Do you know what your partner spends money on?

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cncm
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Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by cncm » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am

For those who do joint finances with their spouse - how do you go about budgeting and tracking your finances? Right now, my spouse and I each deposit our paychecks to the same checking account and pay our separate credit card bills from that account. The problem is, no one really knows what the other is spending money on and it's hard to budget. I have no idea if we're spending X on dining out or 2X...I only see what's charged to my card. Some months, our credit card bills are huge but it's hard to pin down why that is. It would really be helpful to have a holistic view across all the accounts but at the same time, I don't want to sound controlling when I ask to see my spouse's credit card statement.

How have others handled this issue?

mptfan
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by mptfan » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:11 am

cncm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am
It would really be helpful to have a holistic view across all the accounts but at the same time, I don't want to sound controlling when I ask to see my spouse's credit card statement.
Why don't you want to sound controlling? There's nothing wrong with one partner being in control of the finances.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:18 am

I am a widower now, but I took my method from my mother. My father owned a large company (180 employees); even so, he turned over to her his paycheck and she handled the household money including giving him his allowance. (Her sitting at the kitchen table once a month paying bills, set the example.) Same with me. I handled the household money and gave my husband his allowance. He could do with it what he wanted. We did split the grocery bill roughly and roughly split dining out and most gifts, when we had two vehicles, he paid for his and I paid for mine, when we had one, we split it; since we were together over 40 years, almost everyone we knew we knew as a couple so gifts were usually 50/50. It would irritate me that he always seem to pay for the coffee and stuff in his office, but that was out of his allowed weekly spending, so I gave it a rest; he'd buy it at Walmart on the way to work so it didn't come out of our weekly grocery bill.

My budget method was to take an account of what we would spend each year in gifts, food, gas and so on and divide by 104. That was our weekly spending. I kept a record on the side of when we would be under the weekly spending so that there was a little bucket when things like a large gift (say wedding) came up or a large purchase such as a coat; furniture was split 50/50.

Of course, he didn't care. He did not see it as controlling, but as a relief not having to bother with the finances. It made his eyes glaze over to discuss money.
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:27 am, edited 4 times in total.

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MrBobcat
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by MrBobcat » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:19 am

cncm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am
For those who do joint finances with their spouse - how do you go about budgeting and tracking your finances? Right now, my spouse and I each deposit our paychecks to the same checking account and pay our separate credit card bills from that account. The problem is, no one really knows what the other is spending money on and it's hard to budget. I have no idea if we're spending X on dining out or 2X...I only see what's charged to my card. Some months, our credit card bills are huge but it's hard to pin down why that is. It would really be helpful to have a holistic view across all the accounts but at the same time, I don't want to sound controlling when I ask to see my spouse's credit card statement.

How have others handled this issue?
Budget total personal spending for each of you, forget about the details. Possibly get a joint CC for such expenses as groceries/gas/eating out etc.

Small Savanna
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Small Savanna » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:22 am

Don't sweat the small stuff, talk about the big stuff.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Cyclesafe » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:24 am

I turned all the day-to-day stuff over to my wife's exclusive control decades ago. I direct deposit several income streams into her account and would top off if needed, but she's much more often transferring excess into our Vanguard settlement account. She still hides new shoes, but I think she feels that that's part of the fun. Anyway, it's half hers to spend. But since she has carte blanche, she doesn't.
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THY4373
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by THY4373 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:27 am

This is going to vary by couple and there is no single right answer. When I was married (I am now divorced but money was not ever a problem with us and in fact our lawyers during our collaborative divorce couldn't believe how much we had saved). Anyway my ex and I basically decided on our savings goals and how to split shared costs (housing, grocery, son's tuition, etc.). Beyond that we were able to spend whatever we had left however we wanted with no input from the other party (we had similar incomes for most of our marriage). There were times since I like to run budgets mostly to see where the money is going that this was mildly frustrating but I got over it. Basically the only right answer here is for you and your spouse to figure out what works for you.

nvambith
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by nvambith » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:36 am

After not tracking for a long time, my spouse and I created a google drive shared spreadsheet (one column per month, one row per category), and enter every expense in it by hand. It's a manual way to do what mint / personal capital could do automatically, but doing it manually really gets your hands into the data, and increases awareness of what is going on tremendously. YMMV.

dbr
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by dbr » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:45 am

I keep track of spending and talk to my spouse from time to time about how it is going. Nobody tabulates that by who spent it. If a large item is involved we talk it over. Otherwise neither of us pays any particular attention to what the other might be spending. In fact neither of pays that much attention to each little item we might pay out.

