Post # 1
Ok, I guess I should give some background… I am in my 20’s, never been married, have a college degree and a great job that pays pretty well. I bought a house last summer and have a fairly newer car that I bought once I graduated college. I make good money, but I also have a lot of bills with student loans, mortgage, insurance, etc but I’m not by any means struggling- I just really watch my money. I was paying my bills just fine and saving up a nice little amount (for a cushion) and then I met my FH. He was your typical bachelor- paid his bills but never really on time and whatnot, was renting a house. He’s worked at the same place for a number of years, and his paycheck isn’t spectacular since a good portion of his check goes to his ex-wife for child support. He moved in with me about 8 months ago since I have the bigger house and we just thought it made sense- we knew we wanted to get married and it was pointless to have 2 sets of bills. We have the kids 5 days every 2 weeks and it really doesn’t bother me.
My FH and I get along great, we really rarely argue, but when we do- it’s bad. Our arguments have stemmed from money so far (which I know is normal and a big issue in relationships), but mainly its about what he does to spend money. He loves to play cards and does so with his friends on a regular basis. Typically, it’s once a week. I’m fine with it, I don’t care one bit for him to hang out with his friends and whatnot, but what I do care about is the excessive amounts of money that he blows! He has blown $500 in one game! & that is what we argue about…. I think it is ridiculously excessive, but he sees nothing wrong with it. He says he enjoys his card games like I enjoy my shopping… which I don’t really shop all that much. Maybe once or twice every 2 months (honestly) & its always on sale and I always buy clothes for him and the children since they are growing like crazy. Might I also add, that my FH also has a very expensive hobby that he participates in… he races and race-car upkeep and all the parts and whatnot goes with it aren’t exactly cheap, but I never say anything to him about it- its his thing and it makes him happy even if it is pricey and takes up a lot of time.
Yes, I make more money and yes, his paycheck goes into our account (it was his idea) so that his paycheck can go toward our bills, & typically he has money that he makes from flipping cars to do as he pleases with. Is it wrong that it makes me so frustrated when he asks for several hundred dollars to go blow paying poker when I feel like the money needs to stay in the bank? What happens if the children get sick and have crazy expensive doctor bills? What happens if I break my arm and have to miss 3 weeks of work? Am I wrong in thinking ahead? He now wants me to split the bills 50/50 and whatever he has left over from his paycheck that doesn’t go towards bills he wants me to give him for spending/blowing on whatever he wants money because he feels like he doesn’t have access to his money; his name isn’t on the account so he had to go through me to get any money. I plan on putting his name on it once we are officially married. The things is, there will be no money left out of his paycheck if we do the 50/50 thing, and I’ve told him that in a nice way.
Any of you other BEES have the whole make more money than your FH issue and how do you handle it? I like to have a cushion in the bank so that if anything drastic happens, I have a way to pay the bills for a month or two at least… Am I being unfair to him though?
Post # 3
Hmm… i do kind of see his point in that he should be allowed to have spending money. i don’t know if splitting things 50/50 is fair when you make more. i think it should be based on your income and fairly divided by that.
i can totally see why you would be upset. i would be too, if my FI blew so much money on card games. have you asked him to maybe limit it to a hundred or two per week? that way he can still have fun playing but not waste so much money?
in the end, though, i think he needs to feel like he has some independence. he is working hard for his money, so he should get to spend some of it. just like you have the right to save yours.
Post # 4
@britt821: I wouldn’t have a problem with anything you described about him except the card games. That’s insane and it’s gambling. It’s nothing like shopping, with shopping you have something to show for it, like a new pair of shoes for your kid. Gambling can become an addiction, like a drug addiction. Are you sure you want to sign up for that for life? That’s something I would never be able to cope with.
You could end up losing every single thing you own due to his gambling at some point. It happens.
Post # 5
I think if the roles were reversed, and it was the DH making more, people would be saying he’s being unfair in not splitting things 50/50. Be realistic: if you lost your job tomorrow, you would expect him to take over the bills alone, right? Because you are a partnership, and therefore 50/50 is what is fair, IMO.
I also don’t think it’s fair to not have his name on a bank account when his paycheque is going into it. I’m surprised he’s allowing that to happen, frankly.
