Sharing money?! :S

posted 3 years ago in Money
  • poll: What's the best way to handle finances as a married couple?
    Put everything into a join account & completely share what you earn : (26 votes)
    35 %
    Pay for things & save according to the percentage you earn, what's left is yours : (12 votes)
    16 %
    Depends on the couple : (37 votes)
    49 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    697 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Do you have premarital counseling that you’ll go through? That’s a great place for each of you to be able to air your concerns with a neutral third party, because it sounds like you’ll both have to learn to compromise. My husband and I are like you and your fiance in that he earns more and is much more frugal, though we are both very responsible with our money. But I agree with your fiance that part of building a marriage and a life together is in sharing finances and that conversely you could be setting yourself up for disaster by keeping everything separate. My husband and I combine finances, with our various financial viewpoints, and we never, ever fight about money (possibly because it’s all out in the open, but also because we both stick to financial goals and plans that we’ve previously agreed on).

    How will you manage your money if your financial situation changes? If one of you becomes unemployed? If one of you stays home with kids? How will you even handle finances when it comes to kids? If one of you wants to make a large person that the other doesn’t? I think it would help to have discussions about “what if” financial situations which may help each of you understand the other’s financial perspective better. Keeping all of your money separate is certainly no guarantee that money won’t be the biggest cause of strife in your marriage.

    Post # 4
    Member
    1470 posts
    Bumble bee

    My SO and I will have a “joint money” philosophy once we’re married and I think that will be best for us as he makes almost 8x as much as I do it wouldn’t be fair to contribute proportionately because at the end of it, he’d still have a ton of money left over and I wouldn’t. He’d also probably have to live at a lower standard than he’s accustomed to since becoming an adult and he’s not trying to do that lol. We’ll pay all of our bills, save for various things, and invest out of this big pot of money that we both contribute everything to and each get an “allowance” which is a percentage of our total gross income. With that we can do whatever we want, no questions asked. I think you should maybe ask your SO what kind of “play money” you’re talking…maybe it’ll be enough to send your mom some money…it probably won’t be the large amount you’re sending now but that might be a sacrifice you have to make for your marriage and he can help you and your mom work with a smaller budget? I can definitely understand your frustrations…but I’d strongly suggest working this out before you get married or engaged, it’s good that you’re acknowledging the red flags and your differences.

    Post # 5
    Member
    606 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    FI and I did the pre-marriage money bootcamp through the website LearnVest.  It’s a free web mini-course where you get questions to answer each day about your finances and how you’ll manage them once married.  I thought it was a good way to begin the discussion and think through some issues.  Just realize that you both may have to make some compromises. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    2209 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    Definitely a good thing to address in pre-marital counseling if you’re having trouble coming to a concensus on your own!  FI and I will be keeping our finances roughly the same as we do now (we have a joint account plus our own personal accounts) and will just contribute more to the joint account once we’re married. Part of the reason for this is so we can’t nag on each other about how money is spent; anything purchased from our own accounts is our own business.  ETA:  this seems especially necessary for you, since you’re giving your mom a large chunk of your check every payday.  I would not be OK with my FI giving that away out of a general pot o’ dough.

    My parents have been married for almost 39 years and have never had a joint account of any kind, and they make things work just fine!

    That being said, life evolves and changes, so even if you start out with some separate money right now, you can always adjust your plan later.  For instance, when we have kids, what we’re planning to do probably won’t make much sense as we’ll be paying much more in joint expenses than we do now.

    ETA:  Also wanted to add that there’s really nothing wrong with buying generic boxed/canned foods.  Many of them are made in the same factory as the brand name foods.  I agree, though, higher quality meat, cheese (I live in WI) and produce are a must!

    Post # 8
    Member
    12998 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    There’s no best way for everyone.  But the best way for us was to just throw everything into one account and spend as we please.  However, this only works for us because we have pretty much the same views on saving/spending (we aren’t big spenders at all) and it may help that we make around the same amount. 

    If you end up combining everything, is he going to be controlling about when you want to eat a little better and not buy generic?  Is he going to be ok with you “splurging” on daily items like that and groceries, etc?  It sounds like you guys could make it work combining, but you two would have to come up with a reasonable budget that you both are happy with.  One that makes him comfortable with savings amount, and you happy with buying non generic and splurging every now and then.  And certainly an agreement with helping your mom out.  Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be too happy if my husband was giving a large chunk of money to his parents every month.  *We* as our family has needs and goals too and doing that hurts those goals.  There’d need to be a very good reason she needs it, it to be less frequent, or us just having a boatload of cash free for me to be ok with it.

