Spouse Money Management

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
amd7239
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by amd7239 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:54 pm

John Laurens wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:12 pm
You earn 15x more than her? I earn INFINITYx more than my spouse. We make it work. We are married though. Everything we have is “ours”.

I would be more concerned about you making 35k/year than her being in college working part time.


Regards,
John

Any advice on how you make it work? If you have different financial goals, how do you resolve that?

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nedsaid
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by nedsaid » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:56 pm

I am not married or have ever been married but I have made some observations over time. I have seen various ways that couples have handled these issues. Some put everything in one pot and work marital finances as a partnership. Some put most finances in one pot but allow each spouse to have their own mad money. Others, particularly those on a second marriage will keep their finances separate and will share bills. My guess is that approaches 1 and 2 would work the best for most people. It seems like people get married to be together, doesn't it make sense that their finances should be together too?

Probably the biggest conflict I have seen is the saver vs. spender dynamic. Successful relationships are largely built on compromise and a shared vision. Really you are balancing the present versus a future that may not arrive, people after all sometimes die early. You want to be wise with your money but you don't have to take a vow of poverty either. Life is to be enjoyed too and being too frugal can rob you of terrific life experiences. When we caught wind at work that potential big changes were in store, I started taking European trips, I travelled while I still had accrued vacation time and the money to spend on travel. I finally got laid off in the fall of 2014, and boy am I glad that I spend the money and travelled. I would not trade those experiences for anything though I could sure use the money I spent then right now. But I am 100% confident that I made the right decision.

Pretty much, a successful marriage involves agreement on many things between the spouses. You won't agree on everything of course but if you find yourself diametrically opposed on the major issues of life, you likely won't have a happy marriage. You need to find these things out now. Sometimes people are immature throughout their life when it comes to finances, they just spend regardless of their resources or their situation. Pretty much, they get an emotional high from purchases. To me, this sort of thing would be a deal breaker. Better come to agreement on many things now rather than to experience sorrow later.
A fool and his money are good for business.

THY4373
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by THY4373 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:05 pm

Another thing to keep in mind I am assuming she is still fairly young if in college and living with parents. While I am a pretty big saver these days I wasn't at all in college. I learned the value of dollar when I started working full time an realized what they took to earn. I changed a lot from my early 20s to late 20s in my financial sense. Now if she is an older student that may be less relevant.

The system my soon to be ex and I used (money was never an issue in our marriage) was we agreed on a split of costs needed to run the household and we agreed on each of our savings rates. After that what each of us had we could spend/save/do whatever we wished without any input from the other spouse. It worked great of us but it probably did in part because we basically agreed on our major financial goals and we made pretty close to the same amount each. Basically it is up to each couple of figure out a system that works for them.

John Laurens
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by John Laurens » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:37 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:54 pm
John Laurens wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:12 pm
You earn 15x more than her? I earn INFINITYx more than my spouse. We make it work. We are married though. Everything we have is “ours”.

I would be more concerned about you making 35k/year than her being in college working part time.


Regards,
John

Any advice on how you make it work? If you have different financial goals, how do you resolve that?

You have nothing to resolve. You aren’t married. The most you owe your girlfriend is a meal at chick fila every now and then. If you guys have different ideas on income, spending, saving, and giving, it is better to know that now and move on to pursue a different girl.


Regards,
John

delamer
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by delamer » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:53 pm

Always keep in mind that there are romantic partners who you can enjoy spending time with, care deeply about, and even love who are not good matches for you over the long run, because of a basic incompatibility in an important area of life like desire for children, religion, financial issues, etc.

Don't tie yourself up in knots trying to make a relationship work when that basic agreement on important issues isn't there. Yes, people can change but it is better to assume that s/he won't and act accordingly.

amd7239
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by amd7239 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:20 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:56 pm
I am not married or have ever been married but I have made some observations over time. I have seen various ways that couples have handled these issues. Some put everything in one pot and work marital finances as a partnership. Some put most finances in one pot but allow each spouse to have their own mad money. Others, particularly those on a second marriage will keep their finances separate and will share bills. My guess is that approaches 1 and 2 would work the best for most people. It seems like people get married to be together, doesn't it make sense that their finances should be together too?

Probably the biggest conflict I have seen is the saver vs. spender dynamic. Successful relationships are largely built on compromise and a shared vision. Really you are balancing the present versus a future that may not arrive, people after all sometimes die early. You want to be wise with your money but you don't have to take a vow of poverty either. Life is to be enjoyed too and being too frugal can rob you of terrific life experiences. When we caught wind at work that potential big changes were in store, I started taking European trips, I travelled while I still had accrued vacation time and the money to spend on travel. I finally got laid off in the fall of 2014, and boy am I glad that I spend the money and travelled. I would not trade those experiences for anything though I could sure use the money I spent then right now. But I am 100% confident that I made the right decision.

