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Discussion Starter #1
I am a 26 year old man. I have always been a saver even since young. When I started working I learned how to live on a budget. I am an organization freak and love numbers, so I created an income/expense log where I documented all my expenses, to the point where I could tell you how I spend every dollar that hit my bank account from 2004 to today. I know it sounds weird but because of this I've been able to enjoy awesome vacations, I bought my house with a substantial down payment by the time I was 22 and have been able to spoil myself with "toys" i want.

Problem: got married to my wife 3 years ago. My wife is a spender. has never saved a penny in her life, until she met me of course. Still, she is far from being a saver.

This has been the cause of many disagreements in our relationship. At the very beggining of our marriage, she would spend every penny that was left. I would have to use my savings in order to meat ends meet. Then when I showed her our monthly income/expense statement she would freak out because she said I was monitoring her.

In the last year or so she has improved a lot. Still, she spends a whole lot more than I do. We have come to the agreement that at the end of the month all the spending money we have leftover we would split it even into our individual spending accounts.

Here is the issue. This month of October, my wife spent $300 on herself. I spent $60 dollars on me. and we had a whopping $65 left over. So when I gave her the monthly statement I told her that she spent $240 more than I did. that I was going to Keep the $65 for my savings. She got upset and said that it was unfair, that she wants to have savings also. I told her that normally she would but since this month she had spend so much that it was unfair that she would end up with $330 this month and me with $90. then she pulled my savings statment and saw that I had 3 times as much savings as her and she got more upset.

I told her that just because I have more savings doesn't mean that she has had less money than I do. You have actually had more money to spend than I have. The difference I spend it differently than you. I save it and then spend it on items I really want that typically are more expensive that what she buys. Then she starts arguing about little things: and what do you want to buy with it? Me: it doesn't matter what I want to buy, If i like something I want to have the ability to buy it.

She hasn't talked to me since. I've tried to start conversation but no can do. She will answer me if I ask her something but she is very distant and short.

I am I being unreasonable?
 

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my dad used to say "the woman is always right"...then again he always had a little stash of money on the side.....

I do think seperating the accounts savings etc....just provides a bone of discontent. your married, whats yours is hers.
 

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I think you're effectively trying to change her by enforcing a budget and that never goes well regardless of how justified the reason. She was a spender before you married her and she will always be one at heart. These traits are hard to change without a major trauma occuring. It doesn't have to be logical, but I'm betting she thinks you're "controlling" and that perception will be the death of your marriage if it continues. When you monitor her spending you're pointing out her flaws and behaving in a fatherly manner. Very unsexy. It's a losing situation because she may never understand how you think. You see it as fair and she sees it as a lack of love or unconditional acceptance. In some marriages the finances are split with each partner paying bills according to their capability. It looks like you may have to divi up the bills and let her handle her side without intervention. She will most likely fail a few times and get really mad about it, but she needs to take responsibility for it herself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
she does work. I earn a little over twice as much as she does.

We go have a joint account and all our money is in that joing account. It is just on paper that we have the ability to save for ourselves. We also have joint savings for our vacations and mscl. expenses.

However, since she ended up spending all of our joint savings and left nothing for me to spend it really wasn't OUR money it was really HER money.

it kinda made me feel like I had to race her to spend money in order to have stuff that I wanted. But, like I said it really doesn't work because stuff that I like to buy aren't cheap. Tools, electornics, etc. Stuff that normally takes a few months of savings to buy.

That is why we started this any money left over we split idea.

Anybody have a way to manage finances that has worked for them, that you think might work for us?
 

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What is she spending her money on? Can you give us a list of what it was over the last month?
 

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I empathize with you, but yes, you were unreasonable in that single incident. I say that because you made an agreement together, and then you stepped in and decided to change the agreement without her consent. The problem was not what she spent. It's that you failed to foresee this possibility and when it arose, you became a dictator on the subject.

What I would encourage you to consider for your finances is this: Calculate what percentage of household income each of you earns. If you earn $3,000 and she earns $1,000 then you'd be contributing 75% of the total $4,000 brought in each month.

Whatever your basic percentages are, calculate that amount to be what each of you is responsible for contributing to paying the necessary bills each month. In other words, if your house payment, groceries, utility bills, loans, etc. require $2,500 to pay each month, then you'd pay $1,875 and she'd pay $625 of it. Whatever is left over is yours to save or spend as you see fit.

When my ex and I used this system, it worked pretty well. He made quite a bit more than I did, and it was his idea to do this. We kept separate bank accounts and contributed to the joint account for household bills. I didn't use a credit card initially, and he put me on his account for use with grocery shopping and the things we jointly paid. Although we later changed the arrangement, this might work very well for your situation if you agree that all personal charges go on your own credit cards or get paid for by personal funds.
 

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Well... You were unreasonable in marrying someone who was fiscally opposite of you, and expecting her to change. And honestly, you seem a little anal to the degree you track your money. She's was unreasonable for the same reason, as well as the silent treatment. So you both have issues.

Finances are one of the biggest stumbling blocks in a marriage. As is wanting kids, religion, etc... If the two of you don't have the tools in your relationship toolkits to resolve your conflicts, you may have to get some outside help. Like a good financial consultant who can maybe bring in some ideas of compromising.

