How do you manage finances as a couple?

gardengrlNovember 15, 2005

As I am aware the number one issue couples argue about is money (#2 is sex), I'm curious as to how you and your partner manange your household finances?

Do you have dual incomes? One? Separate accounts? Who manages the budget? How did you find a common ground? What works or doesn't work for you?

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steve_o

Though I'm not married anymore, one area about which we never argued was money. We were DINKS (double-income, no kids). Both of us had full-time jobs. There was one joint account and each of us had an account associated with businesses we had on the side. Both paychecks went into the joint account, except for the money put into savings and retirement plans.

One of the things which helped us immensely was that we both had similar attitudes toward money and spending. That probably saved us untold hours of "discussion." Some of the things we did:

- We put a limit on how much each partner could spend without consulting the other partner. Beyond that number (say, $100) the purchase had to wait for approval or re-negotiation of the limit from the other partner.

- Before major expenditures were made (house, cars, Christmas gifts), we agreed upon how much we would spend. These were not numbers pulled out of thin air. Exceeding those numbers required sitting down and discussing why we wanted to go higher.

- We found out the hard way that only one person should pay the bills. There were too many times when one of us thought the other had sent out the payments. That created some serious credit issues. Don't do that :-\

Hope this helps ....

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 2:14PM
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devorah

We were married while we were both still in college, so scrimping and saving were the order of the day. I became the family billpayer and bookkeeper by default. My husband wouldn't do it and that has mostly been okay. We never used my salary for ordinary living expenses so I was able to move in an out of the workforce as children and health dictated. A few years ago, my husband said that he wanted a substantial allowance. I balked at first, but it really works very well because I never experience any surprises due to unexpected purchases on his part. He operates totally within his cash allowance. We agree on all major purhases and he trusts me to decide what is affordable for us. Money is a non-issue for us.

My eldest daughter and her husband are dinks and intend to stay that way. They make lots of money, most of which goes into a joint account. They also have separate accounts so that each can manage his or her own allowance. My daughter keeps the books and makes nearly all the financial decisions in the family, but gives her husband veto power so that he doesn't feel entirely left out of things.

My younger daughter married quite late. She and her husband have entirely separate accounts and constantly negotiate on who is to pay what. This is not working well at all. Recently they went and looked at new furniture. They agreed on what to get, but when the bill arrived my daughter's husband said that he never agreed to pay half and now they are arguing about it. For them, this is a terrible system. I understand when people bring substantial assets into a marriage and there are children involved that keeping finances separated may be the best idea, but I just hate to see people starting out that way unless there are unusual circumstances

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 1:11PM
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rick2752

My wife and I have separate accounts. I make a great deal more than she does and I pay a proportional amount of the bills as well. Instance I make 70% of our income and pay the entire mortgage and a few other bills to equal that amount. If I work overtime it is my extra, the same for her. It keeps me from worrying about what she bought as long as she keeps up her bills she can buy what she wants.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 12:07AM
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jlhug

Our philosophy is we got married for better or worse, for richer or poorer, etc. We have one checking account where both our paychecks are deposited. Right now my DH is the designated "bill payer" but who holds that job changes every few years, it seems. It depends on who has the most time to do it. Its worked for us for 32 years now. I cannot remember one fight about money during our marriage.

Trust and good communication are important parts of being married in my humble opinion.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 2:12PM
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deniseandspike

There were money issues in both of our first marriages so we each keep separate checking/savings accounts. We both work and have no children--and make the same amount of money. We split the bills evenly and any money left over is ours to spend or save. I'm a spender and he's a saver so it works out good. I don't feel guilty buying whatever I want and he doesn't feel like I'm taking his savings for my shopping trips. For large joint purchases, we try to even them out. I'm paying for an addition on the house and he's paying for a travel trailer. We try to keep it fair and we haven't had any problems.

We do still have one person in charge of paying the bills. I make them all out and give him his checks to sign. I also keep both checkbooks balanced because it's more important to me than it is to him.

De

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 2:01PM
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Happyladi

We have a joint checking account where both our paychecks aer deposited. We have both inherited some money and we keep that separate but the rest of the money is put togeather. It is ours not hers and his.

I pay the bills every month.

I work part time and my husband makes 5 times what I do, but I also do most of the home care.