Pretty much, a successful marriage involves agreement on many things between the spouses. You won't agree on everything of course but if you find yourself diametrically opposed on the major issues of life, you likely won't have a happy marriage. You need to find these things out now. Sometimes people are immature throughout their life when it comes to finances, they just spend regardless of their resources or their situation. Pretty much, they get an emotional high from purchases. To me, this sort of thing would be a deal breaker. Better come to agreement on many things now rather than to experience sorrow later.

First off, she isn't a huge spender. She won't spend $100 in a day or buy anything luxurious. But what worries me is that it's a hobby of hers that she openly admits brings her "happiness". She doesn't have fulfillment anywhere else in her life (work, school, etc.)

It's not like she is in denial either - She is aware that she is a spender because she doesn't feel fulfilled. Buying a new shirt puts her in a very good mood.

These costs will really add up over a lifetime, and they are likely to increase slow and steady unless she finds fulfillment elsewhere, which I can't guarantee. That is my worry.

need403bhelp
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:24 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:51 am
I am only subsidizing her essential expenses like food and train tickets to get to work
Two options re food:
1. you subsidize food when you two go out. I think there is a range of different opinions about who pays when dating (basically, the "traditional" approach that the man always pays, and the "modern" approach to split somehow - usually 50/50), and I really don't think there's a "right" answer here.
2. you subsidize food that she eats (at least some portion) when you're not around. This, I don't personally really understand in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Presumably, her parents provide some food for her (at home), and presumably she could, e.g., pack a lunch, etc. using that food. Alternately, the college may provide some need-based aid, whether as grants or loans or work study, for a meal plan, etc.

I've definitely been in relationships long ago in which I probably gifted too much (clothes, trips, etc.) to people I've dated.

I don't think I've ever been in a (non-marriage) relationship where I subsidized someone's day-to-day expenses, though. This seems a little unusual if you two are just boyfriend and girlfriend...

EDIT: also, just FYI, having long-ago dated someone in college living with their parents when I was no longer in college - I think people change significantly when they move out of their family home. This may not necessarily be for the better or for the worse, but something to think about.
Last edited by need403bhelp on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Curlyq
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Curlyq » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:27 pm

If dating you, her work, and her school doesn't fulfill her, and only shopping/buying stuff does, why are you with her? She needs to figure herself out and I don't think you are helping her at all; you are enabling her instead.

Dieharder
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Dieharder » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:31 pm

There is one simple solution that works for now. Let the GF stay as GF, no change in status until she has finished college, landed a career, and are able to prioritize financial decisions. This may sound cold, but it is far better than unwanted consequences later on. I do not believe people who have the philosophy of saving whatever is left after you have met all your needs, wants, and everything in between, is serious about planning their financial future. May be too soon for her to get there, that is why time is needed in this situation.

junior
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by junior » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:35 pm

This is an odd topic. Until your girlfriend is out of college and has a real job there's no point in working out or thinking out a system. You might find you are compatible, or not, after college, but if she is young she hasn't become an adult yet, economically speaking, and you are getting ahead of yourself worrying about this.

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nedsaid
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by nedsaid » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:44 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:20 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:56 pm
I am not married or have ever been married but I have made some observations over time. I have seen various ways that couples have handled these issues. Some put everything in one pot and work marital finances as a partnership. Some put most finances in one pot but allow each spouse to have their own mad money. Others, particularly those on a second marriage will keep their finances separate and will share bills. My guess is that approaches 1 and 2 would work the best for most people. It seems like people get married to be together, doesn't it make sense that their finances should be together too?

Probably the biggest conflict I have seen is the saver vs. spender dynamic. Successful relationships are largely built on compromise and a shared vision. Really you are balancing the present versus a future that may not arrive, people after all sometimes die early. You want to be wise with your money but you don't have to take a vow of poverty either. Life is to be enjoyed too and being too frugal can rob you of terrific life experiences. When we caught wind at work that potential big changes were in store, I started taking European trips, I travelled while I still had accrued vacation time and the money to spend on travel. I finally got laid off in the fall of 2014, and boy am I glad that I spend the money and travelled. I would not trade those experiences for anything though I could sure use the money I spent then right now. But I am 100% confident that I made the right decision.

