Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

NTR: I knew separate accounts would come back to bite me

DH and I still have separate bank accounts. We also have joint accounts, but we really just transfer money into a joint account for fixed expenses like mortgage, utility bills, etc. We're both working now, and even though he makes more than me, I end up paying for pretty much everything for DS -- diapers, food, clothes, etc. - just because I'm the one who does most of the shopping. Oh, and for months now, I've also been paying for all our groceries.

I just checked my bank account, and it's really tapped out. A few months ago I had built up a savings account again, and now there's just barely enough in there for if I overdraw my checking account. I just paid for a bunch of clothes for DS at a consignment sale, a bunch of babyproofing stuff at BRU, etc.

BUT, I was about to buy DS's Christmas outfit and a pair of See Kai Runs online, with coupons that expire soon. If I ask DH to pay for them, he will just give me a hard time about what seems like a frivolous purchase, not understanding that the issue is really because of all the months of unequal spending on the basics.

I hate money. Hate it hate it hate it. Or at least I hate having to talk about money. Sigh.

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Re: NTR: I knew separate accounts would come back to bite me

  • well, that just doesn't sound fair at all. 
  • I think groceries and baby-essentials should be paid from that joint account, too. In essence, you've been feeding your whole family and paying for your child entirely on your own. That's SO unfair.

    But I'm also one of those people who doesn't understand separate accounts when you're married. I think it's just asking for somebody to pay for more stuff and feel peeved about it. And I think it sets up a MINE and YOURS attitude toward money, which is really all OURS when you're a family.

  • Maybe instead of asking for the money for a Christmas outfit, you could ask him to pitch in for diapers, food, etc.  Which it really is for, you've just already put in his half and he'll be paying you back.  After that, you should sit down and talk to him about how you can work this out on a monthly basis, because it is really becoming a burden on you.  What does he spend his money on anyway?
  • image Shopaholic78:
    What does he spend his money on anyway?

    He spends his money on going out to lunch every day - which adds up really fast, but doesn't seem like it should cost more than what I'm buying us. I don't actually know, over the past 6 months, which is probably the big issue. He's supposedly always "broke" but I never see him purchasing anything tangible. He makes more than I do. Maybe he's claiming sick days and seeing hookers? ;-)

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  • image LoriFalce:

    I think groceries and baby-essentials should be paid from that joint account, too. In essence, you've been feeding your whole family and paying for your child entirely on your own. That's SO unfair.

    But I'm also one of those people who doesn't understand separate accounts when you're married. I think it's just asking for somebody to pay for more stuff and feel peeved about it. And I think it sets up a MINE and YOURS attitude toward money, which is really all OURS when you're a family.

    I agree with Lori (oh sage one :) )  Mortgage and bills are not the only household expenses. 

    You are exactly right on the uneven spending.  Since you have access to the joint account, can't you just use that to make these purchases? 

    And then you need to have a sit down with your DH about the separate accounts.  I had a friend at work who had separate accounts from her DH until her DD was born...it just didn't work after that.  What they did prior to her DD arriving was put a percentage of their incomes into the joint account.  That way, it doesn't matter who makes more. 

    Hopefully you can find something that works for you.

    Good luck!

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  • My DH and I had a very similar problem. We weren't on the same page when it came to spending and it seemed like we could never hold on to it. We took a financial class together and it's in the list of top three things we have EVER done for our marriage. Now ever check comes into a joint savings account and we each have budget responsibilities (ie DH pays for phones, I pay for groceries, etc) and we move whatever we've budgeted for our responsibilities into separate checking accounts. If there's something extra that one of us wants to buy or go do we also have "emotional spending" budgeted so that we don't feel like we're on such a tight leash all of the time.
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  • I agree w/ pps- a lot more should be coming out of your joint account. DH and I still have separate accounts, but the vast majority of both of our incomes goes into the joint, and we each get an "allowance" with every paycheck that stays in our separate accounts (I know that is a loaded word around here, but hey, it's what works for us). That way we can make frivolous purchases for ourselves without having to answer for them, but all household expenses can be covered by our joint account.
  • I know where you are coming from. We also have a joint account that bills are paid out of. I make more than DH but we put the same % of our pay check in. Then I transfer money for groceries out of the account. We include diapers and wipes in the grocery budget. However I buy all of DS clothes toys ect...mostly b/c I do all of the shopping. However I need to sit down with DH and we do need to add DS expenses to our joint account b/c it is not fair that I pay for all of it. Another thing that bothers me is DH changed bank accounts and refuses to order a atm card. So when ever he runs out of cash he comes to me. And I end up paying every time we go out to eat...go on a date night. 

    I also hate talking about money but its really something that has to be done

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  • image LoriFalce:

    But I'm also one of those people who doesn't understand separate accounts when you're married. I think it's just asking for somebody to pay for more stuff and feel peeved about it. And I think it sets up a MINE and YOURS attitude toward money, which is really all OURS when you're a family.

     I totally agree with this. Why the seperate accounts? Its really setting up a divide b/w you guys financially and having that MINE and YOURS mentality is really unhealthy- in anything marriage related.

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  • If you're keeping both accounts (which doesn't bother me like it does some people... I don't think separate accounts are a bad thing at all) then it seems to me that your money (and his) need to go into the joint account, and a certain percentage or a certain $ amount should be transferred into your personal accounts for discretionary spending.  The joint account shouldn't be used solely for fixed expenses.  Joint expenses are only occasionally fixed.  As a general rule, "needs" should be coming from the joint account, and the things like going out for lunches (when he could easily have packed a lunch from home), gifts for one another, and things that you don't really need, but want (like the Christmas outfit, for example... once spending is more equitable) should come from the discretionary account.
  • I also think having a joint account helps in situations like this.
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  • we have separate accounts, too and now that I freelance, I basically tap out my savings until I get miraculously paid for one of my jobs and can replenish savings & checking accounts. The few times I've been really delayed in getting paid and my savings account goes way, way down, I either just transfer money from a joint account or ask DH to write me a check. He knows I pay for diapers, groceries, etc. and that it can sometimes take months for me to get paid for my work. Happily, he rarely asks for an accounting of what I am spending money on and if he ever says anything like "her shoes cost how much?," I just say, "yeah, that's what children's shoes cost these days."

    I know others disagree, but I'm actually quite happy with our account arrangements. It's so much easier for me to keep track of my freelance payments having my own account.

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  • It's time to sit down and figure out your budget and a fair division of the bills.

    DH and I have separate accounts. He makes more than I do and pays more of the monthly bills. But I do seem to be the one that has just a little left over at the end of the month. Because I do most of the shopping.

    I have found that the best way to resolve is to have a monthly conversation about what is coming in and going out.

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  • I don't get why you can't just have a discussion about it.  Why would he call you frivolous?
  • image LoriFalce:

    I think groceries and baby-essentials should be paid from that joint account, too. In essence, you've been feeding your whole family and paying for your child entirely on your own. That's SO unfair.

    But I'm also one of those people who doesn't understand separate accounts when you're married. I think it's just asking for somebody to pay for more stuff and feel peeved about it. And I think it sets up a MINE and YOURS attitude toward money, which is really all OURS when you're a family.

    ITA! We personally only have joint accounts, but this sounds so unfair. I would hope your DH would be understanding if you sat down and talked about it. I mean it's only fair that diapers, groceries, etc come out of the joint account, rather than your separate account.

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