Managing money as a married couple

posted 6 months ago in Finances
Post # 2
2798 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I’ll be honest and say that if my husband went and dropped $800 on something frivolous without at least consulting with me about it then I’d be pissed too. Since you have a budget for everything else, why not have a budget for each of you for “play money” each month? Come up with a number that each of you is comfortable with, and whatever you buy with that money can’t be questioned (within reason). Money issues are definitely one of the top causes for divorce, and you hiding purchases will only lead to more harm than good. 

Post # 3
617 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

armywifetobe :  I think you need to establish some ground rules. My husband and I consult each other on any purchase over $300. I would lose it if he spent $800 on anything without telling me.

That being said, we currently manage our finances by having one joint account and our own seperate accounts. We each deposit about 75% of our paycheck into the joint account, and keep 25% for play money. This works well, as I can spend my extra 25% on whatever I want and vise versa. The joint account is used for joint expenses and savings only. If I ever wanted botox, I would save up for it in my separate account. 

Post # 4
3919 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I agree with FutureMrsBex. Make a budget for “personal money” each month. Since you still have your separate account, you could even transfer that money into that other account – and DH could do the same. Then that money is yours to spend on whatever. If you wnat something more expensive, you save for a few months

Post # 5
7071 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I would consider having a discussion about setting a limit where if you spend more than X amount of money it should be discussed first. I would be pissed if my husband spent $800 on something without telling me. That’s a lot of money (to me) to just see come out of my account. 

It also sounds like maybe each of you having a separate account for just spending/fun money would help. So if you want to spend money on Botox it would need to come out of your personal account, not the joint.

It’s also something that your husband may just need time to adjust to. I’m a pretty frugal person, I don’t like to spend money, and it’s pretty easy for me to get stressed about finances. Seeing money just come out of my account where I don’t know what it’s for or that seems frivolous any unnecessary would be stressful for me and it would probably make me irritated at my partner too because it would feel like they don’t care that they are stressing me out with thier spending habits.

But I do think you can fix this with just being more open with your communication about the issue.

Post # 7
998 posts
Busy bee

armywifetobe :  For us, the way to avoid this is to maintain seperate accounts for personal spending money.  We have all bills, house spending, joint spending etc from one account and then we each get a set amount of £ in our own accounts for spending. There’s no justifying how frivolous anything is and it make everything much easier. 

Post # 8
2798 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

armywifetobe :  Then you’re both at fault. You need to establish ground rules ASAP before your financial issues get any worse. 

Post # 10
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

We agreed to talk about any purchase that cost over $150 dollars. It’s worked well so far.

Post # 11
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

The struggle is real when you have a spender and a saver! I’m in the same situation but I’m the saver. I prefer to have a big cushion where my DH thinks he should spend money b/c why work if you cant enjoy it?

We talk about purchases over $100. For us that works others it might be $500. We don’t ask permission so to speak but we ask if it’s ok b/c we don’t know if something needs to come out that hasn’t or if something else like paying extra on bills or whatever needs to happen. 

I don’t think it’s fair to you if he’s going and spending big on purchases without telling you. That doesn’t sound like a frugal/saver to me.

Post # 12
622 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I have the opposite dynamic–I’m financially conservative, and my DH is the spender.I also micromanage our accounts down to the last dollar because I keep a specific budget. If there’s something on there that seems odd, I ask about it to know what it went towards and find out if it’s a fraudulant charge (we’ve had this happen probably 3 or 4 times).

I set aside a certain amount from each paycheck that’s not assigned to anything and that’s basically DH’s spending money. It works for us. If he wants something for the most part he understands he has to save up for it…before we did this he would go and blow money he didn’t have and then come up short for bills. He jokes that it’s an allowance, and I get how people might not like that idea but it works for us because if I didn’t put the breaks on it we’d be in debt, but it still gives him flexibilty and freedom.

For me I honestly could care less what he’s spending his money on even when I ask about it (and maybe it’s the same for your SO) even if he wants to go blow it at a casino or something else dumb…it’s about not coming up short for bills, and having enough set aside in savings every month.

Post # 13
590 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

FI and I have our own accounts still but made a joint account for bills that we both put money in. Like you, I also make more money than him. However, even tho I still have my own spending money and so does he, we still consult with each other for big purchases. It helps that we are both frugal and I’m  a bargain shopper so when I do splurge on a purse or something not really necessary he is okay with it. I think he shouldn’t check up on you like he’s your dad watching your allowance,  but it seems like you two need to come up with a better understanding of how you both spend money differently and what that monthly ‘frivolous things’ budget should be for both of you not just one of you. 

Post # 14
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

armywifetobe :  yeah, I agree with PPs. I would not be happy if my FI spent $800 without consulting me, and he would be the same. We have agreed that anything over $100 we will talk to the other about first – not for permission really, just out of respect and so that we don’t see a charge on the credit card and wonder where it came from or if it was fradulent. 

My FI also checks the credit card and bank account multiple times a day, and if he sees a charge he doesn’t recognize, he asks me about it. He’s not doing it to be controlling or to question me on my spending – he’s simply doing it to make sure there’s nothing coming out that we need to look into. He has a detailed budget set up for us and he updates that daily – it’s just his thing. My guess would be that your FI is the same way.

I wouldn’t really reccommend continuing to put charges on your card just because you don’t want the confrontation with him about it – eventually you will run out of funds in your other account, and when it comes time to pay off your credit card you will either have to transfer money or pay out of your joint account, so he will end up finding out. FI and I still have separate credit cards (and one together) but we only use those for if we’re buying a present for one another that we don’t want the other to see because it’s a surprise, not to hide things from each other. 

I think you and FI just need ot have a discussion and let him know that these things to you are like his hobbies with his Harley – they are things you enjoy and that you are not going to stop doing things that you enjoy just like you don’t expect him to. Set some boundaries and figure out what works best for yall. Good luck!

Post # 15
125 posts
Blushing bee

I would also be pissed if my husband spent $800 without discussing it with me first – to me it also seems a bit odd that if you had wanted these for months, it didn’t come up in conversation with your SO prior to you having them done (i.e. “I really want to get these procedures done but given that they cost $800 I know I should wait till the house stuff in final….but once that is done!” and then he could have said “Wait a minute – what?”)

My husband and I don’t have a specific “rule” about how much we can spend without discussing it with the other and that works for us – as I said, purchases tend to come up naturally in conversations and we discuss them then. If that doesn’t happen for you though I would def agree with the other posters that you both need a “fun money” budget or allowance, otherwise you are risking alot of resentment building up about each others spending.

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