Pretty much, a successful marriage involves agreement on many things between the spouses. You won't agree on everything of course but if you find yourself diametrically opposed on the major issues of life, you likely won't have a happy marriage. You need to find these things out now. Sometimes people are immature throughout their life when it comes to finances, they just spend regardless of their resources or their situation. Pretty much, they get an emotional high from purchases. To me, this sort of thing would be a deal breaker. Better come to agreement on many things now rather than to experience sorrow later.

First off, she isn't a huge spender. She won't spend $100 in a day or buy anything luxurious. But what worries me is that it's a hobby of hers that she openly admits brings her "happiness". She doesn't have fulfillment anywhere else in her life (work, school, etc.)

It's not like she is in denial either - She is aware that she is a spender because she doesn't feel fulfilled. Buying a new shirt puts her in a very good mood.

These costs will really add up over a lifetime, and they are likely to increase slow and steady unless she finds fulfillment elsewhere, which I can't guarantee. That is my worry.
Spending isn't so bad if it is for things that she really needs and will use. This brings up a good point of life planning, finding fulfillment in her life. There are other fulfilling things in life than spending money. Sounds like she needs to take inventory of her life to find what things are truly fulfilling.
A fool and his money are good for business.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:06 pm

junior wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:35 pm
This is an odd topic. Until your girlfriend is out of college and has a real job there's no point in working out or thinking out a system. You might find you are compatible, or not, after college, but if she is young she hasn't become an adult yet, economically speaking, and you are getting ahead of yourself worrying about this.
+1

cart ---- horse

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:07 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:36 am
She believes that after you spend "what you need to" on necessities and spend "a little" on discretionary, you should save the rest.
Good responses everyone. Difficult situation with no easy answers, like many situations in life.

If your quote above is truly what she believes, then I ask you to have her consider the following quote instead. It's by Warren Buffett.
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving."--Warren Buffett, source: https://www.google.com/search?q=warren+ ... 8&oe=utf-8
Have a discussion about that one phrase and if she can have a lightbulb moment after dissecting it, I'd say there's hope for change...when she gets more income to actually be in a position to save.

Now is actually a good time to learn new ideas about spending/saving/investing. Sometimes people start too late, after they're earning (and spending) more significant sums. It is harder to change at that point. If she gains wisdom about saving before she has significant earnings, that will put her on track to do well financially. I wish you both the best.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

spammagnet
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by spammagnet » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:26 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:54 pm
Any advice on how you make it work? If you have different financial goals, how do you resolve that?
What is the real question here? Are you considering marriage or a committed cohabitation relationship, and are unsure whether her current spending habits foretell financial incompatibility? It's a reasonable issue to consider but I don't think you can tell, at this point. Current circumstances do not reflect future circumstances.

Have you discussed the topic with her, with respect to the future? What is her response?

Impromptu
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Impromptu » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:29 pm

Dating is the time to find out if you will be compatible long term. She may not even know how she will react when she begins having a larger paycheck. Communicate about these topics. She may find that she likes your point of view. You may find you like her point of view. In either case you will be a huge step closer to knowing if you should become a more permanent couple. Like others have said, there are many issues to consider when evaluating a long term relationship. You will not find a perfect match, but you should not make long term commitments with someone that is fundamentally opposed to your way of thinking.
I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

RudyS
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by RudyS » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:47 pm

Impromptu wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:29 pm
Dating is the time to find out if you will be compatible long term. She may not even know how she will react when she begins having a larger paycheck. Communicate about these topics. She may find that she likes your point of view. You may find you like her point of view. In either case you will be a huge step closer to knowing if you should become a more permanent couple. Like others have said, there are many issues to consider when evaluating a long term relationship. You will not find a perfect match, but you should not make long term commitments with someone that is fundamentally opposed to your way of thinking.
+1

Gnirk
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Gnirk » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:49 pm

She's living with her parents, going to school, and working part-time and netting $2,500 per year, or a bit over $200 per month. Her limited income should be able to cover her basic expenses of transportation to and from work, personal care items, hair care, some clothing, etc. That isn't going to leave much else for savings, or meals out, or much else.

amd7239
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by amd7239 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:51 am

Cobra Commander wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:58 am
She should be covering her hopefully modest living expenses with student loans. I can see food being a joint expense you both contribute too because presumably youre eating the same meal.
I didn't realize student loans were applicable to this? I thought it was just for tuition room and board. Since she doesn't live on campus (she commutes) how would that apply?


Also I'm trying to understand what it would do if I stopped sending her money. It might cause her to resent me or feel I don't care about her needs.would that outweigh the pro: that she would not be dependent on me?

