NBR: How are you managing your finances? — The Bump
December 2013 Moms

NBR: How are you managing your finances?

My husband and I have shared bank accounts for 3 years. We split household bills and vacations but we each pay any debt we had before getting married...

This month we were paid three times so he anticipated "having an entire paycheck to blow." I tried to explain that even though we were paid three times the bills are still being paid every two weeks and our next check isn't until Dec. 13. He got upset and stormed out of the house. Although he didn't say it, I feel like he doesn't trust me with the money. What he doesnt realize is I take my "free" money to makeup for shortcomings and savings for our children all the time! I no longer want to be in charge of the bills but I don't want to put him in charge because he would rather not pay a bill to splurge than pay the bill and sacrifice.

Have you ladies found a money management routine that both you and your spouse are satisfied with? Care to share?

Re: NBR: How are you managing your finances?

  • DH and I make almost the same amount. We got joint checking & savings once we were engaged and cancelled our individual accounts. I know it might be UO to not have your own personal account, but it really works for us. Bills are paid no problem, but we also have no kids (yet).

    "Having an entire paycheck to blow" sounds immature. I don't know your financial situation, but I would take the extra money and add it to savings. If you want to spend it on something, make sure you both agree on whatever it is. When DH or I want something expensive, there's always a discussion before we go out and buy it.
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    Lilypie - (ATx7)

    TimeToReplaceTheCatsWithABaby[Deleted User]
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  • We use the software You Need A Budget (YNAB) to manage our bills/expenses.  The software costs a one-time $60 but you get a month free trial to try it out.  We bought it in October and in my opinion it has already paid for itself.  When we agreed to getting the software, we decided we were going to pool our paychecks 100% into a shared account (leaving a small amount in each of our personal checking accounts so that we can buy gifts, treats, etc for each other once in awhile).  We also agreed to stop treating the debt we accrued prior to marriage as separate.  I have more, so I felt guilty, but it has really made our budgeting much easier and more straightforward.  We are in the best financial place we've ever been in (although we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be).
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  • Thanks for the input! Great advice.
  • I'm in charge of the money but I write on our whiteboard all the bills as they come in and let him know what my check is so that he knows I'm not hiding money. Also any extra money gets decided between the both of us how to spend it.
  • DH and I still have all separate accounts, but we're working on putting together a mutual checking for bills and groceries. Not quite there yet, though.


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  • I no longer work, but I'm in charge of all the money and bill paying. All of his paychecks go directly into our joint checking and then we take out $x per week for spend money in our personal checking accounts.
    My husband isn't irresponsible with money, per say, but paying bills on time and keeping track of things is just not one of his strong points so I took that over while dating even. He has access to everything of course and I never spend bonuses or make big purchases without discussing with him, but he has no clue what goes on day to day in our checking/savings accounts. Honestly he doesn't even know what his paycheck is haha. We always joke that I could be funneling money away somewhere and he'd never know. Guess he trusts me!
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  • SO and I are still 100% separate. He has his share of the bills and I have mine. At some point when we decided to buy a house together we will probably look into combining, but until then it works for us.
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  • I pay the mortgage and my husband is responsible for the bills/ giving me money up to an equal amount of the mortgage that I pay. (He makes more than I do) My husband and I each have $200 a week that we use for groceries/gas stuff like that. Extra money goes into our joint account which we use for baby/house stuff/savings. It seems all over the place but we've figured it out and it works well for us :)
  • Since I stopped working this year we really had to tighten up.  We figured out how much we make in a year and divide it by 12 to come up with our average monthly income.  From that we subtract the static monthly expenses like mortgage, cell phone, netflix, car insurance, internet, student loans and the averages for electric, gas, and water.  The remainder is what we can spend for the month.  We have a spreadsheet where we write down the purchases we make and record the remaining amount.

    Breaking it down into X amount for food, Y for gas, Z for misc didn't work for us, it's just too stressful and constricting.  As long as we end the month with some money to throw into savings we are happy.
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  • Thanks for all of the advice. We will definetly be having a talk about a new plan for joint management of finances, especially with a new baby on the way. Look at debt as OUR DEBT is a good principle that will be incorporated into the plan.
  • All of our money is together, there is no "he pays" and "she pays" in our finances. We pay together. We manage our money together and make decisions together. We are taking a Crown finance class right now and it is helping us set a budget and truly see how much money we waste, so we are working now to save more and plan better. 
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  •  We currently use mint.com as well for our budgeting system. It's especially helpful for us as we've gone down to one income while I'm on leave. It can be stressful to have one person in charge of money management. I definitely recommend you both be involved in the finances and managing so everyone understands where money goes after it comes in.
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    [Deleted User]Kbrittonhart
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    We have separate accounts and each pay specific bills. We no longer argue about money. Has worked for us for probably 15 years.
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  • When we got married last year, we opened a joint savings for our wedding gifts. Then when we bought a house, we opened a joint checking too. We still have our own accounts for now, but basically for the past couple of months, we've pulled together x amount into the joint checking to pay for mortgage and bills. We didn't calculate food into it or entertainment, but we end up switching off, and using that account specifically for bills. We also discuss larger purchases, and have for quite some time. It works at least for now :-)
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  • I turned DH on to Dave Ramsey. He's amazing but you gotta get your DH to have the desire to get out of debt.

    DH makes almost double my income and was a splurger... It took me a good year to fix his mistakes and get him on track. I do all of our bills, saving, spending allotments. He still makes tiny mistakes once in a while but I 'respectfully' set him strait. We don't buy each other gifts. We discuss all purchases. I tell him everything that I do with the money to keep him feeling like he has a say... He knows that I'm great with finances and trusts that I keep things 'even'. We currently live in my 2 bedroom bachelorette pad, did renovations for more livable space, but want to be 100% ready to upgrade when #2 comes along.

    I think that you're going to have to explain your actions and reasonings to your DH. Explain that, while you would love to splurge on extra things, you simply cannot because you put the kids first. (Paying debts is putting your kids first too) One day, you and DH will be living without debts and have more money to spend on yourselves. It's just looking to the long term instead of immediate gratification.
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