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How to convince "the boss" (if you get what I mean)

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    +1 for the married folks budget. (And + .5 for the office hanky-panky thought.) Mrs. Styles and I need to set up a easy, clear way to determine how much to spend. I admit that I spend more, though with an awesome Goodwill nearby, my fashion upgrades have been done at a modest cost. But having designated money for "whatever" is a great idea.



      Haha! I am loving these responses... my productivity is slipping today, but at least I am entertained!

      @Gabe - you are just bragging, c'mon man!

      @glaeken - not necessarily any hanky-panky (which is hilarious, btw) but it doesn't hurt to have office females notice you. Especially since I work from home 3 days a week and sit there in sweats and look/feel gross.

      An additional note that I am sure has some factor here and may not be relevant to most: It does not help one bit that she has no college debt, but I do - coupled with the fact that I am still paying off her ring! I bought it in grad school, but used the pricing rule of thumb as if I were on salary... not the best decision at the time, but we are both still super proud of that piece and it all worked out (for the most part)



        Just got married in June and the wifey and I also set up a budget with an allowance. We set aside $200 a month on expenses we dont need aproval for. Anything that falls outside of that is discussed. Were saving about 25-30% post tax income now to put towards a house or condo. The allowance has worked wonders. No "do you really need that" or "couldnt you get a cheaper sweater" etc... So long as it falls in the budget its just a "oh that looks nice on you!" and trust me, tthat feels so much better haha.



          @j.r. Think of both as investments. Her ring will retain (and probably gain) value. Your college degree will pay you back 100 fold over your lifetime. Neither investment will give you poor returns. Since you are in this together, your loans are her loans. So this really should only be a factor when determining your available cash after bills.



            My wife and I have allowances, too, but we take it to the next level. We have a single primary account where things like bills and other big stuff are paid out of, but we also have individual personal accounts that get refilled automatically at the beginning of each month.

            Anything beyond our given allowances requires approval, but I've found that bribery helps.

            @Jared: Engagement ring salefolks like to tell people that the ring is an investment because it will retain or appreciate in value, but that only does any good if you are ever going to sell it. The ring won't be sold outside of divorce, and in that situation, she's likely the one keeping the ring. So it's really not an investment.



              @Alan I understand your point regarding ring sales and their perpetrators. However, some may sell down the road to get a nicer ring. Divorce would play no part in this transaction. I know for a fact my wife would like to upgrade down the line, so the value of her current ring will play a big part in the cost of the ring to which she will upgrade.

              I like to think I'm not a sucker and susceptible to such sales tactics. IMHO a ring is an asset and should be insured and treated as such despite the fact it may never be sold.

              Agree to disagree I guess.



                how funny! my gf and i are the exact opposite. i was a complete sartorial slob before i met her. she made me aware that 98% of my clothing simply don't fit. i actually learned the existence of slim fit shirts and such from her. she gives me a lot of advice on my wardrobe upgrade.

                she had a mentality that puts heavy emphasis on quality: don't buy often, but buy well. buy something that you can keep for the rest of your life, never go out of style or depreciates in value. with that philosophy she took into posession some hermes scarfs, chanel and lv handbags. i don't really condone splurging on these luxury stuff, but i can attest the beauty of these things, the hermes scarfs are a true work of art, and the lesser brands simply don't achieve that level of exquisite beauty. and per her words, all that stuff has only gone up in monetary value since she bought them, yes, even as used items. she admits it takes a toll on her savings, once you go that high, it's hard to settle for anything inferior.

                and i am pretty much on the other end, want to look good but could settle for less than perfect stuff if the price is right. yeah, soon i will have to explain to her why i bough 3 pairs of pants from target..



                  I am fascinated with this thread.

                  @Jared - "your loans are her loans." She always says "what's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine." a real pistol, i tell you.

                  @Alan - we have considered the additional, separate spending accounts. maybe down the road. my inner me appreciates the accountability and transparency of our spending habits. that said, if she buys one more groupon, I will probably have to go out and buy a Jaeger Lecoultre (sounds about even, right?)

                  I even cut up and closed out my Corporate AmEx because I used it a few times outside of my work-allocated expenses. So I need some reigns on me, but I am trying to find a solution to... loosen them up a bit, so to speak.

                  This is some good stuff going on here...



                    @j.r. HAHA! If that is her stance, totally drop the loans thing on her. She'll reconsider that statement in a heartbeat.



                      We basically do the same thing as Alan. We have a joint account and each have a personal account. We can split up our direct deposits, so we have money direct deposited twice a month to our personal accounts for a set amount. That gets used for whatever each other wants. If you want to buy your lunch, clothes, go golfing (I think more of mine goes there than for clothes) or whatever, we each pay from that account. It just makes life easier than me asking why she spent $100 at the nail salon and her asking why I spent $90 at the bar. If we do something like go to dinner and a movie together, we will pay that from our joint account. We also budget our joint expenses as well.

                      I have a lot of friends who are married and keeps completely separate accounts. They split their mortgage, groceries, etc. If one of them wants a new car, they go buy it and make the payment out of their own account. I can see that working, making each one accountable for their spending, but that just seems odd to me. I can see many other issues happening because of that.



                        This thread has been a great read for me. I'm actually just moving in with my fiancee this week, so I've definitely started to think about all of this.

                        I kind of like the idea of having a shared account for the majority of our expenses, but then also having the fun account for each of us.



                          Separate 'fun' accounts are a fine, judicious idea. But compassion and empathy toward your spouse's inclinations are far more important than how one looks.



                            thank god I am not married and make 6 figures a year.



                              Instead of allowances, why not come up with a set amount you want to save per month, and consider all other money free for whatever?

                              I'm a rather frugal guy, and being married and sharing finances at some point is going to drive me crazy. I just need to find someone with a similar mindset.



                                @Deke - cwc0004's set up would work great for you. My wife and I did that in your situation and it worked perfectly.