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pondering
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by pondering » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:05 am

You aren't sending money, you are gifting it.

I'd show her this thread and see if the relationship survives.
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midareff
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by midareff » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:25 am

BTW, $2500 a year is one day a week at minimum wage. Surely that isn't the best she can do, is it?

AdmiralSnackbar
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by AdmiralSnackbar » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:01 am

In response to the OP's request for books, the three books that helped my wife and I get on the same page are:

(1) The Millionaire Next Door - Stanley
(2) Financial Peace University - Ramsey (not a book, but a program)
(3) The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing - Larrimore, Lindauer, LeBouef (of course!)
__

I know people have a mixed views on Dave Ramsey. However, for your situation where you both need a common language and baseline financial literacy, Dave Ramsey might be useful.

Good luck!

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gunn_show
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by gunn_show » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:41 am

I am going to consolidate some great advice for you, and I agree with others, this is a really weird topic given the age / life stage you are in, and especially the GF is in. To say you have the cart way before the horse, is a massive understatement here. I don't fault you for "looking ahead" to determine if she "is the one" and can be financially compatible, but at the same time presumably this gal is age 19-22 or so, lives at home with the folks, between the folks and your generosity she likely has never had to fight for herself in the real world, is going to school, working part time, and not at a stage in life where she is focusing on earning, never the less saving or retirement accounts or anything remotely related.

As Packer's great Aaron Rodgers is famous for saying... R E L A X
amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:20 pm
First off, she isn't a huge spender.
She won't spend $100 in a day or buy anything luxurious.
But what worries me is that it's a hobby of hers that she openly admits brings her "happiness".
She doesn't have fulfillment anywhere else in her life (work, school, etc.)
It's not like she is in denial either - She is aware that she is a spender because she doesn't feel fulfilled. Buying a new shirt puts her in a very good mood.
These costs will really add up over a lifetime, and they are likely to increase slow and steady unless she finds fulfillment elsewhere, which I can't guarantee. That is my worry.
Please re-read this bro. First you say she "isn't a big spender" - which is obvious. The girl makes $2500 PER YEAR. It is impossible to be called a spender at that income or spend.

Then you say "it's a hobby of hers" ... dude, have you ever dated a woman before? Real question. Like, this is 95% of women man. Perhaps this is your first "real GF" and you are freaking out because you have no knowledge of them. I am now thinking that is a real possibility. She's (insert age 19-22) of course she likes to buy stuff!!! HELLO!!!!!!!!!! She's basically still a kid.

"These costs will add up over a lifetime" ... ok ... so... one should sit at home and never buy anything? No new shirts? No starbucks coffee? Ever? You're acting like this girl is coming home with Michael Kors bags from Saks every weekend. If you fast forward 2 years and this gal is clocking $60k a year (which puts you and your mighty horse to shame income-wise) are you still worried? Or will she be asking why she is with such a controlling money freak?

.. R E L A X
junior wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:35 pm
This is an odd topic. Until your girlfriend is out of college and has a real job there's no point in working out or thinking out a system. You might find you are compatible, or not, after college, but if she is young she hasn't become an adult yet, economically speaking, and you are getting ahead of yourself worrying about this.
This. Enjoy youth, enjoy her college years, let's she how she graduates and progresses into the real world. "Spending" $2500 is nothing.. if she does that when making $50000 then you have something to worry about, but until then, you have no idea what her real mindset is with money. Today she isn't really making money. She is paying for starbucks pumpkin spice and nail salon trips.
spammagnet wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:26 pm
What is the real question here? Are you considering marriage or a committed cohabitation relationship, and are unsure whether her current spending habits foretell financial incompatibility? It's a reasonable issue to consider but I don't think you can tell, at this point. Current circumstances do not reflect future circumstances.

Have you discussed the topic with her, with respect to the future? What is her response?
What does she say when you discuss this topic? I don't think you have dove into this yet. Presumably she doesn't say much, because she is a 21yo college student focusing on more important things (like, you know, studying for college..) than what % of her measily income she should be saving to retire in 45 years?
Curlyq wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:27 pm
If dating you, her work, and her school doesn't fulfill her, and only shopping/buying stuff does, why are you with her? She needs to figure herself out and I don't think you are helping her at all; you are enabling her instead.
Dieharder wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:31 pm
There is one simple solution that works for now. Let the GF stay as GF, no change in status until she has finished college, landed a career, and are able to prioritize financial decisions. This may sound cold, but it is far better than unwanted consequences later on. I do not believe people who have the philosophy of saving whatever is left after you have met all your needs, wants, and everything in between, is serious about planning their financial future. May be too soon for her to get there, that is why time is needed in this situation.
100%. I think you have two options: dump her now because you don't believe she will develop into the financially savvy person ---you want her to be---, or put all this thread topic behind you until she graduates and is 6-12 months into her real world life, and reasses. STOP supporting her. STOP enabling her, because that is what you are doing. You are acting like a rich uncle, not a young carefree boyfriend. STOP giving her money for expenses, let her fight for herself. And certainly, at this age, as only a GF you don't even live with, for the love of all things holy, do not try to put a budget or spending goals or savings goals plan in front of her. If you do, for her sake, I hope she runs away from you.

