be a good idea if you have created trust issues in your marriage. Likewise, if the accounts are hidden from your spouse I don’t see this as an issue either. If your blow money was in cash how would your spouse know how you spent it?

    I understand a couple’s mindset on separate accounts. I understand the perception that it’s cleaner or easier. If you are in your marriage for keeps, then getting on a financial plan and combining your funds is substantially easier! Take it from those of us that have done both. If your accounts are separated because you aren’t committed to your marriage, then get marriage help. You may not need counseling. You may need coaching! There are a lot of married people that “want” a solid life time committed partner, but have been programmed very poorly by our society and their own families. If you desire an exceptional marriage, then get a good coach and get reprogrammed for success. Then combine your accounts. : )

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    Hey coach2wealth,

    I really appreciate you telling your story! It sounds like there was a noticeable learning curve in your experience with your wife.

    While my wife and I always managed our money out of one joint checking account, we certainly had some differences of opinion that led to arguements. We made it a point to work through those times, and we're much better off for it now. Sometimes I worry about those couples who throw in the towel at early signs of financial problems and go open separate accounts. It's like an escape hatch that prevents a couple from reckoning with the true problem.

    You're right, though – it comes down to the fundamental question: are you committed to your spouse for life?

    Thanks for the comment!

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    Hey coach2wealth,

    I really appreciate you telling your story! It sounds like there was a noticeable learning curve in your experience with your wife.

    While my wife and I always managed our money out of one joint checking account, we certainly had some differences of opinion that led to arguements. We made it a point to work through those times, and we're much better off for it now. Sometimes I worry about those couples who throw in the towel at early signs of financial problems and go open separate accounts. It's like an escape hatch that prevents a couple from reckoning with the true problem.

    You're right, though – it comes down to the fundamental question: are you committed to your spouse for life?

    Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.EngagedMarriage.com Dustin | EngagedMarriage

    I finally caught up to this podcast, and WOW, it was fantastic! As Derek knows, I totally agree with his take on the all-important issue of Joint vs. Separate accounts in marriage. And he did such a great job of explaining his position and using Biblical references to demonstrate why “joint” everything is the way God intended it.

    Well done!

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    Hey Dustin,

    Thanks for your feedback on this show! The Joint vs. Separate thing really seems to cut to chase for most couples on how they view marriage. It's funny to me that something so simple could be so profound!

    It really does come down to how committed a couple is to their marriage; if they have a Biblical worldview, then God at the center and two becoming one flesh should be the mantra.

    Thanks for all you're doing to help others experience intimacy in their marriages!

  • http://pastdueradio.com/115-past-due-the-best-software-for-your-money 115 Past Due – The Best Software For Your Money — Past Due: Radio

    […] 105 – The Great Checking Account Debate – Dallon asked a question during this show that sparked my passion for financial […]

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