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Thread: Marriage Finances

  1. #11
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    So, rather unusually, we were only married a few months before I became a parent and after maternity leave no more salary but I was home full time with my son. Here's how we did it - since I was working inside the home (no help from family, no sitters, daycare and minimal activities that were not free) he provided for us financially. With an important difference. I knew I'd want to be at home for a longer time than maternity leave so 11 years before we married I started building a financial nest egg so that if I married someone who couldn't 100% provide or do so easily I could provide from my nest egg. Even though he could provide I wanted to contribute so I contribute roughly half our rent per month out of my savings and also paid for my own entertainment and related expenses (which was very low -I was mostly not going out or buying stuff as a SAHM). I felt like I should contribute to the household expenses too although of course less than him.

    All of that is to say - even though he makes more than you you are a team right now and you don't yet have kids -so if you want more $ see if there is a way to earn more $. Certainly if he wants to go for expensive dinners out or similar and that is outside your income/budget he should pay -as he does - but I'm not sure why contributing for groceries is an issue if he's paying the mortgage/gas (and car expenses?). I agree that I'm not sure how you supported yourself before with rent, etc.

    I love Iamfca's idea about Suzie Orman and I urge you -before you have kids - since you seem to want more $ see if you can bring in more $ somehow. And yes, communication. Good luck (oh and when I went back to work my paycheck went into our joint account -we also have separate accounts).

  2. #12
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    Your only financial responsibility is the groceries and household items, toiletries? He pays for everything else including saving and investments? If I understand this correctly, you have a great deal, it seems reasonably fair in my opinion if he makes 4x your salary.

  3. #13
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    All couples should talk about finances before they walk down the aisle. Many marriage prep classes that are church sponsored DO prompt you to discuss your relationships with in-laws-to-be, kids, finances, what are the expectations on both sides are as far as your roles -- both as a talking point and also so its not a shock as to what the other party assumes. It sounds like you never had this conversation or you blindly just agreed.

    You should be both paying into a joint account, withholding a certain amount per month or per paycheck to have money for gas, incidentals, pocket money that you solely control etc, and i see no problem with doing what is left over from that incidental money to do what you will - whether its to squirrel away or spend. Treating money as if you are roommates does not work - treating one spouse like a tenant does not work in the long run, either, where you are collecting money from the other.

    If you are the one who gets the groceries - it could very well be an equitable situation - some couples spend between $100-300 per week on food and basic household supplies. Yes, if you were on the upper end of that that's a huge chunk of your paycheck. So you cook, clip coupons,take advantage of sales for staples and use shopping apps to save money and stretch the dollar. Better yet, you both put money into the joint account and pay it from there.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    All couples should talk about finances before they walk down the aisle. Many marriage prep classes that are church sponsored DO prompt you to discuss your relationships with in-laws-to-be, kids, finances, what are the expectations on both sides are as far as your roles -- both as a talking point and also so its not a shock as to what the other party assumes. It sounds like you never had this conversation or you blindly just agreed.

    You should be both paying into a joint account, withholding a certain amount per month or per paycheck to have money for gas, incidentals, pocket money that you solely control etc, and i see no problem with doing what is left over from that incidental money to do what you will - whether its to squirrel away or spend. Treating money as if you are roommates does not work - treating one spouse like a tenant does not work in the long run, either, where you are collecting money from the other.

    If you are the one who gets the groceries - it could very well be an equitable situation - some couples spend between $100-300 per week on food and basic household supplies. Yes, if you were on the upper end of that that's a huge chunk of your paycheck. So you cook, clip coupons,take advantage of sales for staples and use shopping apps to save money and stretch the dollar. Better yet, you both put money into the joint account and pay it from there.
    Yes - I was going to add about couponing. I don't do extreme couponing but I basically did none pre-marriage/child and now I am very aware of it and take advantage. For example I got a major brand face cream for $8 instead of $30 with two different coupons that I could combine. For example.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Financial issues are a major reason for marital discord and cited in 25% of divorces. Lack of communication is even a higher cause of discord, stress and divorce.

    Unfortunately after only a few mos, of marriage, you have both. It's time to get outside help from financial advisers marriage therapy, etc. You are already resentful and after mere mos., your marriage is at significant risk for divorce. This is way beyond a DIY survey of what other people do and some "who pays" style dating tips.
    Last edited by Wiseman2; 02-10-2019 at 07:42 AM.

  7. #16
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Financial issues are a major reason for marital discord and cited in 25% of divorces. Lack of communication is even a higher cause of discord, stress and divorce.

    Unfortunately after only a few mos, of marriage, you have both. It's time to get outside help from financial advisers marriage therapy, etc. You are already resentful and after mere mos., your marriage is at significant risk for divorce. This is way beyond a DIY survey of what other people do and some "who pays" style dating tips.
    i think being afraid to talk about finances before marriage is not productive. Not everyone is hiding a financial problem but for the fact that there is a lot of assuming going on.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    I live in Manhattan and am in charge of groceries since I'm the one who cooks. I also handle toiletries. I could only wish my weekly budget was anywhere near $300 per week. It'd be ribeye every Friday. I have no idea if this lady and her guy are each 600 pounds or if she does all her shopping in the organic aisle, but I cannot possibly imagine that paying for food and household items in lieu of mortgage, utilities, household maintenance, car expenses, etc. would break anyone's bank.