I think what you need to do is create a budget: x amount goes into savings, x amount goes to bills and x amount (split in half) is to be used for whatever you want….and the other person gets no say. If he runs out before the end of the month, then too bad. My DH is much more of a saver than me, and we have found this works well for us.
Post # 6
@britt821: That would make me NUTS, but life is about compromise. I would sit down with your budget spreadsheet out and come to an agreement. Like he gets $300/mo to do with as he pleases- no questions asked. If you find something that works for both (and in a proper negotiation neither party is completely satisfied- keep that in mind) then just stick to it and don’t give him a hard time. But seriously, gambling is such a waste of money. WASTE.
Post # 7
Up until about a month ago I made significantly more than my SO. He loves to spend money and never really thinks of the consequences. Last month he emptied the joint account to pay for a new tool that he didn’t really need. He didnt tell me and the car payment actually bounced because of it. At that point I got insanely upset, he said I should have told him there were still bills to come out of the account and I said he should never have emptied out the account.
The next day I put together a budget showing exactly what our bills are each month, what each of us make and what is left over at the end of the month, approximately $1,000. I told him that money remains in the bank and goes towards savings. If he wants to spend money on tools, his muscle car etc. then he needs to start working more side jobs to make that money. Otherwise we’ve got $300 a month to go out for entertainment, $250 for tools/house repair and that’s it. Once that money is spent, it’s spent and if it goes the first week of the month then there’s nothing left for the next three weeks.
I would really suggest laying out a budget, showing exactly what each of you make after tax deductions, subtract his child support and divide the bills 50/50, show him exactly what’s left at the end of the month and honestly if he can’t control his spending I wouldn’t give him access to the account until he learns how to manage money. As well, every other week set aside to some time to review your financial status, what bills are paid and aren’t, it can make a world of difference.
Post # 8
@sleepyhead22: I have asked him to limit how much he spends, like only take $100-200 instead of more, but he doesn’t really know when to stop. I can totally see where it would be hard to do so, I can see him thinking, “I bet I can win this next hand and get all my money back, etc”. He comes home super pissed off because he’s lost the money, but I have no sympathy for him since its his own fault. My thinking, which is probably wrong, is at least when I’m shopping, I have something to show for it- the kids get new clothes/shoes, he gets a nice new shirt, etc.
Post # 9
NO i call BS. You should have a different account, that you can move money from the account the checks go into. Give him an allowence. He’s NOT thinking of his kids… at all. Are you sure you want to marry him? He sounds like a child throwing a fit. I want my money and now.
I know you love him, but he’s not prepared for his kids, emergencies/sports/college… what if you two have kids?
ETA: gambling is an addiction also
Post # 10
& i’m definitely going to put everything on paper so that he can have a visual of how much exactly the bills are and where money goes each month.
Post # 11
@britt821: I can definitely see your point, I’m always careful about money too and like to save some for a rainy day. But I do understand him too, he’s an adult and having to ask you for money is probably making him feel like a ten year-old asking his parents for ice-cream money. You know what I mean? The only problem that I see is what he spends his money on. Blowing $500 on one card game, especially if it isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime event, would worry me too. I wouldn’t want an addicted gambler to have access to our joint bank account! I’m not saying he is addicted but like a PP said, it might become an addiction over time. Maybe you could discuss that with him from the financial perspective? Tell him that you have no problem with him playing cards with the guys but that you’d be more comfortable if he didn’t play so high? Show him your shopping bills, then break it down in parts for him – how much of that money you actually spent on things for yourself and how much of it went towards things for him and for the children. If the difference is significant, it might make him think.
Post # 12
@britt821: $500 in one game? Good grief! It certainly sounds as though he is irresponsible with money. I would totally lose my s**t if my SO blew money like that, and he would lose it with me if I went shopping and spent that much. I have always earned more than SO, and a few years ago, I had issues with credit cards, and SO was very unhappy with me. But I sorted it out, and am a lot smarter with money than I used to be – you have to be in this day and age, and what you’re saying makes sense – you do need that money to fall back on. That $500 is better off in the bank than in someone else’s pocket at a poker game. By all means, he should have his boy’s nights – but there should be limits. Same with you going shopping, I’m sure you have limits. If he can’t limit his gambling, that’s a whole other issue that needs to be addressed. It shouldn’t just be you contributing to a healthy savings account, that benefits all of you – including his children.
