Husband/Wife Finances

Discussion in 'Business, Investing & Finance' started by bradgator2, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. bradgator2

    bradgator2 Internet Bully
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    So it always interesting listening to coworkers and friends discuss money issues.

    "My wife has to buy groceries this week as I bought them last week."

    "The car payment will come out of my husband's checking account this month."

    "My wife has to pay the kids daycare."

    etc, etc.

    It seems like the majority keep sorta-separate finances. I certainly dont. All money goes into one pot, all money comes out of one pot. Although I handle all the finances, she is always in the loop and knows where we are.

    How about you guys?

    I have a one week old story regarding this. Thankfully, this isnt me but a dear friend.

    1) The wife gets a side consulting gig in 2018. She does a handful of assignments and makes a cool $30,000 on the side of her normal 9-5 job which also pays pretty decent. As I have done some stuff on the side, I warn them to save a portion of that money for their new self employment tax liability. Which they didnt.

    2) To make it worse, and without consulting her husband, she reduced her withholdings on her normal 9-5 paycheck. Simply because: oh cool, my paycheck is bigger.

    3) To make it even worse, and without consulting her husband, she took an early withdrawal out of her 401k because their oldest kid is in college and she needed some help. She knew about the 10% penalty.... didnt know about the tax bill that was cometh.

    Bottom line, they now have a fresh $16,000 federal tax bill.

    They both have separate checking and savings accounts. I just cant wrap my head around that whole situation.
     
    #1 bradgator2, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    • g8r.tom

      g8r.tom Well-Known Member
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      My wife and I do it like you and your wife. It helps to keep us on the same page financially.
       
      • Concrete Helmet

        Concrete Helmet Hook, Line, and Sinker
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        My Wife handles mostly everything except for a bunch of cash I have pigeonholed in savings accounts across town and one rental which is in my name alone....just in case. Seeing how she has a net worth of about 10x of mine :lol: and has been running a successful business and career for close to 30 years I trust her more than I trust myself....
         
        • divits

          divits A Muffin of the Studly Variety
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          My wife and I see pretty much eye to eye on most money issues. We keep it all in one account and I've turned the bill paying over to her after years of hearing how she thought I wasn't as organized as she was even though I never missed a payment and could tell her at any given time how much money was in checking. But I figured OK, you asked for it. I will say that she was an early adopter with automatic online bill pay that has made life easier.

          We're both pretty conservative with money but certainly not cheap. Sometimes I actually have to encourage her to spend money on herself and remind her that we can't take it with us.

          My wife and I both worked in similar fields (pharma/medical/surgical device) even though we got there in different ways. She is very successful in her own right and having our combined income made it easier for me to retire in my early 50s. I say "retired" but I still work 40 hrs a week in a different job that pays a fraction of what I used to make but gives me a lot of satisfaction. I'm 6 years older than her so the plan is when she gets to the age I retired she will retire too and pursue something in non-profit.
           
          • BMF

            BMF Bad Mother....
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            Wife and I have both been previously married....we have separate accounts. However, I make significantly more than her and she has my credit cards and debit card. I pay all the bills - for everything. She works two days a week and is happy doing that. She occasionally works more, but it works for both of us having her home to take care of things (she does all the cooking, house cleaning, laundry, running errands, etc) - it's nice to come home to dinner and a clean house. She also manages our airbnb rental, which is a part-time job - it rents practically every week/weekend we don't use it. She's ten years younger than me....I plan to work another 3 to 7 years and have been planning my exit strategy for years (I'm 48 years old, plan to be done NLT 56 unless I'm doing something I absolutely love).
             
            • TLB

              TLB Just chillin'
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              After surviving my check kiting days in early college and landing a salaried job, I've always been fine with paying bills (note, cc debt disease got me early, but wasn't overwhelming). For the wife, she lived with college room mates and on her own after graduating, so she had decent footing in understanding how income-outgo works, though 'daddy' was always a phone call away - not that she needed him, she lived within her means.

              Upon marriage, we were fairly well aligned on spending habits, but both had significant events happen to our parents that shaped our views. For her, 'daddy' managed to go bankrupt causing 'mommy' to take over family finances and run a tight ship needing to know where every nickel came in and where it went out. 'Mommy' had been passive on finances up to that point, was taken by surprise by the bankruptcy and quickly got a handle on things (she's a sharp woman, just deferred to the man up to that point). For myself, parents divorced when I was 16 and my mom suddenly had to learn how to take care of a family household. Again, a sharp woman, but not one who'd been tasked with this level of financial stewardship before so there was a learning curve that wasn't planned for. Point being, our moms were thrust into a lead position without preparation. We intended to avoid that.