As someone else said, don't sweat the small stuff. It's worked for us for over forty years now.
Last edited by dbr on Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Lafder » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:46 am

Consider switching to a joint credit card so you can both look at it, or ask to see spouse's statements to help budget.

But, does it matter what they are spending it on?

We have joint cards so I can see my husband's charges since I pay the bills. He could log in and see mine but I think he never does. (We use a password program he has access to).

We have an old "rule" of discussing purchases over 200$ and we generally stick with that even if it is informing the other, not asking permission. "Hey, by the way I am buying/ordering a xxxxdollar abc". Sometimes on bigger purchases, which to me over 200 still fits, it can help to weigh pros and cons by talking about it.

Note for even more significant purchases such as 1000's on plumbing or heating repairs, I let him know, but he prefers I deal with and make those decisions.

It might be a good time to look at overall income, expenses, savings rates. You or spouse can still choose to spend vs save, but it can help to see it and see how much is being spent on each category.

My motto is, eat out more and it is less spent on groceries :)

Starbucks adds up, but may be a "necessity" for some. The same $ could buy a nice coffee maker.

It really depends on the budget and if the overall spending is within your means or not. Though as long as your are saving and not going into more debt, "within your means" is arguable since anything not spent could always be saved..................

lafder

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goingup
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by goingup » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:56 am

We have only joint credit cards and joint checking/saving accounts. Makes everything transparent. We have never budgeted. Found that tracking saving/investing allowed us to reach goals. I think because we had big savings goals the spending kind of took care of itself.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by kacang » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:02 pm

We discussed and set budget goals together. Each of us has a monthly allowance for "whatever-no-question-asked" spending that we agreed to and abide by. I track the bills and provides a monthly summary for both of us. This has worked well for us for years now

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by sleepysurf » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:02 pm

cncm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am
...The problem is, no one really knows what the other is spending money on and it's hard to budget. I have no idea if we're spending X on dining out or 2X...I only see what's charged to my card...
You could use Quicken, Personal Capital, Mint (I presume), or another "aggregator" tool which includes ALL credit cards (plus bank accounts, etc.). Review all spending categories with partner at some agreed upon frequency.
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HomeStretch
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by HomeStretch » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:03 pm

If your spouse is on board with tracking expenses, get copies of the individual checking and individual credit card statements in order to track on a consolidated basis.

After you start tracking and analyzing expenses, mindfully navigate the conversations about your conclusions on spending. You don’t want to seem critical of spouse’s spending on personal items especially if spouse is not critical of your spending. But certainly there’s a lot of good conversation to be had about where you are in terms of retirement savings goals or possibly reducing expenses, i.e., “do we need 5 streaming services” or “wow, we are spending $1,500/month on eating out/take out, do we want to keep doing that?”

We only have a joint checking account which I use as the “money hub” (for deposits in, payments/ATM withdrawals and transfers to savings) so it’s easier to track. I framed our conversations about spending in terms of how many years’ expenses we had saved and when, at our current spending rate, we could retire. Spouse is more of a spender than I am but had a goal of early retirement so spouse began spending more judiciously in order to stay on target with retirement goals.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by jambadoc » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:08 pm

I am the financial person and breadwinner in our family. However, we don't talk about my money and her money. Everything we have is ours. all of our credit cards and checking accounts are joint. As such, there is full transparency for either of us. I do a rough budget every month, and we tend to talk about upcoming big expenses in advance. After a few months, you get the idea of the general amount that your significant other will spend in different areas, and it makes setting a reasonable budget much easier. We also have a unwritten rule that we tend to talk to each other prior to purchase above about $250 (besides groceries and the like). It's not really a permission issue, but it keeps both of us aware of what's going on. It works well for us.

If you want to keep doing what you are doing, you could sign up for ynab or a similar program. I used to use mint but like YNAB better. Once you add the accounts, it should Auto import everything and you can characterize it however you like. This will at least give you an easy way to tell you what you are spending money on if you don't want to have the uncomfortable conversation of actually talking about spending habits.

Hope that helps,

Jon

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by MishkaWorries » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:10 pm

goingup wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:56 am
We have only joint credit cards and joint checking/saving accounts. Makes everything transparent. We have never budgeted. Found that tracking saving/investing allowed us to reach goals. I think because we had big savings goals the spending kind of took care of itself.
I have no idea what my wife spends. She knows everything penny I spend. :P

We are the same as goingup. Joint everything. Never did a budget. But my wife tracks every dollar on the computer. If you want to know what we spent on vegetables in February 2012 she can tell you. If I need to know the date I bought oil for an oil change she can tell me that too.

