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Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
8/10/13 6:04 p.m.
rotard wrote: Separate checking and savings accounts with one joint account for shared expenses. I've seen too many people get completely hosed by a significant other to do otherwise.

This is definitely the direction we're leaning towards. Kind of determining what expenses will be covered jointly, and how we will divide the load of how much gets paid into the joint account. Right now it's just things like rent and utilities and we're splitting that close to 50/50.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltraDork
8/10/13 8:13 p.m.
bludroptop wrote: I make it. She spends it. (you asked) Seriously - I don't want to argue about money. I just threw in the towel. I have not paid a bill in 15 years, have no idea what's in the checking account and just work on trust. YMMV

Thats what I did. Now, single for a year and making a new $1200 per month mortgage payment, I have sacks of cash sitting around like Johnny Depp did in Blow.

I'm still not sure where the money went every month...

curtis73
curtis73 UltraDork
8/10/13 8:21 p.m.

My wife handles most of the finances. We're on a pretty tight budget.

We have four bank accounts. One gets our direct deposits and all of our income. Then there is a bills account, a Curtis account and a Kim account. She calculates what she needs for bills, and puts it in that account. I think all but two of our bills are a direct bank draft. Whatever is left over we split between the Curtis and Kim accounts for spending money. We've been married for 13 years, so there isn't any need for the petty stuff like "I make more than you" or "your medicines cost more." Its just money and we use it equally.

If you are concerned about things like income imparity, just modify how much of the remainder (after bills) gets put in your individual accounts. If you make 40% of the household income and she makes 60%, then split the remainder 40/60. That's how we're going to eventually do it when our girlfriend moves in. The income split will be basically 30/30/40 so that's how we'll split the leftovers.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
8/10/13 9:36 p.m.

I am thinking of suggesting a joint account systemsomething aling the lines of... set joint budget. As long as both are gainfully employed, the first half of the joint budget is split 50/50. The second half gets split based on earning percent. So if she makes 2/3 of house income, she pays pays in about 58%.

I plan to make the suggestion after her business trip though.

Edit: or personal stipend is set amount plus additional based on income.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
8/10/13 9:52 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: Neither of us buys anything without consulting the other. My view, if you're not ready to share 110% your not ready to be married.

I think this was a big issue in my relationship. After 11 years together, money was always a difficult subject for her to talk about. I tried to be open with her about my finances, but she was not. I had a general idea of how much she made (more than me by about 20%), but how she actually managed to pay her bills I had no clue. Of course, our situation was more separate by nature: she has her house and associated mortgage and bills; and I have mine. I would usually pay for food we ate at her house, but that was about the extent of our joint finances.

If we had gotten married, I could see money being a big issue.

In reply to mndsm:

Your situation sounds similar to the way my parents were. My father is worse than terrible with money and has a horrible concept of credit. Couldn't balance a check book to save his life. He gets a few dollars in his pocket and thinks he's a millionaire. Fortunately, my mother (child of a financially conservative Quaker who learned how to handle money at an early age) learned this soon after they were married and handled all of the finances, not that she was always able to keep my father under control. My father's 2nd wife did not learn this as quickly and they paid a dear financial price for his indiscriminate spending habits.

Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle.

BAMF
BAMF HalfDork
8/11/13 1:39 p.m.
curtis73 wrote: That's how we're going to eventually do it when our girlfriend moves in.

Play on, player, play on.

curtis73
curtis73 UltraDork
8/12/13 8:55 p.m.
BAMF wrote:
curtis73 wrote: That's how we're going to eventually do it when our girlfriend moves in.
Play on, player, play on.

curtis73
curtis73 UltraDork
8/12/13 9:04 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: Neither of us buys anything without consulting the other. My view, if you're not ready to share 110% your not ready to be married.

I fully agree. That is one of the reasons we have the individual spending accounts. After the bills are paid, we split the remainder. I spend my money in my way without asking her, and she spends hers. Some months that means I'm eating steak at Ruth's Chris, other months that means I'm selling a kidney to put gas in the car.

There are times when finances need to be adjusted. For instance, our water heater is starting to put out rusty water. We have put a large importance on making $500 available to get a new water heater ASAP. We sat down, made a plan, and we'll be able to make that money happen in a couple weeks by each selling a kidney. (not really... that's just a hyperbolic metaphor).

Cotton
Cotton SuperDork
8/12/13 10:31 p.m.

My wife and I have been together for 10 years and keep seperate accounts. We both have our own checking and savings accounts, both employed, no kids. One month she pays the motgage and I pay the bills and the next month we swap. It's always worked great for us and we never argue about money.

OHSCrifle wrote: It's not a competition, it's a joint effort. Go all in together, or don't even bother. Separate accounts just mean you want to hide something.. If you and a spouse cannot have an honest conversation about purchases, don't marry. Good discussion topic pre-marriage, definitely.

look, if I want to buy an old beatup 4x4 wrecker on impulse, like I did last week, I don't have time to explain it and ask permission.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
8/13/13 8:25 a.m.
Cotton wrote: ...both employed, no kids. One month she pays the motgage and I pay the bills and the next month we swap. It's always worked great for us and we never argue about money.

It seems to me a common theme here is: both employed and/or bills are easily paid = don't argue about money.

Arguements about money seem to happen when there isn't enough to go around and it becomes a case of, "why are you spending on X when we need Y?" or "you get to buy every toy you want, but I never get anything I want."

Duke
Duke PowerDork
8/13/13 8:39 a.m.
Beer Baron wrote: Any suggestions on how people divide up expenses happily?

Some people seem to have a very difficult time with this.

