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Thread: Who controls the money in a relationship?

  1. #11
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    Accountant speaking in.

    Budget your money. Come up with how much you need to cover expenses (plus a buffer) and how much each of you want to save. Agree on it.
    Each of you deposit money for bills and savings into a joint account. The rest goes into personal accounts that you each get to spend how you please.

    Win win.. Everyone is happy and there will be savings.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I agree with you, Nickel. It's a start. It's not the only strategy. Some couples don't agree on joint accounts, period. That's their prerogative.

    Loaniee, why would your partner believe you're not good at saving? Are you also trying to pay down any debt and what was/is the reason behind any debt? I'm asking from the relationship aspect of things.

    I'd also be curious to know about what his background with money is (has he dug himself out of debt and is he anxious to save rather than accumulate debt?). Not everyone is the same or will have the same ideas or attitudes towards money or how it's used. Have you had previous conversations where things might have been misunderstood at an earlier date? I'm asking to understand where his existing notions or preconceived notions about you are coming from.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Loanieee
    I know my title sounds controlling. I personally think in a long relationship finances should be equal in a shared bank account. However my partner (been together 8 years) is obsessed with money, he thinks Iím not good at saving (I disagree I think i can save but now and then I also like to live and spend money), he wants all the money kept and deposited into one account that I wonít have access too, so he can watch it grow and we can save for a house deposit. I donít feel good about this. It stresses me out. I love him, but I donít love his obsession with money that has always caused underlying stress in our relationship.
    I mean there's about 1000 miles of distance between the two.

    I would never agree to any deal that didn't involve either of us having our own accounts to play or contribute with at our own leisure. Still, we combine for costs we're both responsible for.

    What I will say, and this sounds like what your partner has planned, is we do have a brokerage account that I solely handle and which she contributes extra funds for me to invest when she can and wants to. The problem with your situation is it sounds like you two aren't married, which could involve what would be considered taxable gifts either between him transferring his assets into a joint tenancy or you two eventually not working out and having to cash out between each other. I'm not intimately familiar with that aspect, and I'm sure the accountant in this thread could correct me on everything, but do know the tax is rarely ever cheap, and there are a whole lot of other implications with a joint brokerage account than there are with a joint bank account, especially those non-spousal. I also think there are hurdles that hinder effective liquidity if a decision needs to be made straight away in a non-spousal joint tenancy. That's not to say I'd take him up on it in your shoes, but that there are reasons it'd solely be in his name were you to go down the road of investing the extra money as a means to save for a home.

    There are ways to contractually work around issues, but I wouldn't mess with de facto joint assets. I'd get married first, and that's not because I'm a romantic. As to the more general question, "control" tends to operate on a sliding scale, but access to joint funds and assets should be equal, with the more financially responsible party trusting their partner pretty much not to **** anything up.
    Last edited by j.man; 03-21-2019 at 12:46 PM.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    If you aren't married, there should be no joint accounts period. You split the bills however you two agree and pay your respective shares. What you do with the rest of your funds is your personal business. Do not buy property together unless married. If you have no plans of getting married, however, please consult a lawyer on how to purchase jointly so that you can both easily get out should the relationship tank. Ultimately, I still strongly recommend against buying jointly and any decent lawyer will tell you the same. If you aren't married, keep your finances and assets completely separate and in your own respective names. Do not play house and wifey when it comes to money, savings, and assets.

    Overall, what you are describing sounds more like financial control and abuse rather than just being obsessed with money, as you so kindly put it. Even if married, there is absolutely no way that you have an account where you have no legal access to it. Sure, couples can agree that a certain person will be in charge of bills or in charge of investments or both, but both partners have absolute right of access and ability to check the statements, accounts, etc. For this guy to insist on taking absolute control and cut you out financially is beyond unacceptable, it's actively dangerous to you. You are placing yourself at his absolute mercy and nobody should ever put themselves in that position. He shouldn't even be asking, let alone telling you that you aren't good enough and then taking control. That is the definition of abusive, controlling behavior.