We don't budget because every expense is monitored for wastefulness and every big expense is agreed to. But we share a similar approach to money so very little conflict.
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Jeff P
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Jeff P » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:14 pm

You can each be an authorized user on each others credit cards.

My main card is a costco visa and technically its my wifes.

But even if you dont want to do that, you can still aign on and see her statements and check everything out together.

delamer
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by delamer » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:20 pm

All our credit card purchases are downloaded into Quicken weekly.

It is easy — after a little time with the initial setup — to categorize the transactions according to type of purchase (groceries, dining out, clothes, travel, etc.)

Once you have the information for a few months, you can determine a budget that you can both live with.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by MN-Investor » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:21 pm

goingup wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:56 am
We have only joint credit cards and joint checking/saving accounts. Makes everything transparent. We have never budgeted. Found that tracking saving/investing allowed us to reach goals. I think because we had big savings goals the spending kind of took care of itself.
This.

Maybe it helped that both my husband and I grew up with parents who knew exactly what the other spouse was spending. There were no secrets. Money was a joint asset and concern and investing for our future was a shared goal.

I was an accountant and so it just made sense for me to pay the bills. I always knew what my husband spent. Neither one of us had extravagant tastes so it wasn't a big deal.
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MotoTrojan
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by MotoTrojan » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:23 pm

I would be surprised if you couldn’t add both of your credit cards and income to Mint and then setup budgets for various categories. My soon to be wife and I plan to do this, but she has expressed interest in one “off the grid” CC for gifts/surprises to me which makes sense.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:25 pm

MishkaWorries wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:10 pm
goingup wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:56 am
We have only joint credit cards and joint checking/saving accounts. Makes everything transparent. We have never budgeted. Found that tracking saving/investing allowed us to reach goals. I think because we had big savings goals the spending kind of took care of itself.
I have no idea what my wife spends. She knows everything penny I spend. :P

We are the same as goingup. Joint everything. Never did a budget. But my wife tracks every dollar on the computer. If you want to know what we spent on vegetables in February 2012 she can tell you. If I need to know the date I bought oil for an oil change she can tell me that too.

We don't budget because every expense is monitored for wastefulness and every big expense is agreed to. But we share a similar approach to money so very little conflict.
We also have all joint accounts and we live well within our means. We can easily see what the other person is spending and it’s never been a problem. As salaries have gone up our spending had remained the same or decreased, so that helps. We also “pay ourselves first “ in terms of savings so we know what is available every month.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:26 pm

OP,

If you save enough money why should you care how much either of you spent?

KlangFool

rage_phish
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by rage_phish » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:32 pm

We share completely
We each spend as we please
Generally run any larger purchases by each other
She spends more on some categories. Me on others
She tracks our monthly budget for us on a google sheet
Never been an issue. We are lucky to have extremely similar views on finances

livesoft
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:39 pm

cncm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am
For those who do joint finances with their spouse - how do you go about budgeting and tracking your finances? Right now, my spouse and I each deposit our paychecks to the same checking account and pay our separate credit card bills from that account. The problem is, no one really knows what the other is spending money on and it's hard to budget.
[...]

How have others handled this issue?
We also each use our own credit card accounts though both our names are on all credit card accounts, but a single joint checking account where all bills are paid from. Each of us can view the credit card statements if we want to, but that is essentially never. I ask her to pay her own credit card bill, the phone bill, and another bill every month. I pay my own credit card bill, car payment, and a few utility bills.

This means we BOTH know how to use online bill pay and BOTH see money flows through our checking account. I know when her major bill is going to be paid and so there are no surprises, she lists on a piece of scratch paper her expected cash flows needs a week before that major bill is due. Since we live paycheck to paycheck (or retirement account withdrawal to withdrawal), if the checking account is expected to go below enough to pay bills, I arrange to sell shares in time.

I don't need to know what my spouse spends money on because we don't have a budget anymore after more than 35 years of marriage. But we could always figure it out because the statements are available.
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stan1
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by stan1 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:44 pm

First thing: what is your savings rate and are you both trying to improve it? If you are both trying to save more I'd suggest bringing both cards into Mint, Quicken or whatever software you want to use and looking holistically. You can't together decide to save more without that.