We never did. From the day we moved in together, all the money either of us made at any given time went into 1 pot. We paid all the bills out of that 1 pot. We bought fun stuff out of that 1 pot, if we thought it was full enough. We still do the same thing 27 years later.

Sometimes she earns more, sometimes I do. Sometimes one of us was earning nothing. It doesn't seem relevant who is earning what if we are in it together.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve UltimaDork
8/13/13 8:40 a.m.

Can you live on either income alone? If not, then both incomes are equally important to your survival and you should both share in financial decisions.

It is less important to make decisions based on who makes what, and more important to agree on all decisions completely! Make a plan, agree on the plan, then stick to the plan.

z31maniac
z31maniac PowerDork
8/13/13 8:46 a.m.
pinchvalve wrote: Can you live on either income alone?

Yep. The joys of being DINKs and buying a modest home.

Conquest351
Conquest351 UltraDork
8/13/13 8:59 a.m.
JThw8 wrote:
Conquest351 wrote:
bludroptop wrote: I make it. She spends it. (you asked) Seriously - I don't want to argue about money. I just threw in the towel. I have not paid a bill in 15 years, have no idea what's in the checking account and just work on trust. YMMV

Same here. I pay the cell phone bill, but all my hard earned money goes into her/our account and I get told what I can and can't spend. Mostly can't. I get gas in the car and that's about it. She earns $20k+ more than I do a year. Shrug

It's working for you guys so I'm not about to say its wrong but just wanted to share the very scary personal story about this. My mom and dad operated the same way, for close to 40 years of marriage mom manged the finances and dad didn't ask questions. Here's the problem, mom is terrible at managing the finances. At 65 when dad started thinking about retirement mom approached him with the reality that they weren't going to make the mortgage this month. After full disclosure they were close to 100k in debt to credit cards alone not to mention other debts. So instead of planning for a retirement he had to file bankruptcy and will be working until at least age 72 just to get out from under it.

Similarly my wife's aunt and uncle went through the same thing. Had to declare bankruptcy twice (I don't know why he didn't learn his lesson the first time) She was taking out CC accounts under their children's names to hide all the debt. When round 3 of "how the hell do I get out of this hole" happened she took her own life rather than face it again. Leaving her husband and kids deep in debt, all with wrecked credit ratings and without a mom.

Its ok to let your spouse manage things, but never turn a blind eye to it. Working together is always the best, at least as far as knowing what state you are in within the big picture.

I oversimplified our real situation. We do have a pretty decent budget as far as I put $500 in our savings each week and that pays for mortgage and builds up savings. The rest goes into the checking account which gets used for all the crap we need. I know "roughly" what we have and what bills come out when, but she does all the payment crap because I'm no good at it. Even the damn phone bill gets paid a week late every time. LOL It's the only thing I'm responsible for and I STILL pay it late. Oh well... At least I know myself well enough to let her do all this crap.

nocones
nocones SuperDork
8/13/13 9:11 a.m.

We are DI2K's and we can survive just fine on 1 income. This enabled us to spend 5 years when we were DINK's paying off the house. Its all about living within your means and to me that means living a lifestyle that can be sustained on 1 persons income.

slefain
slefain UltraDork
8/13/13 9:25 a.m.

All the money went into one account when she was working. I made less than her at that time so she probably spent more (mostly trips with her friends). She spent a lot on me though (tools mostly) so it was all good. Going on four years now with just my salary as she stays home with our two kids. I make the money, she budgets and spends it. Works for us. We live in the ghetto, rent a house, owe no money, and spend wisely.

16vCorey
16vCorey PowerDork
8/13/13 10:15 a.m.

We have a joint account for bills and our separate accounts, and all of our regular bills are directly withdrawn. We also budgeted our gas, groceries, dog food, oil changes, etc. into this account. When my wife was finishing school, I was the only one working, so I was the only one contributing to the bills account. I put $300 a week into it and the rest went into my account. Now that she's working and her student loans have kicked in, we each put $200 into the bills account and the rest goes into our personal accounts. She can do what ever she wants with her money and I can do what ever I want with my money, and our bills are always paid.

cdowd
cdowd Reader
8/13/13 11:01 a.m.

For my wife and I we put all income into joint account, pay all bills from joint account. It does become difficult at times since I make 2+ times what my wife makes, but it does force you to work as a team in decisions.

MattGent
MattGent Reader
8/13/13 2:28 p.m.

Joint finances are joint.

Sign up for mint.com (or equivalent). Load all accounts into it. Build a plan, work to the plan, transparently communicate earnings & spending.

We both have mint in our pockets (iPhone) - instant accountability.

Mitchell
Mitchell SuperDork
8/13/13 2:35 p.m.

I just happened to download Mint.com last night, and it is exactly the budgeting tool that I have wanted.

MattGent
MattGent Reader
8/13/13 2:43 p.m.

It has some limitations - exporting for other uses (example....financial summary statement) sucks. But its easy to set up, easy to use, requires relatively little maintance.

Its useful at tax time for managing deductions.

I recommend it to everyone with this question. And its free.

Cotton
Cotton SuperDork
8/13/13 10:28 p.m.
Ian F wrote:
Cotton wrote: ...both employed, no kids. One month she pays the motgage and I pay the bills and the next month we swap. It's always worked great for us and we never argue about money.

It seems to me a common theme here is: both employed and/or bills are easily paid = don't argue about money.

Arguements about money seem to happen when there isn't enough to go around and it becomes a case of, "why are you spending on X when we need Y?" or "you get to buy every toy you want, but I never get anything I want."

I think it's more about living within your means, and being happy with it, regardless of whether or not you have multiple income streams.

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