It works well for us but we have always been on the same page where money is concerned. We are both savers that hate debt. We do enjoy our money but we never spend beyond our means.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 3:32PM
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randy427

We both have our own checking and savings accounts, with the other as joint owner in case of real emergency (which has never arisen) and our own credit cards (which are not allowed to carry over a balance).
Based on relative incomes, I pay the mortgage, utilities, auto insurance, my credit cards (which includes dining out and home maintenance/improvements) and tithing. She pays for groceries and her credit card bills (which includes most, but not all, kids' and other household expenses). We'll occasionally discuss who should pay for a significant purchase, but it usually comes down to who wants it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 5:44PM
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chelone

Dual income, no kids. We both work full time. We have household checking, savings, and long range investment accounts. Individually, we have our own savings accounts, retirement accounts, and credit cards. We don't carry any revolving debt. We tend toward frugality, preferring to rehab. old furniture rather than buy new, and we eschew the consumer mentality in general.

We contribute weekly to our household accounts based on our budget. We confer with each other about purchases in excess of $100, too. I am in charge of writing checks and paying the bills. We balance the accounts together.

I tend to be more conservative with money than he, but we work well as a team. He has learned from my dogged dedication to savings and investing and I've learned that it's OK to use some of the "pile" for things that will bring you joy and delight.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:42AM
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runninginplace

My husband and I both work, and we have 2 kids-teenagers who are expensive critters. We married after each of us had lived on our own and thus had established financial lives with separate credit and bank accounts.

We have what we call the house account, and we each put a proportionate amount (he makes about a third more than I do) into that monthly. The vast majority of our spending comes out of that-school tuition, all household expenditures both routine and unexpected, taxes, insurance etc. Each of us has our own separate checking and savings accounts and of course retirement accounts-we do 403 plans so those are individual. But for retirement I try to maintain a ratio of saving 10% of our joint gross income annually, budgeted according to each one's earnings. Credit is in my name as we use one reward credit card I had before our marriage; my husband has a card in his name but it is my account. We pay it off every month. I handle the bookkeeping and general money management. We tend to have the same broad financial outlook though he is more frugal than I and usually reluctant about large expenditures. That is the only friction we generally have, and generally we do what I want in the end :).

I think it matters less how one manages than that a couple *agrees* on the system. I've had a shocked reaction from some people about us having our own accounts, but we don't argue about money and it works for us.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 10:39PM
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scryn

We have a joint account. We had separate accounts the first year of marriage, just because we were too lazy to change, and finally I saw we were losing so much money because if we combined our savings our interest rate would be much better. We combined all our savings and work off the same checking account also. My husband carries cash and if I want something I will ask him for money. This way we don't ever overdraw our checking account and I spend less. I seem to buy more things if I have cash in my hand than if I don't .
We discuss all purchases, unless it is food. He buys lunch everyday and I make my own. We pay alot of bills online so we can see what eachother has payed. The system works well and if we send out for a big bill we will just tell the other that so they know the account my be low.
We don't use credit cards for anything so we don't have to worry about that. My husband has one card that he carries for emergencies. I don't even have a card. If I want to purchase something on line he lends me the card to use. It really makes life easier to not have a whole bunch of cards floating around. I love it! We really try to live within our means and we are both proud of the amount that we have saved . However we also spend alot of money of "fun" things that we want. That is our way of treating ourselves for working hard. However we also discuss our purchases and do research to make sure we are buying a quality product. We don't usually impulse buy.
-renee

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 9:16AM
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steve_o

scryn, I'm glad the system you have works for you and DH. However, you should be aware that you are setting yourself up for possible problems down the road: since DH is the one with the credit card, and you (collectively) pay cash for lots of stuff, if anything happens to DH and he is no longer around, you will not have a recent credit history. Which could make applying for even your own emergency credit card difficult. I would recommend that you get a credit card in your name and "exercise" it every now and then by charging something (even if you have the cash for it) and paying it off over a few months. That way you'll at least maintain your own credit history in case you ever need it.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 9:27AM
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davidandkasie

My wife and I have a joint checking account. each of us has our own credit cards, though neither uses them unless absolutely necessary.