My spouse and I each have things we spend money on that the other would not choose. Since we save 30%+ of income we don't worry about that. However if you are saving 10% of income those daily charges at Starbucks, breakfast and lunch while at work, gym memberships, and hobby expenses might all be a target so you need visibility together. There are ways to drink coffee, work out, eat, and socialize that might cost less.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:48 pm

cncm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am
For those who do joint finances with their spouse - how do you go about budgeting and tracking your finances? Right now, my spouse and I each deposit our paychecks to the same checking account and pay our separate credit card bills from that account. The problem is, no one really knows what the other is spending money on and it's hard to budget. I have no idea if we're spending X on dining out or 2X...I only see what's charged to my card. Some months, our credit card bills are huge but it's hard to pin down why that is. It would really be helpful to have a holistic view across all the accounts but at the same time, I don't want to sound controlling when I ask to see my spouse's credit card statement.

How have others handled this issue?
Get an account with Mint or Personal Capital and you can see all transactions as they happen.

Not sure if one of you buys a lot of “stuff” or not, but we rarely spend money on our own outside of some lunches at work. If my wife or I decide to go shopping we generally tell the other one “I’m going shopping” and then report back that they spent X on Y. Large purchases are always discussed beforehand.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Maven » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:50 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:26 pm
OP,

If you save enough money why should you care how much either of you spent?

KlangFool
I'm not the OP but I can answer this from my situation. We save enough to reach our longterm goals. The problem is my husband spends in the moment. We can't afford to do this. For example, he will spend $XXX on something not thinking ahead to the fact that we need to purchase 4 plane tickets in a month or that we have a $1k car maintenance in two weeks. He's come a long way but keeping an eye on what he's spending is essential for us to keep the ship afloat.

OP - I have been using MINT for years and sync all accounts. I've been diligently tracking our budget on an excel spreadsheet for the past 10 months. Don't know how we lived without it. That's been an eye opener for my husband. I'll say to him "We spent $400 on eating out last month." And he'll say "No way! That can't be true. We never went out." The spreadsheet doesn't lie so it's been a very good checks & balances for us.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:51 pm

This is one of those talk about things in a relationship. Gee. Who would have thought. Sounds like when you mention huge CC bills and you don't know where it went it is because your CC bill is so much less than the total and you are wondering about hers.
If you don't have a handle on all that money spent, you have a knowledge deficit that is in the way of some planning.
I would ask her and show her yours.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:55 pm

Maven wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:50 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:26 pm
OP,

If you save enough money why should you care how much either of you spent?

KlangFool
I'm not the OP but I can answer this from my situation. We save enough to reach our longterm goals. The problem is my husband spends in the moment. We can't afford to do this. For example, he will spend $XXX on something not thinking ahead to the fact that we need to purchase 4 plane tickets in a month or that we have a $1k car maintenance in two weeks. He's come a long way but keeping an eye on what he's spending is essential for us to keep the ship afloat.

OP - I have been using MINT for years and sync all accounts. I've been diligently tracking our budget on an excel spreadsheet for the past 10 months. Don't know how we lived without it. That's been an eye opener for my husband. I'll say to him "We spent $400 on eating out last month." And he'll say "No way! That can't be true. We never went out." The spreadsheet doesn't lie so it's been a very good checks & balances for us.
Maven,

<< For example, he will spend $XXX on something not thinking ahead to the fact that we need to purchase 4 plane tickets in a month or that we have a $1k car maintenance in two weeks. He's come a long way but keeping an eye on what he's spending is essential for us to keep the ship afloat. >>

Make sure that he has a checking account that he needs to use to pay his bill. And, put a minimal amount of money into that account.

KlangFool

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by mbasherp » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:04 pm

We keep one checking account and multiple joint credit cards, which are used for all joint things. 95% of spending is joint.

We also each have one credit card of our own and an agreed amount each month that we may spend. DW’s amount is higher; that seems to work for us. As long as the personal spending (meaning outgoing credit card payment) is at or below that number, we need no discussion.

If we’ve gone over that number, we discuss what’s going on and come to an understanding. I usually just show her where the money will come from to make up for it and that’s that.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by delamer » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:08 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:55 pm
Maven wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:50 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:26 pm
OP,

If you save enough money why should you care how much either of you spent?

KlangFool
I'm not the OP but I can answer this from my situation. We save enough to reach our longterm goals. The problem is my husband spends in the moment. We can't afford to do this. For example, he will spend $XXX on something not thinking ahead to the fact that we need to purchase 4 plane tickets in a month or that we have a $1k car maintenance in two weeks. He's come a long way but keeping an eye on what he's spending is essential for us to keep the ship afloat.