  9. #18
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    I live in Manhattan and am in charge of groceries since I'm the one who cooks. I also handle toiletries. I could only wish my weekly budget was anywhere near $300 per week. It'd be ribeye every Friday. I have no idea if this lady and her guy are each 600 pounds or if she does all her shopping in the organic aisle, but I cannot possibly imagine that paying for food and household items in lieu of mortgage, utilities, household maintenance, car expenses, etc. would break anyone's bank.
    If she makes $10 an hour and he makes $75,000 per year, i can understand how after groceries, household cleaning supplies and other things for the home swiftly uses up her paycheck.

    I guess my bigger concern is-- so you pick the groceries up because you do the cooking so you can select what you want to cook (which makes sense), but i doubt if your money and your wife's money is completely separate and i doubt if your wife pays the main bills, then ferrets the overage for herself while you have $10 leftover after you pay for food and entertainment and then she goes out and buys fur coats and diamond rings while you wear the same holey coat for 12 years. If one person is responsible for the groceries due to convenience (they are the one that cooks, their schedule better allows it), that's great, but they should have full say in the rest of the budget and know fully where all the money goes and make joint decisions on everything else.

    My guy already had a house, car, etc, and didn't need extra income to make ends meet - he was very clear about the married situation - he is not expecting a wife to pay 50 percent. he was expecting that whatever she made would be bonus -- go into the same pot, i would be responsible to keep TRACK and pay bills he wasn't used to having that would be extra - but out of the join
    t account) but he wasn't expecting a woman to make what he made, etc. Maybe even though she thinks otherwise, that this is the true situation and because she doesn't see where the rest of the money goes, it worries her.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    If she makes $10 an hour and he makes $75,000 per year, i can understand how after groceries, household cleaning supplies and other things for the home swiftly uses up her paycheck.

    I guess my bigger concern is-- so you pick the groceries up because you do the cooking so you can select what you want to cook (which makes sense), but i doubt if your money and your wife's money is completely separate and i doubt if your wife pays the main bills, then ferrets the overage for herself while you have $10 leftover after you pay for food and entertainment and then she goes out and buys fur coats and diamond rings while you wear the same holey coat for 12 years. If one person is responsible for the groceries due to convenience (they are the one that cooks, their schedule better allows it), that's great, but they should have full say in the rest of the budget and know fully where all the money goes and make joint decisions on everything else.

    My guy already had a house, car, etc, and didn't need extra income to make ends meet - he was very clear about the married situation - he is not expecting a wife to pay 50 percent. he was expecting that whatever she made would be bonus -- go into the same pot, i would be responsible to keep TRACK and pay bills he wasn't used to having that would be extra - but out of the join
    t account) but he wasn't expecting a woman to make what he made, etc. Maybe even though she thinks otherwise, that this is the true situation and because she doesn't see where the rest of the money goes, it worries her.
    I've lived on every corner of these United States, in each of the Big Three cities, and several places in between. There is no city, town, or village where paying for groceries and toiletries would have broken my bank anywhere near how much it would if I were responsible for a mortgage, car, utilities, and household maintenance (the latter alone capable of beating the cost of an entire year's worth of groceries after a single incident). Not for $8/hr. or any rate.

    Our money is in fact separate. We have stipulations written and notarized such as if I were to give up my contracts to relocate for the benefit of her career or once we start having children. Until then, there is nothing I'm disproportionately sacrificing to entitle me to her money or a say in how she spends it beyond the responsibilities we've agreed to fulfill. She doesn't pay the entirety of the main bills, but she does pay more than I do. Pretty much any and all the extra money I have gets thrown into my brokerage account anyway, so I frankly don't care if my wife elects to pay for shoes or necklaces with the extra money she has left. Beyond my initial investment into my "man cave," I drop $60 a year for a decent pair of cleats, and that's pretty much good for me.

    The quality of life I'm afforded due to what my wife disproportionately pays for is beyond enough for me to quite easily duck any potential feelings of resentment should she go hog wild on an Ann Taylor sale. If the OP can look at the money she pays toward groceries and household supplies and honestly tell herself she could could do better than the household and luxuries she's got being married to this man, then by all means, she should go on and fight the good fight. Otherwise, it's best to maintain some perspective and appreciation. We're no longer in an age where women are bred to be housewives, jumping from being dependent on her parents to being dependent on a husband. I certainly wasn't bred to take for granted a richer woman's career which I played very little part in cultivating. Beyond expressly communicated financial goals and responsibilities and insofar as both spouses are entirely capable and free to do as they will with their professional lives, I think an approach such as the husband's is perfectly fine and reasonable.

  11. #20
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    why are you not pooling your money, and paying everything out of the 1 pot?

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