I never carry any money unless i am going out of town. She carries the check book and check card for shopping. I pay all our bills online, with the exception of our electric and our water adn those she pays by check.

everything she spends, she gives me the amount, where it was, and check number so that i can enter them into Quicken. she keeps a running balance in the check register, and i keep one in Quicken.

before any major pruchase, we agree on how much to spend. Neither of us ever splurge on ourselves, unless we have enough for the other to do the same.

until we get some hospital bills paid off, we really do not have any splurge money. Christmas gifts were bought with our bonuses from work.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 11:49AM
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kittiemom

DH & I both work full-time & have no kids. We have a joint account. I basically pay all the bills. If I pay a really large one, I advise DH of what the account balance will be. We have online banking, but I don't think he ever accesses it. The only times he looks at the balance are when he makes a cash withdrawal at the ATM or on the rare occasions when we have a paper check to deposit. Our paychecks are both set up for electronic deposit. He has no idea when he sees that balance how much of the balance is in outstanding checks.

We both have credit cards, both joint and separate. We both have retirement accounts. We discuss major purchases before making a decision. We don't have a set dollar amount that must be discussed, but generally we don't buy anything over $200 without discussing it. It is rare for either of us to do that. The major exceptions have been occasional splurge gifts.

Our situation is much like Chelone's. I tend to be more conservative than DH. He says he's learned a lot from me & feels that if he had married someone who wasn't conservative, he'd be in a lot of debt. I've learned that sometimes it's okay to spend some of that moeny on things you will enjoy instead of keeping the money in the bank.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:21PM
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chisue

Just a sec while I finish spraying my hair and blotting my lipstick. There!

I just don't *understand* what the fuss is all about. What ever happened to the good old days? You know: He brings money home. I spend it! Now, isn't that just so sweet and simple? See, I knew you'd like it.

Seriously, folks, if you can't function as a team, with mutual respect, it doesn't matter who has what account.

I pay our bills from a joint checking account. Where the money comes from is a lot simpler now that we are both retired -- it comes from our investments for the most part, with some direct deposits from soc sec and pension.

I spend very little in cash (and have never used an automatic cash machine because I plan ahead). Everything that can be charged without a fee, is charged. Everything that can be paid by automatic withdrawal out of a charge account or the checking account is paid that way. Our charge accounts are paid in full every month. Our accounts acrue airline miles which we use mostly for upgrades or for "free" tickets for our DS and DIL or charities. At the end of the year I look at what we've spent and figure out the following year's budget. The charge and checking statements make that easier.

DH and I have always talked about our goals -- financial and personal. We've had years where we saved like crazy and some where we spent -- well maybe not spent like crazy, unless you count when we built this house. Maybe time has dimmed the memory, but I don't think we ever fought over money. (We've been married 41 years.)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 5:54PM
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janemarie5

We both work.. we have two checking accounts. I pay mortgage, taxes, weekly walmart trips.. He pays all utilities, cell phones, groceries. We both put money into work retirements and pay our own credit card bills. We find middle ground on everything else.. Sometimes he pays when we go out, sometimes I do. We needed a new mower and he paid for and the next big purchase I might pay for. We really don't fight about money. I would say we both pay out equal amounts at the end of each month. We do discuss most purchases ahead of time.. although I have to say I didn't know when he went out shopping with a friend he would be coming home with a dirt bike LOL I do have a coworker and although her husband makes proportionately more than her she pays more of the bills. He gives her X amount of money each week and the rest is his. Obviously this makes for much resentment from her.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:05PM
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jlhug

ChiSue, I totally understand the "What's mine is mine and what's his is mine" philosophy.

Joan, who is typing while admiring her new manicure and pedicure and eating bonbons. (not)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 9:38PM
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Valerista

We're DINKS too, and we make about the same amount. We used to have separate accounts, but actually, I'm the spender and he's the saver, and if I had totally free rein over everything I made, I'd blow too much. Sharing an account makes me more disciplined, so it works out.

We have joint credit cards and joint debit cards. Our salaries go into joint checking and we parcel some out into savings each month. He's started putting aside 20% of his salary into TSP since he's a government employee, and I have stock through work.

We love Quicken and use it as well, but if you use it, try to synch your online bank accounts with it - it's much better than having to enter expenditures manually.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 2:05PM
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epi117

we have been married 16 years, we have always used one checking , one savings, she has some cards, i have a few and some are for both. we just play it by ear as to what purshases to make and how to pay them. has worked out great.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 8:31PM
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agnespuffin

We are the old fashioned types. The Man supports the family and pays the usual monthly bills. The money the Woman makes is the extra for emergencies, savings, fun, etc. We had a joint account for his paycheck and all household bills were paid from that. My paycheck went into a separate account that I could use when it was needed, like college tuition for three kids. It worked our entire married life until we both retired.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 11:05AM
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chelone

Man doesn't conribute to savings, too?!

