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

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    Allowances work best for us. I wouldn't call us frugal, but we are not foolish with our money. We are fortunate in that my wife and I both make very good salaries and save plenty. We do have a set amount to save each month and exceed it. Spending the left over money on whatever after saving would be foolish for us.



      I don't see why this is all so complicated... I'm 24 and have been married for over a year and money isn't even an issue (even when we were so poor we couldn't even qualify for welfare!). We have a single, joint account. We both have direct deposit. We both have student loan debt. I have some credit card debt from school as well. But the thing is... we don't look at it that way. This is all one and the same. This is OUR debt, and this is OUR money. WE need to pay it off ASAP so we can build true wealth and be debt free before buying a house and having kids.

      We set a budget every month for personal spending (between 80-100 each) AFTER we have budgeted out all bills and actual living expenses for the month (rent, utilities, food, transportation, etc.) We sit down together every month and put it all down on paper and agree on our spending. After that, there is no deviation unless an emergency comes up (in which case we sit down together again). We are a team and we're in this together.

      I don't understand why people do it differently with the separate accounts and all. To me it seems to be a lack of true commitment to having a life-long partnership. It puts too much emphasis on the individual to something that is supposed to be a dedication to communion and unity instead of separation and division. I always felt that marriage was the end of I and Me, and the beginning of Us and We. It's little things like this I think that cause divorce rates to be so high. I would seriously rethink these split account deals if you want to have long term happiness together. Just my opinion...



        I am married and young, but have been with my wife for over 7 years. Having a "separate account" doesnt mean its hidden somewhere in the middle of nowhere as to hide it from the other person... It just makes everything easier to track. Our pay gets automatically divided into 5 accounts (our chequing for grocery's, gas, etc... our main savings account for a house, a secondary savings account for a vacation which we take every year and 2 separate chequing accounts for our own spending). The accounts are all linked and under both our names, and we see the activity on them all. Its merely to make it easier to budget.

        I think coming off all preachy and telling us we are all wrong and need to rethink our ways so we dont get divorced is overstepping your bounds. This is about effective and efficient budgeting for most of us. It isnt a point of contention, these are just strategies for effective savings and expense tracking. Whether you want to accept it or not, finances can be a huge stress on a relationship, so why not deal with it in an organized manner?



          Serious question: How can you be too poor to qualify for welfare?

          Also, you seem to have a good thing going but I don't think you can assume that your everyone's wife is going to be like yours. Having separate accounts or allowances is a practical way to deal with finances when the people in the relationships value different things when it comes to spending money.



            Allowances aren't complicated. They're actually really simple. And they're generally suggested by financial "pros" as a tool to ensure marriage success, not marriage failure.

            My wife and I actually have similar values about money. We're both frugal, but she likes to go out to dinner with her friends while buying clothes on super-duper-duper sale. I don't go out much, but like to buy more expensive clothes. This way, we each get to do our own thing and we don't sweat the details.

            Plus, an allowance sets up defined boundaries for people who are used to operating based on how much they have in their bank account. This is easy when you're single, and you know how much you have coming in, how much is in there right now, and how much you have going out. This is much more difficult when you're married with a joint account, and your spouse can make large purchases without you remembering that he/she told you.



              I agree with @Focuspants - every marriage is different. Personalities and spending habits vary person to person. What works for one couple may not work for another (look even at the different budgeting strategies in this thread). When living together and not married, it makes the most sense to keep things separate until it becomes official. If that process continues to work after getting married, kudos. If you and your wife decide you want to combine everything, that is OK too. Money is one of the main stressors on a marriage. If you can avoid fighting about money, your marriage will be that much stronger and healthier. If you have it organized, who cares how it works as long as it works. It doesn't mean you're less committed to the other person. Bottom line here is, no matter which route you take, a clear and concise budget is crucial as a married couple.



                How to be too poor? Have income so low that they deem you unable to prove you have any at all. That doesn't make sense to me either, but that was the answer I got. I personally feel that there was also some racism involved because the state I just moved out of still has very strong racial issues (the social worker was black and the black culture there is very aggressively anti-white. I could tell before the paperwork was finished that she would deny me benefits. Furthermore this black vs. white racism has been the subject of the local news there recently.)

                As for being all 'preachy' Focuspants, I was addressing the issue of having a separate 'his' and 'hers' accounts where your individual salaries stay individual and distinct. Having both people on the account and both of you managing the division and organization of your livelihood is different. Those aren't separate accounts, those are 'multiple' accounts in my playbook. I still think that's a bit too much to keep up with in comparison to a written budget on a spreadsheet with a good dose of self-discipline to manage one account, but that's just me. Whatever organization method works for you is fine.

