Post # 1
DH and I decided to keep separate accounts (lived together before marriage, and feel like it works well so no need to change it). Now that we’re married, do either of us have the right to know about the other one making large purchases/donations? Or is like it was before marriage– what’s mine is mine do with as a I please? Does it matter if a couple or partner is in debt (and does it matter what type of debt)? If they have a mortgage? If they are saving to buy a house? If they have a kid? If they are saving to have a kid? I’m not saying people should have to check with their partner for basics, I’m talking large/expensive purchases/donations. If you have a separate account, do you know how much each of you has in your accounts? Or is that none of your business? When I see the Christmas commercials showing a man buying his wife a car, with a big red bow, I can’t think how upset I’d be if my husband went out and spent thousands of dollars without consulting me (even if he spent it on me). But even if we are talking only hundreds of dollars, how much, if any, say/notice should a partner get?
Post # 3
So many questions! LOL!
To answer your main question, I think it depends on two factors: how you split up your money (separate vs joint accounts), and what you consider to be a “large” purchase.
DH and I share a bank account, but we have a budget and each get x amount in spending money every month-that money is just ours as individuals, and we can spend it all however we see fit. For example, I just spent several hundred on a boot camp-but it fit within my budget, so I didn’t ask DH, I just signed up, and he was fine with it. But if DH went out and say, bought a car without telling me…I don’t know if I’d be mad persay, more just wondering WTF happened to him bc he is pretty tight with money, lol.
And yes, to answer all your debt questions, it matters, but to only to a certain extent. For example, say you have only a few thousand in student loans that you pay off on time, every month…probably not going to stop you from getting a house. But when you apply for a mortgage how much you make, and how much you pay a month in debt repayment (whether it be credit cards, a car payment, etc) will all affect how much you can get. Then, if you also have a bad credit score it’s not going to help matters.
Post # 4
I think it depends largely on what each couple is comfortable with. We do still maintain our own, separate, individual checking and savings accounts. For the most part, we still pay our own bills as well. I bought our house on my own before we were married, so I pay the mortgage & associated bills (in his defense, he was working two part time jobs while looking for full time employment, and his student loans are over $500 a month) so it wasn’t reasonable at that time for him to contribute to the household.
Even when we were just dating, we’d discuss large purchases, not so much for permission but more for input on the decision. I care what he thinks, and I like to bounce ideas off of him (financial and otherwise). For the most part, we spend our own money as we see fit, but after we got married we did open joint checking and savings accounts for joint purchases & the baby we’re expecting. We’ve only used the joint checking account twice, both for baby related purchases.
I mean, if he went out and bought a car, yeah I expect him to chat with me about that first. But if he wants new shoes or whatever, then i don’t feel like he needs a ‘stamp of approval’ from me.
Post # 5
Have you talked to your DH about all these concerns?
Post # 6
We have a joint account, but we let the other know before we make any unplanned purchase over $50.
Post # 7
We discuss large purchases out of respect for each other, but at the end of the day if either one of us really felt strongly about the purchase/donation and the other one didn’t agree we would still do it. We did talk about these types of things when we decided to get married.and we agreed as long as it isn’t detrimental to our goals then it is ok because we earned the money and we can really spend it as we choose.
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)
I think each couple is different and needs to come up with solutions that work best for you.
That said, DH and I keep separate accounts – it’s the model I was raised with, and I think it helps with a lot of those little “for fun” purchases that could otherwise cause stress. There are things I buy that DH doesn’t get (like Essie nail polish), and vice versa (seemingly endless Kindle books), but neither of us has to worry because we buy those things from our own “for fun” money stash. So when DH buys yet another Kindle book, I’m like, “Eh, it’s his money!” But we discuss all big purchases together, which for us means anything over $100. Usually big purchases affect both of us (financially and otherwise), so we have a strict rule of discussing those purchases beforehand and making sure that we’re both OK with the purchase and can actually afford it.
Post # 10
Every couple has to decide for themselves. That is one reason we are doing a main shared account (each having our own separate accounts also, but all the money goes into the main account and then we budget out of that and each get our “play” money into our separate account that we don’t have to be accountable for). It fosters a sense of “ours” vs “yours and mine.”
I personally believe it is important to have an attitude of “ours” about all money and major life decisions in a marriage. However, not everyone feels that way. This really is something that can only be worked out with your spouse.
Post # 11
We discuss anything that’s going to be over $100 or so. All of our money is considered “ours” though.
Post # 12
Sorry, didn’t mean to make it seem as if there were so many questions or concerns! It’s really just one, but I know that all of those factors (and more, that’s just what I thought of off the top of my head) could play a role, and just wanted to aknowledge them and recognize that there is no blanket yes or no answer. We haven’t talked about it yet, and just wondered how others talked about/addressed it. I’m generally think we should be able to spend our own money as we see fit, so long as there is no debt and savings are established, but now that the wedding and honeymoon are over (that we saved for in advance) we’re thinking about saving for future stuff so wondered how others did it.
Post # 13
Well now that you are a couple, you are working towards a future together right? Not YOUR future and HIS future? What are both of your financial future goals?
My H and I are working towards early retirement. That means we pool our money together. So we do look at large purchases/donations to see if they are in line with common goal. It’s very much teamwork the way we look at it.
If we both had debt (which we do not) we would both work togehter to pay it down so that we can achieve our goal together. We are a financial unit the way I look at it. We have to help the other (note: this works best when you have smeone who matched your money values and not like a gambling addict).
For our spending amount we have a set limit that we discussed PRIOR to any big purchases (like a precautionary). Anything over that would take a discussion. Anything under you can just spend it. Of cousre this number can be negotiated later on if the original value is not working out. Ours was $500, which would be like a new pair of skis basically and the only thing I can ever think to spend $500 on honestly! And no we don’t go and spend $500 every month just because we can. I don’t think I ever have. I spend maybe $500 on clothes/shoes for the entire year maybe.
Do you each have wills? Are you set up to be the beneficiaries on each should something happen to the other? That would be my first priority over knowing what the exact balance is on the account.
I think it would be a great thing to talk about your future financial goals together, rather than going down these individual roads.
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2014 - Brazil Room
That’s really something you should discuss as a couple. My SO and I aren’t even living together at the moment, but he still has to talk to me before making a big purchase. Same with me. We think of it as mutual respect.
Post # 15
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
We’re doing the same thing in keeping our accounts seperate, mainly because FI is a terrible saver (well he saves money, just not the way I do, which is better lol) and it’s worked well so I don’t want to stress and fight about changing a system that isn’t broken!
That being said since getting engaged we’ve definitely opened ourselves up to discussing finances more, I know about how much he has in the bank and student debt and he the same for me.
YES, you definitely should have a say in any big purchases or debt. As his spouse his debt could fall to you if he defaults or dies. My co-worker’s husband went out and bought a $5k motorcycle without consulting her last summer, I was BLOWN AWAY, huge NO-No in my opinion.
Maybe this problem could be solved by having a joint savings account? Where you both save for mutual expenses like the wedding, a new roof on the house, things you’re both responsible for and both going to benefit from. Then with the remaining money you can make big(ger) purchases but I still think it’s over a set amount you should discuss it.