Do you live entirely on SS, or what?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 6:32PM
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agnespuffin

Chelone, you are asking me, right? Man didn't contribute to savings because in early marriage he made barely enough to live on. Later, things got better. When the kids started college, I went to work. Now we live on SS plus IRA payments. It can be done. Does that answer your question?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 6:42PM
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Meghane

We do everything jointly. He manages the daily finances because he has time and I don't. Plus he's a little more attentive than I am. I am the long-term financial advisor because he doesn't really understand investments and such. We agree on major purchases, and stick to a budget with other stuff. I contributed a grand total of $67.32 last year, but I am a vet student so that eats up 99.9% of my time. I'm working very part-time now, and will have a full-time job this summer. I traveled with school last summer. When I graduate, my salary should be equal to what he makes, so we will double our current income. I should have the school loans and credit card debt paid off within 5 years if not sooner. We already have full contribution to his 401k, and I'll start one (if offered in my job) or another retirement plan then. Also we'll have money to invest into stocks, etc. But we do everything together.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 6:26PM
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joyfulguy

The only way that I could arrange that is if I could develop a split personality.

(Some might claim that I'm there already).

I make the money.

Well - not really - mostly I made it, earlier, and contributed to pension plans, now they pay me.

And I spend it. Rather frugally.

Arguing with myself, on occasion. I even get to answer back - which some say is the first sign of insanity.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 3:32PM
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shroppie

Hubbie makes the money, I stay at home and manage the money. His paycheck goes directly into our checking account. Bills are paid from the checking account and each of us also have a savings account with ATM access. The ATM accounts are funded every 2 weeks and take care of gas and no questions asked blow money. We're both expected to be mature enough to set aside $ from the blow accounts for gifts to each other (b-day, christmas, anniversary, etc)

I handle the actual bill paying. We set aside time to establish a yearly budget broken down by pay period and review it each quarter based on needs and wants.

We're debt free except for the mortgage. We have 2 credit cards (Discover and a M/C for those times when Discover isn't accepted) used for things already in the budget, so there are no surprises and the balance is paid off monthly.
It's worked exceptionally well for us and has eliminated $ arguments.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 9:22PM
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celticmoon

Married 22 years, husband's income was twice mine and plenty enough for us. My job was more stressful and consuming. I did most domestic stuff: shop, cook, clean and manage the money. Two years ago I quit the horror job and now am self employed part time - making maybe 20% of husband's salary. But it evens out the household workload inequity - I call it "payback for 20 years cookin' and cleanin'" and it is fair. We are both happier and have more free time.

One checking household account, one savings account, two investment accounts, one credit card - all joint. Siphon off retirement savings first, dump salary into checking, pay bills and expenses, move extra to savings and investments. We have separate retirement acccounts (two each)and I have another checking account and credit card for my business.

I pay the bills and have tracked every cent in Quicken for years. We live on half our income, and the rest seems to go 50/50 to taxes/savings. We will save more when the mortgage ends in three years. I guess either of us could just slap down the credit card and buy a diamond or a plasma TV without telling the other first, but I don't see that happening. I have a careful budget we stick to, and anything exceptional (a new used car, a basement bathroom, dental crown work) we prioritize and pay out of savings in a way that doesn't hurt the long range financial plan.

We have never stressed or quarreled over money. Ever. Maybe because one manages the money and the other trusts and doesn't criticize decisions. Helps too that we are similar in frugality, consumption and charitable inclinations - we don't have expensive taste or habits. That's good because we would give each other anything, anything, without question.

Living well below our income has worked well. Easy to do when the early years were so lean!! These times are luxurious by comparison!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 4:53PM
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fivemonkeys

We've been married nearly 18 years. For the last 13 years, I've been a SAHM (we have five kids). We have a joint checking account, a joint money market account, and a joint "slush fund" account (for things like birthday presents, lunches/dinners out, miscellaneous expenditures, etc.). His paycheck is direct-deposited into our checking account and a small portion also goes into our mm account and our little slush fund.

