Managing money as a married couple

posted 6 months ago in Finances
Post # 16
125 posts
Blushing bee

DH and I maintain our own personal accounts for non joint expenses, and a joint account for joint expenses. We also have joint savings goals as well as personal savings goals.  Both of us are savers, but this way he doesn’t complain about my expensive coffee drink affinity and i am not bothered by the video games or nerdy things he is interested in. Anything that comes out of the joint account that isn’t a usual expense is discussed ahead of time and agreed upon. This works really well for us, and we have been able to supplement our mortgage payments more than planned (which is one of our joint money goals). 

Post # 17
9174 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I think in your case you might be better off having separate “fun” accounts that each of you keep your own money in and can only see yours and then you can spend from there.  Figure out which items belong coming from the central account (like maybe groceries, household items, etc) and then your personal accounts for personal purchases that do not benefit the household.  If you save up your personal account and want to drop $3k on something, it shouldn’t matter to him.  Same the other way.

Post # 19
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

What about agreeing to an amount per month for “fun money” for each of you that both of you are comfortable with.  Then put your “fun” spending on a credit card in each of your names only and pay them both off every month out of the joint account.  

That way you and he can still keep track of how much is being spent, because you both see the one big amount going out every month.  And in the meantime you’re not building up resentment seeing every little thing that you’re spending money on, whether it’s his Harley or your beauty treatments.

Of course this is assuming that you’ll pay the cards off every month.

Post # 20
5180 posts
Bee Keeper

armywifetobe :  

I’m just dying at the $800 for what you spent, botox and under eye fillers???? I get it’s something you want, but to spend that much without consulting a little would freak me out too. My husband and I have a deal if we really want something we save up on it and then pay for it when we can. We don’t drop $800 like that. Whether it’s your money, his money, or “ours” it’s something we have talked about.

Both of you need to sit down and talk about this.  Choose a limit in which you talk about on spending. For example $100 a week can be yours for fun money.  But nothing higher.  And that’s the problem with having separate accounts, you can’t entirely hold each other accountable if you can’t see what’s being spent.  But then on the flip side a joint account, if someone decides to blow $800 that’s $800 gone from the joint account.

Post # 21
1109 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I tend to agree with what some of the other bees mentioned. DH and I combined our incomes a few months before we married, while I was still in school and I watch the account like a hawk. He is a spender and I am a saver. I think it really depends on how much you make. $800 might be nothing to you, but for someone making under six figures, its a lot. DH and I consult eachother on anything over $100/$200. It’s more of a courtesy, “hey, I really want XYZ, what do you think?” and we generally go ahead and say its fine. Very rarely I will ask for him to hold off a month or two, so I can find a deal for him (his are almost always electronics). BUT, with that being said, we save around 40% of our income every month because we both have good jobs and live in a low COL location. We also have a savings for just about everything and we try not to let it dip below 20k to cover 6 months of expenses should something catastrophic happen to either of us. My biggest suggestion is just set ground rules (for both of you). It’s not money that causes problems, its the communication surrounding money. 

Post # 22
346 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Have you considered yours-mine-ours accounts? You’d each do a split direct deposit, part to the joint account and part to your personal account. The part to your personal accounts would be what you have budgeted for personal free money spending. It lets you each have some privacy in how you spend your money (so that you can each decide what something is worth to you). My husband is the spender, and I’m definitely the saver–he likes it because he knows if the money’s in his account, he can do whatever he wants with it, and I won’t get annoyed when he buys whatever it is he wants. I also get less annoyed with him because I don’t have to know just how much he paid for his latest gadget or spoiling his nephews.

Post # 24
1424 posts
Bumble bee

The main thing that seems to be bothering you is that your husband seems to be being a bit hypocritical – it’s ok for HIM to spend a large sum without tell you, but not ok for YOU to. 

I’m guessing this is because he’s a saver – he has probably been saving up for his own $300 “splurge,” and knows exactly how it will affect his budget, etc. He’s been thinking about the purchase for a while, has comes to terms with the amount, planned for it. 

However, YOU spend $800 and it’s $800 that he didn’t have time to mentally “prepare” himself for. Emotionally, it’s probably making him feel attacked in a way. 

I know that for my part, I keep a very detailed excel budget that I update and reference every day. I know what my finances are going to look like a year and a half from now!

If SO and I joined accounts and he was suddenly pulling out $500 here, $1,200 there (he’s a spender,) I’d probably get annoyed – not that he was continuing to spend money the way he always has, but because I’d suddenly be tasked with not only tracking my OWN (planned) spending, but HIS (more sponteneous) spending as well. 

I recently spent $800 on 4 microneedling treatments – but that was $800 I’d been saving up, and partly tax refund, and it was all tracked out in my budget. If SO and I already had combined finances, I 100% would have discussed the purchase beforehand with him.

As for how we will combine finances, I’m already thinking that we will do the “fun money” credit cards payed out of one joint account thing camenae mentions. It will enable me to watch ALL earned monies without becoming annoyed that SO spent yet another $200 on some extraneous piece of camping gear. lol 

Post # 25
1061 posts
Bumble bee

I think you should get a credit card and put all your monthly purchases on it and pay it in full each month. That way he can’t nit pick each individual purchase you make because he wont be able to see it on the joint account. As long as you are spending within your budget he shouldn’t be get upset. 

Post # 26
4242 posts
Honey bee

armywifetobe :  my husband and I consult each other on most purchases outside of our normal monthly spending – even if we’ve saved up for it. We only have one checking account that everything goes into and comes out of and then savings/brokerage accounts. The main reason is because while it may not scuttle our budget to splurge one month we will alternate and space out those splurges so we don’t have to dip into savings. We also have a lot of large projects that we are saving up for so by telling the other we sometimes talk ourselves out of an impulse buy that we’d regret later and bank more cash.

In your case I would set up a minimum amount that goes to savings and a maximum amount that goes into your own “fun” checking accounts. That way the saver knows that the savings are on track, and you can both still spend your fun money however you want or save it for a few months for bigger purchases.

Post # 27
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

My advice would be to establish a budget with “extra” or “entertainment” money for both of you. That way you can use that for Botox, tanning, etc and it just comes out of your own bucket that he doesn’t have a say over.

I have to say that I would run an $800 purchase by my DH first, but that’s just me. I would expect him to do the same. However, I’d be equally annoyed if my DH was tracking my movements daily via my debit card. That’s annoying.

Post # 28
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Sandusky, Ohio

I just want to say that THIS is why hubby and I kept separate checking accounts after we got married. Too much drama. 

Post # 29
9485 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

armywifetobe :  Heres what you need to do. Get your paychecks going back into your own checking. Agree to what percentage on your net pay goes into the joint checking. The remainder is your spending money that you can spend on whatever the f you want, no question, in peace. He should have his own discretionary spending too.

Post # 30
2137 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

In my experience with my own marriage and my friend’s that have married and combined accounts, there typically is one of the two of you that is more frugal and the other is a bit more impulsive with spending. Your habits are different and that’s fine, but both of you are going to have to adjust to the other a bit here and compromise. 

We agree to consult each other before a big purchase is made. In the sitaution you were in I would want to get my husband’s blessing to spend $800 before I just did it because what if he wanted something? I don’t think it would be fair for me to drop that kind of cash and then he couldn’t get something he wanted. 

For the record, I’m the frugal one in our marriage and I’m always very thorough before we decide to make any purchases and he HATED it the first year we combined our finances. I have become a bit more loose and he has become very understanding of why I need time to think. You two will have to work this out and figure out what works for you both. 

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