    Post # 9
    Member
    3476 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @Pisces:  So, regardless of how you handle finances (and I think that there are many possible approaches), I think you need to discuss that you give a lot of money to your mom each month with him.  Even if you are completely separate or joint, once you are married, it’s a big decision.  I know I’d be unhappy to discover that my spouse wanted to send that kind of money which precluded us from saving for our joint goals (house, kids, retirement).  I’m not saying leave your mom in lurch – I have no idea why you are sending the money – but I am saying that you need to discuss and resolve it beforehand.

    Post # 11
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @Pisces:  

     

    I think the money each of you make is now the couple’s money – not a portion of it.  It’s “our” money – not 50% share hold. I did not merge money in my first marriage (I did not want him “bringing me down” financially).  But I merged money in this marriage as we’re so much on the same page, thankfully.

    I also think that when you enter a marriage, you probably need to change some money habits to some degree.  One doesn’t really expect to keep on spending like a single person, you do have another person to consider now.  It’s a joint life.  It’s ideal to work out something that BOTH of you can live with – whether you need a mediator, a counselor, etc.  It shouldn’t be one person getting their way and the other complying begrudgingly.

    People do divorce over money issues.  However, simply keeping the money separate doesn’t absolve you from having money problems either. 

    Marriage is about 90% conflict; conflicts that will never be resolved.  It’s all in how you two DEAL with the conflict that will determine how successful you are in a long term relationship.

    Post # 12
    Member
    3476 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @Pisces:  You do see money differently, but you are not as far apart as you might be.  You sound more like a saver than spender – he is just an uber saver.  All the time savers and spenders live together happily.  It just really takes some long (ongoing) conversations and flexibility.  You’ll both likely scoot a little closer to each others point of view.  For example, you might agree to a budget food food, that isn’t no-holds-barred organic meat/veggies, but reins you in some, while giving you a limit your SO can be comfortable you won’t go beyond (and won’t chastize you for spending).  Same with clothing, money to mom, etc. 

    Not everyone likes or uses the percentage method successfully.  The one thing I’ve learned is you just need to find one method that works for you, even if everyone else thinks it’s crazy.  So, you don’t like combined money pool and he doesn’t like percentage.  Figure out another compromise.

    And talk to him about money+security.  Find out if there ever is a point when you’ll have saved enough that he’ll feel comfortable or if there is anything you can do to make him feel more comfortable.

    Post # 13
    Member
    260 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    My husband and I have a joint account. He makes a little bit more than me. I see him as my partner in life, we share everything, so why not share one account? All the money we make goes there, we spend money from that account for vacations, to pay bills etc. We have one rule, if we have to spend over $100 on something, we tell the other person. This has worked for us just fine, and we have no marital problems due to money. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    260 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    Not only that, but IMO, not putting all the money into one account is a sign of not trusting your partner, but that’s just me!!!

     

    That mentality of paying bills and the rest is yours to keep is dumb IMO… I buy my husband gifts all the time, we speak freely of what we want to purchase, he buys me perfumes, purses, I buy him clothes, shoes, whatever. We save together, and spend together.

     

    Post # 15
    Member
    1721 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I think thats a tough situation. FI and I have joint accounts (one specifically for the wedding, another for bills, ect) and then we each have seperate accounts as well.  This works out pretty well for us 🙂  This way we each have our own spending money (and I can buy him stuff without him knowing what it is! haha).  Hopefully you guys figure something out that works for both of you.

    Post # 16
    Member
    5192 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @Pisces: I think this is still going to be a potential disaster.  My mother barely works and I give her a large chunk of my paycheque each month – there’s no way he’d think that’s reasonable. 

    This kind of expense is exactly the sort of thing you need to decide on as a family.  Using a large chunk of your pay to support your mom is not erally the same as wanting to go shopping with having to call before every purchase.  

    I think that regardless of the mechanics you choose, you two need to spend some time getting on the same page about money – earnings goals, savings goals, retirement allocations.

     

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