You need to have a good talk to him about this, he needs to realise that just because he got paid, it doesn’t mean he can go and spend it. He needs to be wiser with his money, because you just never know what can happen.
Post # 13
Wait, give him an ALLOWANCE? He’s not a child, he’s a grown man. As long as he contributes his share of the bills and puts his share towards the emergency fund, the rest is his to do as he pleases! My fiance has watched me spend over $300 on a pair of shoes, and he knows it’s because I saved that out of my personal spending money. If the situation was reversed, and he was trying to tell you how to spend your extra funds, people would be lining up to tell you what a controlling jerk he was. You said yourself that his ENTIRE paycheck is going into the joint account for bills and such, and he doesn’t even have access to it. I would never allow my paycheck to go into someone else’s account and be given an allowance when they think it’s ok to spend my own money.
We have multiple accounts. Joint checking for bills, joint savings for emergency funds, vacations, etc. We also have individual accounts. We discussed how much goes into the bill pay account each month, and how much goes into the savings. Paychecks go into individual accounts, and money is transferred into the joint accounts for bills and emergency savings. Whatever is left over in our individual accounts is ours to spend as we please.
Post # 14
My FI and I have similar type situations…. We have a joint checking account with only my name on the card, but his name is on the account so he can go get money from the bank as he pleases. HE wanted me to do this because he has a bad habit of spending 5 bucks here and there saying its only 5 bucks, now. So we put his checks to direct deposit to our account and im the one who pays all the bills. He knows the price of our bills we have discussed it, and he has access to see our budget on the computer I made it in excel.
Randomly he gets upset about not having a bunch of money to spend on something expensive. He will blow it out of proportion adn basically say I waste all our money and this stuff. The thing is I never spend money without telling him… I always say hey, we need this.. or whatever. We will talk about things we want or need and decide what to do. If I want to get my hair colored this check, and he wants something more expensive he gets it next check, and so on so forth.
OP, I dont think it is fair to not give him spending money. We have set up a cash spot to save money for things personally so he can buy me things wihtout me knowing and i can do the same… he deserves access to the money he earned. However, I see your frustration in wanting to save money for planning ahead. We are still building this and will be working a lot harder towards it as we’re now saving for the wedding. That is completely reasonable. Also, his wanting to spend 500 on one game is pretty bad. One game, once a week… thats TWO GRAND!
–There definitely has to be limits to the money spent on cards. It’s gambling, and gambling can become an addiction and a major problem and I think you have every right to have a serious discussion about your concerns with that.
—I also agree that splitting things evenly is the best route in a marriage. Just because one person makes more doesn’t mean they work less hard. For my FI and I, I may be the one making more in our careers. I will be for a while. But we are a team and we work together, and so were going to split our money because my earned money is our money, and his earned money is our money. We don’t seperate it because in our opinions it’s not fair that way.
Post # 15
Wait, he has no access to his money and has to ask you every time he wants something? Yeesh, I think you need to look at your behavior and attitude first.
Seperate your finances and then divide up the bills and contribute to savings based on what you make. If you make 60% of the household income, you pay 60% of the bills. No, it isn’t “fair”, but he’s your fiance not your roommate, and if you ever lost your job you would expect him to cover 100% of the bills because he would be making 100% of the money, rather than telling you to find a new place to live. Whatever is left over is his to do with what he pleases.
But please, I know that you don’t think that he’s “responsible”, but even if that’s the case he is not your child, so don’t treat him like one. If you find that impossible you may want to reconsider the relationship.
Post # 16
I think that you should have individual bank accounts and one mutual account. Each of you should contribute to the mutual account for bills–some percentage of both of your checks should automatically go into that account–if he makes substantially less maybe he could pay a bit less towards the bills. But your individual accounts should be your own private business, at least for now. Even though you wouldn’t choose to spend your $ on race cars and poker, he shouldn’t have to feel like a child asking his mom for spending $
It is totally unfair to expect him to trust you by having his entire paycheck deposited into your account but you don’t trust him enough to have his name added to the account. You need a better system.
@gpsp2B: My husband and I have the same arrangement and it works for us