OP - I have been using MINT for years and sync all accounts. I've been diligently tracking our budget on an excel spreadsheet for the past 10 months. Don't know how we lived without it. That's been an eye opener for my husband. I'll say to him "We spent $400 on eating out last month." And he'll say "No way! That can't be true. We never went out." The spreadsheet doesn't lie so it's been a very good checks & balances for us.
Maven,

<< For example, he will spend $XXX on something not thinking ahead to the fact that we need to purchase 4 plane tickets in a month or that we have a $1k car maintenance in two weeks. He's come a long way but keeping an eye on what he's spending is essential for us to keep the ship afloat. >>

Make sure that he has a checking account that he needs to use to pay his bill. And, put a minimal amount of money into that account.

KlangFool
Seems to me that if you have individual discretionary funds, that it could make sense to fund them a month or a quarter at a time. That way each person can see how much they have to spend over the next several weeks and plan accordingly.

However, if a person just runs through whatever money is available and so spends a month’s worth of funds in a week, then my idea won’t work. :(

dewey
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by dewey » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:17 pm

My wife and I each have our own accounts, both checking and credit cards, etc. No joint accounts. We have common expenditures we both share (e.g. mortgage, cable, groceries, major house purchases, taxes...) but the rest we control individually. Whatever she wants, she buys, Same for me. We each have access to the others banking accounts for easy transfer between us when necessary and we're both each others beneficiaries on those and all investment accounts, of course. She pays some monthly bills, I pay some monthly bills. At the end of the month she tallies what we've spent on our mutual items and if there is a meaningful imbalance then that person moves $ into the other person's checking. It works great. We're both retired. Money has never caused an issue for us. We've been dating for 26 years.
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Tyler Aspect » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:33 pm

We track spending by category. We also track cash spending according to category. This requires computer software support, but there are many such offerings out there, including Quicken, Mint, YNAB, or GNU Cash.
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by MarkerFM » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:26 pm

I've always been the sole breadwinner (mostly) and control all the finances and tracking of spending. For awhile, my wife had a part-time job at a non-profit and what she earned was "hers" to spend. I actually ended up paying the income tax on the salary from our joint stash. She only did that for a few years. All other times, she has gotten a set amount per month as an "allowance" and that amount is recorded in the spending register as such. I don't know what she spends it on, but it goes for things like most of her clothes, tennis expenses, gifts, etc. Anything we need for the house, cars, etc. we talk about and decide together if it is significant. Otherwise, she uses a joint credit card and I get the statements and can track all expenses.

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Tamarind
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Tamarind » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:35 pm

Aggregation tools like PC or Mint help a lot here because both of you are making your spending details equally available to each other.

Other than that I'd second those above who say don't sweat the small stuff as long as you are hitting your savings goals.

Spend much much more time deciding whether the person you might want to marry has the right financial habits in the first place.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by MrJones » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:47 pm

cncm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am
It would really be helpful to have a holistic view across all the accounts but at the same time, I don't want to sound controlling when I ask to see my spouse's credit card statement.
The key thing here is, you should understand your spending as a couple. Have you and your spouse agreed on this? If you have, the rest is detail, easier to solve.

Ask your spouse if they want to volunteer to be the person to understand your spending, or if you want to do it together, or if they want you to do it. This way, it's clear it's not about control, but about volunteering for something you care about as a couple.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:03 pm

Do I know what she spends? Not always. If an unknown cc purchase shows up, I'll ask, mainly to be sure it's not fraud. We've mostly not bought extra crap we don't need. There's no allowance. I pay all the bills except medical, which she handles, having spent many years as a nurse case manager. We've always lived way below our means. We've never made a budget in our lives.
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:06 pm

When I and my wife were working my wife usually took care of the bills. She also gave herself and me a weekly cash 'allowance' (that was before we put everything on the credit card as we do today). We always considered all of the money we both made as being "ours." We were (and are) a 'team' after all. For that reason neither of us would spend any significant amount of money without letting the other one know. We weren't asking for permission but were just being thoughtful of the other person since part of the money being spent belonged to them.

