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December 31, 2008


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We also do the "Personal Spending Accounts" approach. We keep all our money in a common account, but in the budget, we each have personal spending cash we can use for whatever we want.

I spend mine on music, Blu-ray Discs, and electronics. She spends hers almost exclusively on clothes.

This, more than anything else, is critical to our financial happiness. She's a spender, I'm a saver, but the personal account frees her from feeling repressed by our budget. She can spend on whatever she wants, as long as she stays within her personal budget. This works great for us.

Arg. Wasteful spending. He sees nothing wrong with getting fast food every single day for lunch, when I'm eating PB&J to save money. Even when I add it up for him on his CC bill to show how much he's spending, he'll promise to cut back, but never does. He thinks I'm just being picky about not eating fast food.

Those are definitely 4 of the biggest money fights. The worst is by far keeping secret accounts or purchases from a spouse. My parents both did this to each other (they are now divorced.) Finances should definitely be kept together and done together.

It's good to hear that you and your wife are doing a good job financially. I'm sure that your marriage is stronger because of it.


Do you two have a set budget? If not, it will be impossible to get on the same page with your spending. It will also cause extreme friction in the relationship (sounds like there's already some stress in the situation).

I suggest that you (as the saver) put together a draft budget based on your monthly income. Present that to your spouse/boyfriend. Let them make "corrections" or adjustments to the budget. Of course, if he increases spending in any category, he must take that money from another category.

Go back and forth until you have an agreement. Commit as a pair to stick to the budget you have created together, and do it.

If he has input on the budget, he's much more likely to follow it. It also makes him accountable...and avoids any perception of you "nagging" him.

She splurges, I save, and I am the bad guy for trying to help her mend her ways. She loves her $50.00 bi-weekly nail appointments, her $300.00 haircut every 6 weeks, etc. She can't save because "she has a certain lifestyle to live up to". That is beyond me and I just say nothing in return. Stupid is that stupid does, or however that goes. She had the gall last night to point out how others live beyond their means, too bad she can't see that in herself.

Beyond love, it's so important to marry someone who shares similar thoughts on money and finance. In my view, when couples disagree on money it's very hard to make the relationship work. My two cents.


Vince, you are so correct in your wisdom.

Kaitlyn - my hubby sounds like yours. Of course, he reminds me he does not have an office lunchroom/fridge at his occupation. But still, he could bring a cooler! If he would only brown bag it like I do, and let me scale back to just basic cable...... I will keep trying in 2009! We have been married 21 years!!

We keep seperate accounts because, until we discovered this website, Consumerist, and Dave Ramsey (all on the same day), for seven years my husband was the spender and I was left scrimping with everything else. Even though we have our budget set up and our 5-year plan for getting out of debt, I emotionally can't give up my seperate account. My husband understands that and takes full responsibility for putting me in that position.

No major issues, though I'm like your wife in that I like to give away lots of money.

"Kids and Financial Rewards -- We're in general agreement on these issues. Every once in awhile something unique pops up, but we usually settle it without much trouble."

but what is the general agreement you have concluded to?

After we paid off the last of the debt, my husband really wanted to have his own "fun money" account, something he could spend on whatever frivolous thing he wanted and not have to be accountable for it. See, I'm the one that manages the Quicken file, and so I would holler out at him from the office and say "you took out $40 from the account last Tuesday, what did you spend that on?" and it would make him feel bad for having to explain himself every. single. time. So now he get's his money from every paycheck and I just put it all to "Entertainment."

We also have a different kind of Saver/Spender argument. Neither of us are out of control spenders, and I'd say we spend about the same amount on things we like, and that we're in general agreement about how much we spend on stuff together. BUT, he hasn't adopted the habit of saving for large purchases yet.

His laptop had been acting up for a long time, but he lived with it. He mentioned this summer how he'd like to buy a new computer, a nice one that will play his processor-hungry games. I thought it was just kind of a "someday" thing, and he took no action to start putting away money. November rolls around and he's all "I've had it!" and wants to go drop $1400 that week. I ask, "You knew this day was coming, why haven't you/we been saving up for a new computer?" Sure, we have plenty of money in savings to pay for that, but I had it in an account designated for a downpayment on a house, a goal we both agreed on. We had several discussions about my concerns, and I hope to SHOW him how it works when I start saving for a replacement for my computer next summer, so I think he's coming around.

Four years ago he probably would have just put in on a credit card and paid interest on it for months, so at least we're beyond that stage of our lives (I was there, too... not just him. :) )

My BF and I separate everything. No joint accounts. We've been together for a long time and just pick up the tab for different stuff...I think we'll have separate accounts even if we do get married....why? Because he spends everything. He's in debt. He is incapable of saving. Keeping separate accounts is the only way to make sure he spends enough money on household stuff to match me, even though I make less than him. He also never wants to talk about money, or about saving, and I scrounge away everything I have (though, I do make large purchases every so often). I think our biggest problem is we don't fight about anything, because he doesn't want to talk about it!

My husband and I are both savers, all our accounts are joint, and we give each other heads up on major financial decisions (specifically, my lending/giving to my family in the Philippines). However, sometimes, we have disagreements on:
1) how much to give or where to give
2) what percentage to invest in the stock market (I'm more conservative)
3) My buying of things (like Ipod) that just end up collecting dust :) I don't do this now though. I have a new policy that if I don't have time to use it, I will not buy it.

The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do"

I highly recommend this book.

We're both savers and see pretty eye to eye in terms of money. However, I'm probably more stingy with gift giving, I have no problems with re-gifting, there I said it! The husband usually wants to buy gifts for everyone for Christmas, he'll say to me, "Where is your holiday cheer?" My take is that once you start the gift giving practice, others will feel OBLIGATED to reciprocate. Maybe others don't want to or aren't in the position to buy us gifts. This isn't a problem with us right now, but I worry about his dad asking us for money. Where do you draw the line with a father that wasn't in my husband's life?!

personal accounts are key. Also making sure both of you have a clue about finances is important. They may not need to know everything, but at least have the basic money in/money out. This is very good information to bring up when big ticket item discussions come up.

My husband and I have joint accounts but each have a personal spending account for clothes, eating out at work, CDs, etc. We are generally on the same page with saving and spending and are saving for a house down payment. I manage the money and try to keep him up to date but often get irrtated when he isn't involved! He leaves the money in my hands and doesn't seem to care to know what is heppening with it. That's my only concern!

Shows the importance of picking the right mate in life.
That person who is gorgeous to look at, might not be so attractive if they're shouldering lots of debt.

My fiancee was a saver, his ex turned him into a spender, and now I've reminded him of his saving ways. Huzzah! I'm still more of a saver than he is though.

We both agree to manage our accounts separately. We each have our own budget and way to do things and we both rather enjoy it. It's also easier for each person to manage their own day to day expenses.

We're not planning on kids so that's not an issue.

We often both do our budgets at the same time and discuss how we're doing and plans while we do it. I've known for a long time roughly what he makes, how much CC debt he has, what's in his 401k, etc and he knows the same about me.

I'm more of the saver and my husband does enjoy spending, but both of us realize the importance of saving, investing, and looking to the future.

But, luckily we are both frugal in that we want a good/reasonable price on something that is of a good quality and will last a long time.

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