I do the physical paying of the bills because I'm much more detail-oriented and organized with things like due dates, procedures in paying on-line, etc. We always manage/discuss/plan our usage of money (the regular bills as well things like orthodontics for the kids, vacation funds, our retirement plans, etc.) together, and this has really worked out well for us and we enjoy having a very intimate marriage; we're full partners in everything from being a couple, being parents, being financial mates, etc.

Interesting question :-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 5:40PM
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jeremyh11

In response to Steve_0's comment of credit history. While you are correct in that she would not have a credit history. It is incorrect to say that she would be better off with a card in her own name carrying a balance for a few months. I work for Citibank(the largest issuer of credit cards in the world) and I can tell you that this is a common misconception. If a person has an account in his or her own name and never ever uses it it actually looks better and builds a better history than carrying a balance for a few months. Also it is best to spend less than 50% of your credit line, what is reported to the credit bureau each month is based off of your monthly statement, so you do not want your statements printing showing more than 50% usage of your credit line. Even if you are not using your card you will be reported as paying on time (without ever using it) which will help build your credit score which is the primary factor in determining ones credit worthiness!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 2:30AM
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steve_o

Thanks, Jeremy. It always helps to get the straight scoop from someone in the biz.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 10:14AM
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chuckr30

I agree with SteveO: only one person should pay the bills. We did get a finance charge once when we thought the other had paid the house payment.

I'm not married anymore but I will tell you what we did. We had both names on all accounts, however we each had our own checking account so we didn't have to remember to ask the other for the checkbook all the time. At our bank you had a base account number. On that account we had a savings, a money market, and 2 checking accounts.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 11:54AM
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chuckr30

Jeremyh,

Dave Ramsey (a popular national financial radio host) says not having a credit cards hurts your credit rating because your credit rating is based mostly (not entirely) on your usage of credit, i.e. credit cards. He has even had people call in asking why their credit rating is so low even though they do not have any credit card accounts open.

How do you explain that?

I might also add that if the person above merely put her name on the credit account, it will affect her credit score, and she does not need to carry or use a credit card. When you are married and both your names are on the account, both of your credit scores are affected, for better or for worse, as it is.

Anyone who has been divorced will tell you this, as will a divorce lawyer.

If person A gets divorced, and never used the credit card (though their name was on the account), and person B ran up lots of bills and never paid them, person A will get a bad credit rating just like person B. It does not matter who made the charges, all people on the account are responsible and all will get a bad credit rating.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 1:14PM
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gibby2015

We've been married 28 years - both of us have worked most of that time and have nearly equal incomes. I have managed all of our finances since we got married. When we talked about getting married (DH had one more year of college) he asked me to come up with a budget to make sure we could afford to get by. I did and we lived under a pretty strict budget for many years until we finally attained a little more financial freedom.

Everything has always gone into one checking account. About fifteen years ago I started recording everything in Quicken - DH refers to it as big brother - because I know know where all the $ go. All savings come out immediately when the paychecks are deposited. We don't use credit cards except for reimbursed business travel or online purchases that are paid in full monthly. We use debit cards and cash for most purchases - rarely use a checkbook anymore. We have practically no debt - just a modest mortgage for our lake cabin. Our home is paid for.

I have run a pretty tight ship over the years and sometimes it was hard for DH to restrain his spending. However he is financially responsible at heart and I know he trusted me to make sound decisions. And we do fundamentally agree on things - though he likes to buy more expensive things than I do. Overall though we've had very little disagreement about finances and our approach has really paid off for us because we went from having not much to having a very comfortable life.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 9:35PM
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jiggreen

this is a great thread!! one thing i've learned is that i most definitely need to figure out how to use quicken!!

DH and I have 2 checking accounts, his paycheck gets direct deposited into one (it's out of state, so that's the only funding that account gets). our other checking account is in a local credit union (where our savings account is also), so we have local access for things like checks and the tips i make at work (i'm a food server). Both of our names are on all of our bank accounts, but he carries a credit card solely in his name, and i carry one in mine. (i got burned badly during a divorce, when the judge divided up the credit card debt 50/50 on our joint accounts. i was paying my share, ex husband never paid his, and the credit card companies came after me for it. they didn't care what the judge's division of the debt responsibility was, all they cared about was my name was on the credit cards too. lesson well learned!!)

in our house, DH is responsible for making the money that goes into our primary checking account, i am responsible for disbursing it to pay bills, taxes, groceries, and other of life's little "have to haves" and "want to haves". i try to keep DH in the loop when it comes to how the finances are looking on a monthly basis. if i've just paid a lot of bills and it's 2 weeks until his next paycheck, i give him a heads up and tell him to please only use cash (and not the visa debit/atm card from that particular account). our system works ok for us, but it could most certainly use some fine tuning.

