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- Some couples combine their finances when they get married, but my fiancé and I want to keep our money separate.
- We've decided not to open joint accounts or add each other as authorized users on our credit cards because our spending habits and strategies for paying down debt are very different.
- Keeping completely separate credit card accounts works well for us — we just take turns paying for big purchases so we both have opportunities to earn (and redeem) lots of rewards.
- Read Business Insider's guide to the best rewards credit cards.
As the countdown to our wedding day continues, so do the conversations about how my fiancé and I will treat our finances once we say "I do." We've had long discussions over whether we should keep things as they have been over the past four years of our lives together (we've kept all our money separate) or if we should combine our cash and our credit cards.
After weighing the pros and cons, we've decided to keep things the way they are and say no to opening joint credit cards (which is not even an option with most major issuers nowadays). We also won't add the other as an authorized user on our own accounts. While we've received pushback from family and financial experts who think it's a good idea to help pay for big purchases together and to just stay on the same page financially, we disagree.
Here are the main reasons why my fiancé and I plan to keep our credit cards completely separate, even after we get married.
We want to earn and redeem our own stash of points
My fiancé and I take our credit card rewards very seriously. From the start of our relationship, we agreed that those points would be fair game for each of us to use individually. We usually take turns paying for big joint purchases so that we can alternate who snags the points — for example, one of us just bought new furniture for the house and the other paid for home renovations.
Keeping these points and miles separate will allow each of us to use them for our own personal fun rewards. I'm planning to use a chunk of my points for a future solo trip (when COVID-19 fades away) and my fiancé is going to redeem a bunch of his to cover travel and accommodations for his bachelor party.
When you add an authorized user, any rewards they earn from spending will typically accumulate in your account — not theirs. Putting spending on our own cards will keep things simple for both earning and redeeming.
During this time we've never eyeballed each other's credit card statements. Because of that, we don't have fights over the purchases we decide to pay for on our own. It's easier to not have to explain or justify some of our personal purchases — like if I get my hair and nails done, or when he spends money on restaurant lunches and tech gadgets.
My spending habits aren't like his
I know that my spending habits are different from my fiancé's — I like to stick to a tight budget and don't spend on items like food and activities as much as he does. Sharing a credit card would make me frustrated and stressed, and I'm afraid I'd start to micromanage his usage if he were an authorized user on one of my accounts.
Some couples do the opposite and combine their credit card strategies to earn more points. Since what we're doing now works well for us (keeping our credit cards separate and taking turns paying for big-ticket items), we want to keep our approach the same as we transition to being married.
We might never combine our finances
We haven't decided if we'll ever combine our finances, and if we get married and start mingling our credit card accounts, we'd have that joint obligation even if we later choose to keep things separate. Not opening a joint credit card or adding each other as authorized users until we've made a final decision feels like the right way to go for now.
Our approaches to credit card debt are different
Our credit scores are different, as are our approaches to managing credit card debt. Adding an authorized user or opening a joint card would cause each of our credit scores to impact the other, and we'd rather continue building those up on our own. Paying off the cards using our own individual strategies helps avoid disagreements.
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