Do you have a budget? It seemed that this month, you had about $400 of "spending" money... Could you just put in $200 in a spending account for each of you, and just leave it at that? And did you "tell" her you were keeping the $65, or did you discuss it with her? Had you discussed how things were going to work before trying to split things this way? Maybe you'd get more traction if you got agreement up front of how things would work than "telling" her after. You can't say "We'll split whatever's left at the end of the month" at the beginning of the month, and then at the end of the month say "Well, you spent more than me, so I'm going to keep it all". I'd be pissed if you pulled that with me, too.

How old is she, BTW?

C
 

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I think you were unreasonable, based on the agreement that you had.

Look... you "spend" your money by banking it and then buying something later. That's no different than spending it now and every week. So at the end of the month, you put some of your money into buying something later, then claimed you only spent $60.

Do you both get the same spending money for the week/month? My wife and I do that and, like you, I salt a little away each week so I can afford something big later.

Just because I didn't "spend" it doesn't mean I didn't use it for something.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Based on a couple of comments, I can see why my spouse is upset. This chaning of agreement without prior notice. I do see how it may have come out better if I would have communicated with her before keeping the $60. oh, and she's 25.

We have tried having a $200 allowance each and she didn't like it either because she wouldn't have enough to buy all that she wanted. She kept saying that it wasnt enough because she had more "needs" than I did. and that we had to have shared spending money because she felt that we were living separate lives with "your" money and "my" money. And it produced more arguments than anything.

just because someone asked: This past month she purchased: 3 outfits, a pair of boots, and undergarments. the undergarments of course are a need, but it was only a little under $60.

I want to try the ratio split between incomes and see if that works. something has to work that we can both agree on.
 

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I gotta say... You need to come to a good solution before she starts hitting the credit cards because someone who doesn't like budgeting eventually ends up over their head in credit.
 

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She has more "needs" than you??? No, she has more "wants" than you.

Tell her you "need" a bigger flat screen TV, a motorcycle, new skis (you don't ski? so what), new stereo and a monthly vacation getaway. Because of your "needs", you will now take a larger cut of available spending money.

The solution is to split the spending money so that, whether you call them wants or needs, they are reasonably met. Then live within that budget.

Leftover money stays with whomever it was budgeted.

This isn't rocket science.
 

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Why is there an emphasis on her savings and your savings, shouldn't you be saving for things together?

What do you consider purchases "for herself" or "for yourself?"

Shouldn't budgeting be handled at the beginning of the month, rather than at the end? As another poster suggestions, shouldn't you place spending money in your respective personal accounts at the beginning of the month and then you both can spend or save accordingly.

However, you need to have a mutual savings plan - you should be setting aside a certain portion of your collective income each money for collective expenses - in case the property taxes are higher this year, or - whatever.

Also - your wife might have unrealistic expectations about how much she should be spending each month - or she needs to learn to shop sales or use coupons or something. But, $300 a month on clothes seems kind of extreme.
 

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I have to say getting all of that for $300 is pretty good, especially including boots. Women cost more to upkeep generally speaking. Cut and color can easily run $200 a month. Manicure/pedicures could run another $50. Add a quality shampoo/conditioner or skin cream and you're already easily at $300 without even talking about clothing.

But you do both have to sit down and work something out together because your "scolding" her is not going to change her approach.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I do agree. I have used credit cards very little.

She on the other hand loves credit cards. At least I have convinced her to pay them in full at the end of the month to prevent interest charges. which then doesn't make sense buying on credit because your paying it anyways. But she sees it as not spending since she doesn't see the money out of the bank account right away.

Unfortunately, I have come to learn this is what she learned from my mother in law.
 

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I think you were unreasonable, based on the agreement that you had.

Look... you "spend" your money by banking it and then buying something later. That's no different than spending it now and every week. So at the end of the month, you put some of your money into buying something later, then claimed you only spent $60.

Do you both get the same spending money for the week/month? My wife and I do that and, like you, I salt a little away each week so I can afford something big later.

Just because I didn't "spend" it doesn't mean I didn't use it for something.
I hope you are accumulating an emergency fund before giving yourselves spending money? If not, your savings will be looted in an emergency and she'll be insulated from the reality of that situation.
 

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Except for emergencies, credit cards should be treated as 30-day interest free loans.

Sounds like she just never learned to live within a (realistic) budget. The allowance solution is perfect. Too bad she doesn't view your relationship as equitable. You make considerably more than her, but she gets to spend more on herself than you do on yourself?

$300 monthly salon costs... {shakes head} Get over yourself!
 

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Shouldn't budgeting be handled at the beginning of the month, rather than at the end? As another poster suggestions, shouldn't you place spending money in your respective personal accounts at the beginning of the month and then you both can spend or save accordingly.
Honestly, I think that the word "budgeting" equals "deprivation" to some people and "liberation" to others. It's the old instant gratification versus delayed gratification thing. My wife wants a fancy coffee and pastry every day and convinces herself that she deserves it and needs it. The idea that she doesn't have an extra $100 for that stuff this month doesn't even enter her mind. It's almost an alien concept to her.
 

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I do agree. I have used credit cards very little.

She on the other hand loves credit cards. At least I have convinced her to pay them in full at the end of the month to prevent interest charges. which then doesn't make sense buying on credit because your paying it anyways. But she sees it as not spending since she doesn't see the money out of the bank account right away.

Unfortunately, I have come to learn this is what she learned from my mother in law.
If she at least pays the balance in full each month, I hope you're using a cash-back card that at least puts *some* of the purchase price back into your pocket occasionally.
 
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