Originally Posted by TC (Houston)
I think you two just need to have a candid discussion and come to an agreement on how you want to handle things. Personally, I would not comingle any significant amount of money with a woman outside of a (good) marriage. You're just setting yourself up for a big mess if it doesn't work out, and also you're going to make it much harder to designate separate property if you do decide to enter into a pre-marital contract.
I agree with CG, when you get married, your wife becomes #1. You guys need to decide what you want, then discuss if with your parents. If they don't agree, then you may indeed need to walk away from that support and start over. Frankly you'll probably be a better man for it. Maybe if they see your dedication to your new wife, they will come around. I'm married 7 years, with several joint accounts, but we each maintain a personal account which the other does not have access to. A set amount is automatically transferred into the private accounts each month to cover our discretionary expenses. It's nice to be able to keep some things secret, especially around birthdays and holidays.
Very, very, very good advice.
Never mingle finances outside of marriage. If you ever doubt this, spend a day in court watching 50% of the docket being taken up by ex-couples suing each other for expenses, loans, etc... incurred during the relationship.
When you get married though, wife is number one. And finances will probably be the most common source of arguments.
FWIW - My wife and I have separate accounts, but we have a great deal of trust and are on the same page financially. I came into the marriage with a mortgage. I make about three times as much as she does. I pay the mortgage and cell phone, she pays utilities and car insurance, we split groceries, and I usually spring for the big ticket items and most nights out. Works out well for us, but we're very lucky in that we live really simply and save about 17% of our household income every month.