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  6. #15
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    I don't think it matters what other people do with money in their relationships, or what the normal situation is for other people. What matters is what you're comfortable with and what you want. And the two of you want different things. It's not fair to either of you to have it one way or the other when one of you is not comfortable with it. You two disagree on so much about money; you think two people should equally have a share in the combined finances, he thinks only he should have control over it, you think he is "obsessed with money" - a phrase that doesn't suggest that you trust his judgement, and you both disagree on whether or not you are any good at saving money, which suggests that he doesn't trust your judgement, either. So regardless of WHAT you two actually want or think about it, the fact is you don't agree, so right now I don't think you should combine anything, not until you can agree on it or come to a compromise. I can see why it stresses you out.

    Maybe you can open a savings account that only he has access to, but together you will decide how much you want to contribute to it every month, and whatever else you make is yours to control and spend how you want. Do you think h would be willing to agree to that?

  7. #16
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    Nope nope and NOPE, nobody is locking up my money in an account I have no access to. Heck, NOPE !

  8. #17
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    BOTH your names should be on the account.
    I have an aunt and uncle. The aunt will save a tiny bit of money - but the latest handbag comes first. And she buys two $8 lattes a day.
    So they are both on the account, but my uncle transfers an appropriate amount of money to savings when the direct deposits hit before she can get her hands on it to go on a shopping spree. She obviously can access the money at any time but they both agree once its in the savings account, its hands off.

    I do agree that if you are not a saver and he is better at finances, maybe he is the one who pays the bills. But you should have access to all the money, too.
    The only way i disagree is if you have a gambling addiction,a drug problem, or your mortgage doesn't get paid because you empty the account at the mall - then i would agree you should not have access

  9. #18
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    Yes, and if you are not married, you should have separate bank accounts.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    I mean there's about 1000 miles of distance between the two.

    I would never agree to any deal that didn't involve either of us having our own accounts to play or contribute with at our own leisure. Still, we combine for costs we're both responsible for.

    What I will say, and this sounds like what your partner has planned, is we do have a brokerage account that I solely handle and which she contributes extra funds for me to invest when she can and wants to. The problem with your situation is it sounds like you two aren't married, which could involve what would be considered taxable gifts either between him transferring his assets into a joint tenancy or you two eventually not working out and having to cash out between each other. I'm not intimately familiar with that aspect, and I'm sure the accountant in this thread could correct me on everything, but do know the tax is rarely ever cheap, and there are a whole lot of other implications with a joint brokerage account than there are with a joint bank account, especially those non-spousal. I also think there are hurdles that hinder effective liquidity if a decision needs to be made straight away in a non-spousal joint tenancy. That's not to say I'd take him up on it in your shoes, but that there are reasons it'd solely be in his name were you to go down the road of investing the extra money as a means to save for a home.

    There are ways to contractually work around issues, but I wouldn't mess with de facto joint assets. I'd get married first, and that's not because I'm a romantic. As to the more general question, "control" tends to operate on a sliding scale, but access to joint funds and assets should be equal, with the more financially responsible party trusting their partner pretty much not to **** anything up.
    I'm not a tax accountant, but from what I remember, My opinion is still that the transfers would be a non-taxable gift if she were also on the account. Either way, I'm speculating and it would generally be a bad idea should things go south. The person listed on the tax document first would also be the one who should claim any income from the brokerage account on taxes, for IRS's sake. Even though the reality is that it should be 50/50.

  11. #20
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RayofLighten
    He cant stop you from having control over your own earned money, that's ridiculous. Why don't you have your own bank account? Are you actually a reckless spender? Is that why he wants complete control? Either way he is too controlling.
    Even if she was a reckless spender it wouldn't be a boyfriend's job to control her finances, but instead to leave her if the spending styles are so non compatible.

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