i'm going to go back and reread all the postings in this thread to see how we can modify the way we handle our finances. it was interesting to see that several people mentioned that if the other spouse was going to make an over $100.00 purchase that it needed to be discussed ahead of time. in theory that seems like a good idea, but i think that method would get DH and i in trouble pretty quickly. a lot of $25.00 or $50.00 purchases in any given month could add up, and really ruin the budget, especially if DH felt that as long as it was under $100.00 it didn't need discussion.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 9:22AM
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drcindy

This is an interesting thread! Hubby and I will be married 10 years this summer and have no kids. I make substantially more than him. We have one joint account, where all my money goes into. He deposits $200/wk into this account to help with all the bills. Then he has 25% go into his 401k (I contribute 15%), plus extra into his stock plan, and the remainder into another joint account that's really his account. That is his play money. It was set up mostly because during the early phases of our marriage, he would spend horrible amounts of money on his hunting hobby/supplies, which made me angry because it was mostly my money, for something I receive no benefit from. So that has helped tremendously. He just has to make sure he has enough funds to cover whatever he is buying. I pay the bills because it's easier for me, plus he tends to get hot around the collar thinking of all the money he has to pay for various expenses. Any major purchases have to be agreed upon by both of us. Our system has worked out well for us.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 3:27PM
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joyfulguy

gibby3000,

And, just suppose, you were to die tomorrow.

Does Hubs know enough about the various aspects of the financial situation that he could carry on reasonably smoothly?

Of course, should he choose to go on something of a spending spree, now that Big Brother wasn't in charge nearly as much as when he and Big Sister were in league to do it together ...

... the consequences ...

would be his to cope with.

I've met a number of women whose husbands were in charge of the family's affairs ... who scarcely knew how to write a cheque, let alone manage the family's full spectrum of financial affairs.

In some situations, some financial shyster showed up and managed skilfully to finesse them out of a fairly large proportion of the assets that her husband has scrimped and saved to meticulously put in place to take care of her were he not there to do so.

Tragic, that.

Have a good winter - what's left of it.

Hope you have enough hot air to manage comfortably.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 12:45PM
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jenathegreat

We make roughly the same salaries. We have joint and seperate accounts. We both put roughly 60% of each paycheck in the joint accounts (direct deposit) and keep the rest to do with as we see fit. We have his/hers/ours credit cards and savings accounts too.

We had lengthy discussions about what is joint vs. seperate expenses when we were engaged. Turns out that most things are joint... my expensive haircuts and those cute sandals I don't really need are seperate expenses as are his computer gadgets/games.

We don't have a set amount that requires the other's approval in order to purchase, but we do tend to consult with each other if it's frivolous and expensive or just costs more than we think it should (most consultations are made by cell phone while one of us is in the store contemplating the purchase)

We've been married 3 years, no money fights yet.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 12:48PM
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gibby2015

joyfulguy - ya know, DH and I have actually discussed that very thing - quite a few times. In fact, I've mentioned that he runs the risk of being like women used to be in the "old days" when the man did everything. He's not particularly interested in managing finances but he's used Quicken to some extent and everything he needs to know could be uncovered there pretty easily if he had to figure it out. After all this time, I've learned that I can't make him take an interest in something if he doesn't want to. But at least things will be organized and understandable if the time ever comes that he needs to take over.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 9:36PM
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joyfulguy

gibby3000,

So - he's not too interested in money management(?)(!).

Learning how money works - is an interesting hobby - that pays well.

Next time he sits down on the commode, suggest that he look at the roll of toilet paper ...

... and imagine that the top sheet, sitting there staring him in the face, is a $50.00 bill.

That he's about to flush down the toilet.

Same for the time after that.

And the one after that.

If he asks how long he should carry on doing such visualizations, tell him that you don't know - it rather depends on how many stupid mistakes he might make in managing your family's money ...

... after possible expenses related to your final illness, plus funeral costs are paid ...

... when you're no longer around to ask what's the best way to fly.

Depends on the size of your assets.

And how they are invested.

And a number of other things.

Like I said - learning how money works is an interesting hobby.

That pays well.

That they shoud teach more of in school - but don't.