              Our arrangement is a joint checking and savings that her paycheck goes into and a portion of mine is sent to regularly. She has the checkbook and manages all household spending. The exception is that I retained enough of my paycheck to cover mortgage, car payment, and credit card payments. For house and car, it's a regular payment that goes automatically, so running it thru the joint account would just be no-value added noise to her checkbook, so I set them on autopay from my account. The credit cards are my responsibility - I brought a lot of the debt into the relationship and we both discuss together before adding charges to the cards. But this way I can flex as needed between paying down debt as fast as I can VS minimum payments and giving her additional floating money when required. This arrangement has worked well for us for nearly two decades. If something happens to me, she knows enough to keep running the family. Something happens to her, I'm fine to step in and run things.

              This also allows me to handle retirement funding, flexing when and how needed.

              = = =

              I've had a successful, well paying career. She has never had a job over $30k despite having a master's degree. She also didn't work for about 8y while the kids were born and reaching school age. As such, we have ALWAYS planned finances around my income (sets the mortgage and car spending limits). My work has been private sector, with matching 401k contributions, and as I've stated elsewhere I plowed the max in early on while single, though that is throttled way back now to just get company match plus a little extra. She has generally worked for gov't (social work) and more recently as a Pre-k teacher at a private school = none of which has offered much for retirement, nor has she put thought into saving for retirement. With roughly 25y+ in the workforce, she has a Roth with ~$2k in it that is dragged along by her brother (a professional financial adviser, go figure). Currently, our retirement funding is my 401ks, my recently started Roth, her $2k. I hope to add a Roth for her next year, to start building something in her name, though of course she is named on all mine.

              Husband-wife finances needs to extend beyond checking accounts. It should include wills, retirement funding-planning, as well as life insurance plans. We're still catching up on those.
               
              • GatorFL

                GatorFL Well-Known Member
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                We pretty much keep things separate. It has worked well for us for many years.
                 
              • Detroitgator

                Detroitgator General Factotum
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                Full visibility, just about everything in both our names. She pays all the household bills, I do all the business finances.

                I think one area where people fail is in keeping a master list of everything you have that has an account number and log in information (usernames and passwords). Something happens to one of you and it's a BIG problem.
                 
                • oxrageous

                  oxrageous It's Good to be King
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                  Everything goes into one pot. I pay all the bills.

                  We also share a credit card that we put every possible expense on, then pay it off in full every month. This way, we rack up enough points that we get a free vacation every year. I have no idea why more people don't do this. As long as you can be disciplined and pay off the bill every month, there's no downside - it's free stuff.

                  Our trip to Colorado in January didn't cost us one cent.

                  I think I'll start a separate thread on this.
                   
                  • Bait'n Gator

                    Bait'n Gator Go away..... bait'n
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                    My wife and I keep separate checking accounts. She pays for the day to day stuff with our children, her vehicle payment and we split the mortgage payment. I pay pretty much everything else.

                    I'm a business owner and she has absolutely no idea what I make or lose every year. We fight about enough $hit, I knew going in there's no way we could make it if we had to fight about finances also so we've just always kept it separate.
                     
                  • Detroitgator

                    Detroitgator General Factotum
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                    Same on credit cards
                     
                  • BostonGator84

                    BostonGator84 Infrequent Frequenter

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                    Agree - we have airline credit cards that we use to rack up free flights.

                    We have joint accounts, always have since we got married. I do all the bills, money tracking, etc, but we have conversations about where our priorities are, what our savings goals are, etc.
                     
                  • Gator By Marriage

                    Gator By Marriage A convert to Gatorism
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                    I had a good lesson on why to think otherwise. On our way into the Peach Bowl this year, my 93 year old father in law had his wallet stolen. (I only mention his age to illustrate just what POSs our crooks here in the ATL area are; picking on a 93 year old man, really?) He realized it just before halftime so we were able to cancel all his credit cards pretty quickly (though the thieves had already gone a small spending spree). In any event, the fact that my mother in law had a card he didn't have, meant all of her cards weren't cancelled as well. Had they not been staying with us, being away from home and not having a valid credit card could have been problematic.

                    To my pop in law's credit, despite losing his wallet and the resulting hassle, he still really enjoyed the game - his first Gator game in person in a long time!
                     
                  • williston_gator

                    williston_gator Twitter junkie
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                    We have seperate checking accounts at different banks and joint saving and credit cards. We do have access to each other's checking but don't use the others. No one wanted to bother with changing all our auto pays and it also saves some arguments lol. She doesn't want me telling her how to use the money she earned which I understand.
                     
                  • oxrageous

                    oxrageous It's Good to be King
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                    Yeah but how are the bills split up? My wife and I make the same amount of money, how would we split up the bills?
                     