So yes, we both knew what was spent by the other person and we still do. This system has worked out very well for us.
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TxAg
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by TxAg » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:42 pm

goingup wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:56 am
We have only joint credit cards and joint checking/saving accounts. Makes everything transparent. We have never budgeted. Found that tracking saving/investing allowed us to reach goals. I think because we had big savings goals the spending kind of took care of itself.
Sounds just like us

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by wander » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:17 pm

We have shared credit cards, checking account and my spouse has some department store cards but I have access to electronic bills. Never have any problem. We don't even care about allowance. Just live normal, spend normal. No crazy spending by the way. Some months I spend more, some months my spouse spends more, so what? As long we max out our HSA and retirement accounts, the extra are for today.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by TheDDC » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:25 pm

We have joint everything for auditing purposes. We run monthly budgets using a spreadsheet, with weekly budget meetings. Overages must be answered for. I'm the CFO for the household. We do speak about the needed purchases needed for ourselves and the young folk. "Me money", "allowance"? Nope. Anything leftover goes to savings. We don't have a problem with crazy purchases. When you are married it's not your money, it's "our money" - the organization's money. Hence why I'm the CIO.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by feh » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:55 am

We don't have separate credit cards. Every dime is co-mingled.

Transaction aggregator (mint) shows both of us every transaction. There are no mysteries.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:06 am

Yes, but it's not really a big deal. We agree on the big savings and long term goals, and the rest is just noise.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by dsmil » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:16 am

We have a joint budget and write everything down. It's annoying but it works.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Sheepdog » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:22 am

We have been married 59 years. We use the same credit cards, same bank, same check book, use very little cash (all cash comes from the checking accounts and we both review the monthly statements) and we have never had a complaint about what each other spends. Oh, I take that back. I bought at WOOLCO our first color TV back in the late 60s without her input. She got on my butt because she wasn't consulted and I spent way too much ($125).
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:24 am

We use Personal Capital as an aggregation tool. We categorize all spending. Both have access to the tool with all our accounts. Some automatic, some manual. I usually spend about 10-15 minutes per week making sure the categories are correct.

We do not use the Personal Capital investment services. We do have a Personal Capital Cash account.

Typically one person is more interested. Do a monthly printout of spending and go over it together. It might be eye opening.
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by tony_roach » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:29 am

dsmil wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:16 am
We have a joint budget and write everything down. It's annoying but it works.
This...we agree on budget and use EveryDollar app. Join checking/savings account for all our purchases and I also use Personal Capital to track/view net worth.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by SQRT » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:29 am

Retired for 13 years, married for 25. All accounts are joint but separate. We have a budget that covers all our joint expenses. Since our investment portfolios are separate as Canada does not allow joint tax filing, each of us must know our own incomes. She spends the divs and interest that is thrown off from her portfolio however she wishes. I pay for all joint expenses. Her portfolio is about 10% of mine.

I don’t want to know what she spends it on but I do know she is very well dressed and buys me nice presents for birthdays and Christmas. I think it helps the relationship if each partner feels empowered to spend a certain amount without the other’s approval. I don’t have as much discretion as her, but I’m fine with that. If I want a new car say, she always agrees. Big items(like a big Reno or new house) are joint decisions of course. But everybody has their own system.

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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:06 am

cncm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:08 am
For those who do joint finances with their spouse - how do you go about budgeting and tracking your finances? Right now, my spouse and I each deposit our paychecks to the same checking account and pay our separate credit card bills from that account. The problem is, no one really knows what the other is spending money on and it's hard to budget. I have no idea if we're spending X on dining out or 2X...I only see what's charged to my card. Some months, our credit card bills are huge but it's hard to pin down why that is. It would really be helpful to have a holistic view across all the accounts but at the same time, I don't want to sound controlling when I ask to see my spouse's credit card statement.

How have others handled this issue?
One example.

00. My spouse heads the "Department of Accounting and Finance" (DAF).
0. A bit different in our household because we both have our own businesses, have always had, and prefer autonomy.
1. We have always had seperate and joint accounts, or joint seperately, and seperate and joint credit cards.
2. I have no idea what is on her credit cards, and don't want to know. I could ask and it'd be fine. But, I have no interest.
3. Both of us buy what we want but we are both frugal.
4. Spouses handles all household expenses and budgets and payments, shares with me what's needed.
5. When she runs errands or goes out with friends, etc, she pays. And, vs vs. When we are together, I pay . . . big.
6. As the primary "earner" in retirement, I write several monthly checks to cover what's needed.
7. Big ticket items like home renovation, new car, etc, I pay.

Somehow all of the above is holistic and just evolved over many decades. It doesn't seem separate to us, it works.
We focus on the big picture, long term strategy and don't sweat the details. The solution to financial matters for both of us has always been to "make more money".
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Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Post by Nummerkins » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:20 am

Yes, we share a Mint account and can see all transactions. We also share a password manager and use whatever account was made to purchase at a certain retailer.

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