That we should learn more of at home - but (often) don't.

Some years ago when I showed a display at a Fall Fair in a nearby town, one guy asked me what right I had to call myself a financial planner - and I said I learned how to manage money differently than most town folks ...

... when I grew up on the farm.

He said that had nothing to do with it.

Oh, yes, it does.

And I told him of some of my other qualifications, as well.

Have a glorious weekend.

Save and invest 10% of your money ...

... and ...

... retire early.

An article in what I consider Canada's pre-eminent personal money management magazine carried an article recently by a guy who retired at 34.

He's happy - he says.

I'm not about to dispute his word on that.

ole joyful

P.S. Also suggest to hubby that you don't recommend that he develop a habit of becoming anally retentive, O.K?

o j (not orange juice)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 12:54PM
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celticmoon

Ah Gibby, we are twins, me in Wisconsin and you in Minnesota - though your kichen is way nicer! ;-)

DH every once in a while says, "So if something happens to you, how do I figure out everything" (moneywise). And for the 100th time I show him the Quicken screen *AND* the top file drawer with the very first manila folder summarizing everything *AND* remind him about the safety deposit key to the thing at the bank literally next door that tells all. Sheesh!! I can't make this easier for him!! Everything is pretty much on auto pilot at this point. LOL.

PS OT: Still love your oak kitchen and hope your granite isn't too chilling!

And PS to Joyful: see, you are a rare and truly competent man, and you do not quite appreciate the struggles we have with mortal male partners...perhaps you could clone yourself?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 12:48AM
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joyfulguy

celtic moon,

Next time you get into a discussion on your favourite topic (yeah - we Canadians spell funny) ...

... please point to your head as well.

Quicken is one thing.

As are file drawers, pages of records, safe deposit box keys, and all the rest ...

... but the major component is ...

... the human brain, with all of its training, experience, skills - and intuition.

Can't be duplicated (well, hasn't been ... yet).

Have a lovely weekend - one of the great things about retirement: every day's *weekend*!

And, finally - thanks much for the compliment!

I have a story about clergy*men* (quite a few in our church are female) that says that I think that all of them must have been born in this county (Middlesex), where I was born, and currently reside (again) ...

... cause I think that everyone expects them to be semi-female!!

But there's too much space used for this, already.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 11:23AM
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dontknow

DINKS here too. Married 12 years.

I have managed all the money tracking on the computer for 12 years. Have it set now where it pretty much takes care of itself by leveraging automatic scheduling offered by utilites, mortgage, car loan and insurances,investments and savings.

All credit cards are paid in full each month. We don't make a killing but consider it more important to know how and why not to spend in order to reap the benefits that go along with saving / investing it.

My wife is a dream come true with money (and everything else). Wants minimal stuff and always finds the bargains.

I lost my job of 14 years in upstate NY (along with most everyone else) last year and we've managed to get through that OK. Been working since September although only in order to make money although very much derailed my career path.

We're now considering a move further upstate (if that makes any sense), since my wife is burnt out from her work and I have an opportunity for better advancement there.

It'll be interesting to see how we do it all.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 3:06PM
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gibby2015

Hi celticmoon - so glad to hear I'm not "alone" with my financial management situation!! I really have no complaints though - it all works out just fine and I'm thankful to not have money woes. I don't worry too much about DH - he's a bright industrious guy who will figure things out if he has to - yours probably is too!!

The granite was pretty chilly this weekend with temps below zero....I've taken to just wearing thick sleeves and keeping my hands off the counter as much as possible....

I'm trying to branch out but I'm not sure I'll ever leave Kitchens.....see ya over there.....

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 7:38PM
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stella_2006

This has been a fun thread to read! My husband works full time and I stay home with our kids. When we were first married, we had a joint account and that did not work well for us. It seemed like we were always overdrawn because of lack of communication. Now we have all of his paycheck deposited into my account. He runs totally off cash that I pull out for him weekly and I pay for everything out of my individual checking account. He has a stressful job so he appreciates not having to worry about our bills and savings on top of everything else. He says that he is the bread maker and I am the bread slicer. :)

-Stella

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 1:42PM
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joyfulguy

Stella 2006,

Both of you well bread-ed, I assume.

Have you noticed that, if you slice it thicker, like the "Texas Toast" loaves in the stores (if you have that kind in your area) ...

... the loaf doesn't seem to last as long?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 3:25PM
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