                I'm just against the whole 'you keep your money, I'll keep mine' attitude that is prevalent today as a method of ending monetary disagreements. As long as there is an agreed upon method of spending that takes care of the combined needs before the individual wants, it doesn't matter. Countless studies have cited monetary disputes as being one of the top causes of divorce. If you can't agree on how to spend your money together as a couple, then how will you come to an agreement on how to raise your children effectively? I already have my answer to that, but I don't want to offend someone on the internet for being 'preachy.' My bad.



                  @Adam: I'm with focuspants 100% on this one. Separate accounts is a convenience thing. We still have a primary account where 90% of our expenses are paid out of, but then we also split off into individual personal accounts, and a travel account to save for vacation. Our paychecks direct deposit into the primary account, and then automatic rules divert a portion to the other various accounts. We also have a hard-to-reach emergency account that gets fed every month and is only supposed to be touched when things get really bad (medical bills, job loss, major car repair, etc). Everything is 100% visible between us.



                    Again, you're not listening.

                    Having multiple accounts as an organization TOOL is okay. Using separate accounts as a way to avoid coming to an agreement on money is what I am against.

                    "I'm going to spend my money on what I want to, and if you can't pay your credit card bill because blah blah blah *insert reason*, tough luck."

                    THAT's what I'm against.

                    Word to the wise: read every single word. Pay. Attention.



                      Is it just me or is anyone else's mind blown with the fact that we had "Well, I make six figures a year" followed by "I was too poor to qualify for welfare."

                      Truly diverse group!

                      At this point, I like a lot of the feedback. It is a great learning experience, seeing how people view this topic and sharing one another's approaches to effective budgeting for married couples/domestic partners. I think we can get a great gauge of how people will vote this election, too... but I won't go down that road!

                      All that said, everyone has their own approach and opinions, and I think Joe would second the sentiment that we need to keep it civil.

                      Final thought - Thanks to those who have contributed legitimate, relevant value to the thread. I was curious to learn about those who understand the scenario. I think some of you would concur that I am more proud of my relationship with my wife than any salary I could possibly have, because at the end of the day, you can't take it with you.

                      i.e. Steve Jobs' posthumous custom yacht...




                        I don't understand why people do it differently with the separate accounts and all. To me it seems to be a lack of true commitment to having a life-long partnership. It puts too much emphasis on the individual to something that is supposed to be a dedication to communion and unity instead of separation and division. I always felt that marriage was the end of I and Me, and the beginning of Us and We. It's little things like this I think that cause divorce rates to be so high. I would seriously rethink these split account deals if you want to have long term happiness together. Just my opinion...</blockquote>

                        You're entitled to your opinion. You have a strong opinion about how you think money should be handled within a marriage. I honestly think everyone should have such conviction when it comes to understanding money. It sounds to me like the guys here are using separate accounts as a way to come to an agreement as opposed to avoiding "the money talk". Until you said this:"Having multiple accounts as an organization TOOL is okay." I was convinced your opinion was don't do it ever. I apologize if I misinterpreted what you were attempting to relay in your earlier post.



                          Oh, @j.r. - budget the allowance LAST. You want to make sure your money is going to bills and savings first, then whatever you have left over funnel some to your allowance. This way if there's any kind of payment disruption like a loss of work or say an employer's check bounces (happened to me once - fun!), you can cut the allowance and have a little more breathing room.



                            @Jared: It's all good. I've never been one to care what people say or think about me (in person much less a stranger online) so it didn't really matter to me. I had already decided that my last post was going to be the final one on this thread if there was still disagreement. Don't worry about it. It's fine. I'm a nice guy but I've been told many times that I'm extremely intimidating. Why? Because people think I'm intelligent, extremely opinionated, and well dressed. I sometimes doubt two of those things, but I know without a doubt I'm strong willed.



                              I think as long as both of you talk about your purchases in the open, it will be better for everyone. We know a couple who plays the one-up game and that's not a good one to play--though I'd probably have my V8 M3 by now.



                                Okay, I'm not married. And people have offered plenty of useful advice for navigating financial disagreement amicably in a marriage.

                                But uh, have you tried just explaining the concept of false economy to her? Like, is she *really* completely unable to fathom how this would, ultimately, not prove to be the most economic route for men's clothing?