Post # 1
So hubby and I have a joint bank account together. His checks are about half of what mine is, sometimes less. Really, this wouldn’t be an issue except for I’m not in my career yet, and just holding down a job because we have bills to take care of in the meantime. We live paycheck to paycheck (just a backdrop). Anyway, like I said…really it wouldn’t be such a big deal, except for the fact that he spends the money like we actually have money. He’ll pay for groups of friends when we go out to dinner (mind you, most of them are better off than we are) even though we can’t really afford it, and recently he rented out a place that was a few hundred dollars for the night. Everyone was supposed to contribute, but when they asked him how much they should contribute…he declined their offer. There are many more things like this. I really think the only way he will be more responsible about money is if I open up a separate bank account, so that way he will have to manage with the money he makes…I feel like it will force him to learn how to balance his spending habits. I will pay the rent (which is 1k) and he will be left with bills (maybe 400). Groceries we’ll share.
Sorry if I’m rambling here….the central question is this, do you think this will create tension or resentment in our marriage, if I opened up a separate bank account and split up things in this manner? Generally..people go from separate accounts to joined, not the other way around…just curious to see what everyone thinks!
Post # 3
Have you discussed setting a budget with him before? Do you discuss these issues?
I think you are good for trying to correct this, but am not sure that your approach is the right one, unless or until you have tried to work on this with him. Your approach sounds more like “teaching him a lesson” than working on the issue as a team. Also, if you have separate accounts, you will have no knowledge/control of whether and how he pays the bills.
Post # 4
i think you’re going to have tension or resentment if things continue the way they are. why don’t you talk to him about it, tell him how you feel? maybe ask him if he can see a better solution? if not, than if that’s what works for you, than i don’t think it’s a bad thing. many couples keep seperate accounts.
Post # 5
I would definately talk to him about it. We have a joint and then our own seperate accounts. Figured out how much we need for monthly bills and put that much plus a little extra in from our paychecks and then the rest goes to our individual accounts.
Post # 6
I think I would do this as a last resort. So if you’ve talked to him about it before, and he’s still not changing his spending, then maybe he needs some tough love? Perhaps a joint account for necessary monthly bills so you know that he’s putting $400 towards those bills, and then separate accounts for any extra money?
Post # 7
My Boyfriend or Best Friend and I have seperate savings and checking for personal and a household checking account for our utilities and rent, etc. I think this works as I’m the one who is less responsible- and it reminds me I have to answer to someone for my spending. It was my idea to set it up this way- and I think it really works.
Also- you can link all of your accounts to mint.com– the free/secure site tracks and graphs your spending habits- also very helpful!
I was just set him down and say you’re concerned with how “we’re” spending money- and then make the changes to “keep track” of how “we’re” spending. I don’t think he would be offended.
Post # 8
thanks for your suggestions and opinions 🙂
We have actually sat down and discussed these things a few times before. He was the same way, even when he was unemployed and we were living off of one income. He is a *little* better but still not efficient/responsible with the money. He’ll unnecessarily spend a lot on dinner (or pay for friends just to be “kind”) and then when I say (in private…”but we don’t have that money to spend…”) He’ll say “It’s ok hun…..”
I’m left standing there dumbfounded…
I even asked him to make an excel spreadsheet of our bills/expenses since he wanted to handle paying the bills but used to pay for them late. I would do it but I go to grad school full time, and work full time in order to make ends meet. I realize he’s busy too, and he’s still in school. I know his school schedule doesn’t allow him to work while mine does. I understand that. I just don’t understand why he (being a finance guy) cannot be more responsible with our finances…
Post # 9
He probably figures that all will be well once he graduates and starts earning a living! I would suggest putting both of yourselves on a monthly “spending” budget (ie, give yourselves each X amount to spend on your own outside of bills/rent and X to spend as a couple). I would give that a shot for a few months and if he still can’t stick to it then open up separate accounts….
Post # 10
Reading this thread makes me think about how hard money issues can be for couples – one thing that people don’t think much about is how differently we all view “money” and the meaning we attach to it!
Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
Post # 11
I agree with Erindesmar. You need to try and set a budget for both of you and if he keeps blowing it, you might want to consider separate accounts with a transfer to the joint account automatically for the utilities to make sure that they get paid.
Honestly, I don’t understand why he is being so irresponsible. He should know better being a finance major (I was a finance minor) and if he thinks he is going to come out making millions of dollars right after graduation, he is so wrong! Most of my friends ended up in sales jobs making very little and this was back before the economy had turned south so it must be worse now. You two need to figure out this problem ASAP because it will only get worse. Getting into the habit of spending more than you make will just continue to get worse even if he making more because then he will want more stuff.
Post # 12
I think that it is something you really need to sit down and discuss with him… If you force it upon him, I could see where it could create some tension but if he understands the stress you are under because you are the one balancing the checkbook at the end of day he should be less inclined to be totally angry about it.
Just a question – did he grow up in a family that is more loose with their money? I ask because I did have kind of the same situation. My fiance’s parents make a good living, but their constant spending has landed them in a huge amount of debt. When we moved into together I immediately noticed that he had developed the same type of habits. I come from a family that is the opposite – very tight on their money, so it is something that really bothered me. After I sat down and talked about it with him he got it once I showed him the numbers and how if he didn’t stop buying 10 dollar lunches every day of his life and buying rounds of beers for the guys at the bar then we would be in trouble at the end of the month (we’re both full time in college so what we make is little and receive no parental help). We’re going to have a joint account once we get married but lol I’m still going to be the one in charge of the cash flow.
Post # 13
That would really get on my nerves, he’s being very irresponsible! I would have a joint account for paying bills (but only enough money for bills into it) and I would make him actually pay them so he can see where the money goes and make him take some financial responsibilty. Then, I would have the separate account with extra money and a savings account until you get things figured out. It wouldn’t be the separate accounts causing tension, it would be his lack of finanacial responsibilty and living out of his means that would be the tension.
Have you thought of going to a financial advisor or financial counseling? I know you obvisouly seem to know what you’re doing but maybe it would be a good thing to go together and talk with someone, make him more aware and involve an unbiased and uninvolved 3rd party.
Good luck, he seems like he has a big heart and is very generous but he just needs to learn that it’s a partnership now and he can’t live out of his means!
Post # 14
similar situation here. hubs is REALLY irresponsible with money. so we DO NOT have a joint account. well, we have a joint savings, but it is not tied to any ATM card. we are very different with money, and i didnt want to even deal with it. so, he gives me a check every month for x dollars, and the rest of his money is his to do as he wishes. if he overdraws his account at the bar or in-n-out (which he has done SEVERAL times) it doesnt affect the household bills. i dont have the patience or interest in making him a financially responsible adult. all i can do it mitigate. so, i suggest that you CLOSE that joint account ASAP. too much stress, too much potential for anger and resentment,
Post # 15
Yes, I think separate accounts and dividing bills will probably be helpful. And I think you’ve got to communicate about this because it could cause major problems (not sure if you have been or not).
Post # 16
FinIssues – sorry to hear you have that kind of problem.
I agree w/ the other Bees that you should just open your own account and kinda leave him hanging, so he understands that money does not fall from the sky.
He is probably generous to his friends because he doesn’t want his friends to know he has no money – i think that’s how mentally it works: it’s the rich people who are stingy/frugal, it’s the poor people who splurge. Reverse psychology. As a finance major, he should understand that the disparady will only get bigger – the rich will get richer, and the poor (himself) will get poorer if he does not stop that behavior.
Steps to correct his behavior:
1.give him cash allowance. if he spends it on items other than necessity, then he can stay home and eat for the rest of the month
2. show him your monthly finances – show him how much you guys are saving (or not saving)
3. Open an automatic deposit account where you both cannot touch the money. for example, put like $500 in ING every month automatically.
4. Do not go out with his friends or refrain from going out. That’s the only way you can truly save money – don’t go out, period
Good luck and i hope he will be have more discipline in the near future.