                  • williston_gator

                    williston_gator Twitter junkie
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                    I pay mortgage (s), health and car insurance, my truck payment, credit card bills if we have a balance, home phone and internet.
                    She pays her car, cell phones, electric, and anything kid related which ends up being a ton. I also do all the saving. She paid her student loans but that ended in January. We also make almost the same amount.
                     
                    #16 williston_gator, Mar 14, 2019
                    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
                  • no1g8r

                    no1g8r Bringing Reason to the Masses
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                    My wallet was picked in Chicago airport on the 2nd leg of a 4-leg trip with my minor daughter. Fortunately it was picked on the airside of security, so I was able to fly on to New York. I learned a lot about my credit card companies from the experience.

                    1) Capitol One, which I was using as my primary card, charging $4-5k per month, was absolutely NO help. They cancelled all of my family's cards and said that they could deliver a new one to my home within 7-10 days. I no longer use their card.

                    2) Chase Freedom, which I was using only on bonus categories, was able to stop all Chicago transactions on my account, but allow us to use my daughter's card (same account number) in New York once we got there. This was valuable as it was the only way that we were able to get from the airport to our hotel and to rent a hotel room once we arrived in New York.

                    Note: It still took some convincing for the hotel to let us check in, since I had no ID and my daughter only had a minor's state ID (not a drivers license)

                    3) Citi (Costco) - I learned that Citi had a nice benefit called "lost wallet" where they cancel your card and have a new one to you by close of business the next day, and they delivered it to our hotel in New York. When I stopped using Capitol One as my primary card, I got a Citi Double Cash card (2% cash back) and used it until recently (the story on that will go into the credit card rewards thread).

                    4) American Express Blue Cash - Amex didn't promise anything special, but said they would try to get the card to me in New York as soon as possible. Much to my surprise, the card arrived at my hotel by noon the next day. It was the first card that I received after everything was stolen.

                    I was fortunate that my wife's trip to another location was cancelled, so that she was home to fedex my passport and some cash to me so that I could fly back home. The other inconvenience on the trip was that I was going to rent a car to drive us from New York to Baltimore, but since I didn't have a license to produce, there was no weay to rent a car. We ended up taking a train from NYC to Baltimore so that we could do what we needed to in Baltimore and fly back home.

                    The guys who stole my wallet used them to buy 3 sets of headphones from a Best Buy kiosk in the Chicago airport. It was under $200 worth of value, on top of the $300 in cash that they got as well.

                    Footnote: I now keep a front pocket wallet at all times. When traveling, I keep most of my cards, cash, and second ID (Global Entry card or passport) in a neck wallet, rather than in my front pocket wallet.
                     
                  • bradgator2

                    bradgator2 Internet Bully
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                    Not a credit card story, but a scamming story:

                    I take a one week trip to the beach with my best friends every year. All of my family knows this. 2 years ago, my dad calls me during that week. It's very rare for him to call me anyway.
                    Dad: Have you seen John (best friend)? I need to speak to him.
                    Me: Yeah, he is literally sitting within arm's reach having a beer with me. You guys know I am on vacation with him.

                    It turns out, my mom got a scam call on the landline the day prior.
                    Mom: Hello
                    Scammer: Grandma, do you know who this is?
                    Mom: John?
                    Scammer: Yeah, it's John. I'm in jail in North Carolina and I need $3000 to post bail. I dont want anyone to know. Will you do it?

                    She agrees. He gives her a Wells Fargo account. She drives to her bank, withdraws $3000 in cash, drives to a Wells Fargo, deposits it into that bank account.

                    The next morning, my dad hears her cussing someone out on the phone. The scammer calls back again the next day asking for more money. My mom lost her patience and yelled at him. That's when my dad figured it out.

                    That $3000 was gone like a fart in the wind. She willingly put it in there, so zero help from anyone.

                    You think your folks and grandparents cant be scammed? I certainly didnt think mine could.
                     
                  • divits

                    divits A Muffin of the Studly Variety
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                    Oh, yeah, my step mom got the same type of call about my dad. Said my dad hit one of his family members with his car and if she didn't wire 10,000 bucks they were going to hurt him. She was with a friend and had her call the cops on another line to tell them what was happening an they told her to just hang up. Most of these calls come from a bunch of scumbags in Puerto Rico. Many a time I have fantasized about finding these pricks and beating the living $h!t out of them.
                     
                  • Detroitgator

                    Detroitgator General Factotum
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                    That doesn't make sense to me... while on the same account, whenever we've had to report a card, it's just that one card, which have different numbers on them and are independent of one another even though on the same account. It's like that for all our accounts with cards.
                     

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