I'm a married guy that comes from a very financially savvy family, has always been financially minded, and had dated several attractive money-suckers over the years before finding my wife, who is very frugal and not a big spender (but a spender, they all are), so we are very compatible. You cannot really find this out, in my opinion, until: you have spent a lot of time with this person (you check that box, but she is too young to fully mean much) + you have lived with this person + this person is working a real job in the real world and that is their main objective (and you can assess their true income vs. spending ratio). Your gal does not fit any of those buckets yet, therefore you are way cart before the horse. Good luck man. Go relax, maybe go on a hike, do some young college kid aged stuff. You have decades to worry about Boglehead stuff, although I do give you credit for caring at a young age, just dial it back a bit.
"I love competition. And I want to win." R. Murdoch

delamer
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by delamer » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:33 pm

Oh, come on, gunn_show. There is a lot if truth in the observation that the OP is acting like a rich uncle rather than a boyfriend, and he ought to heed it.

But this business that 95% of women are spenders is pure stereotyping. That's the equivalent of saying that all men like to do is drink beer and watch sports on TV all weekend.

At times, most of us are guilty of thinking our spending is worthwhile and important, while our spouse's spending is silly and wasteful. Wife thinks the couple needs a new living room sofa, while husband thinks that new golf clubs are more important. Of the couples that I know with money tensions, in most cases that spending is a problem in both sides. In the one case that know where it is more one-sided, the husband has the problem.

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HueyLD
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by HueyLD » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:25 pm

A wise man once told me the following:

"What's the difference between being frugal and being cheap?

When your loved one declines to spend money on what he likes, he is frugal.

When your loved one disapproves of your spending money on what you want, he is cheap!"

Best wishes.

wrongfunds
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by wrongfunds » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:46 pm

Just to provide some background information to this thread; please read that in entirety before commenting on this one otherwise you will be not doing any justice to this topic.

GF Picking a college major viewtopic.php?f=2&t=224336&start=0

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gunn_show
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by gunn_show » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:47 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:46 pm
Just to provide some background information to this thread; please read that in entirety before commenting on this one otherwise you will be not doing any justice to this topic.

GF Picking a college major viewtopic.php?f=2&t=224336&start=0
Oh Lord... I did not make the connection, good eye. Even worse, the girl in question is perhaps 19? And OP is worried about her current/future spending "problem" and investment habits?

"Girlfriend is a college sophomore and is having an identity crisis of sorts..."
"...I think the best job for her would either be a solitary job in a cubicle or working with animals."
"...Because of the high tuition, I do wonder if she would be better off dropping out and working temporary low pay jobs like in restaurants/retail."

This is either her angry dad posting, or an evil caretaker, but certainly not someone that truly loves and cares about the girl in question. Controlling much? I think it is best for both parties (OP and GF) to part ways and go enjoy youth ... this is way too advanced for 19yo.
"I love competition. And I want to win." R. Murdoch

Nowizard
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Nowizard » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:11 pm

I may be missing something, but this seems like a non-issue at the moment. A college student typically has no money unless supported by others, and your 35K income does not allow a lot of room for discretionary spending, so I assume you are young as well. Great to think about potential differences in significant areas of life but her available money is unlikely to cover even the basics. Twenty dollars a month in discretionary spending is certainly not much, but it does reflect you are being considerate with your own income. It might be helpful to validate whether what you see as being a spender is related to personal traits or the situation, voicing aid if the latter, concern if the former.

Tim

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:12 pm

I would never agree to regularly support a GF over an extended period of time.

A spouse or long term partner? That's a different story. Lots of great advice in this thread.

wrongfunds
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by wrongfunds » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:28 pm

Whenever you read strange and bizarre topics on this forum, the first thing you need to ask "what are the enthicities involved here?" Only then it will start to make at least little sense. If you try to approach it from "mom and apple pie culture", it will NOT make much sense at all.

As you might have noticed from that other topic which was shut down without providing any resolution, expect same outcome for this one. If you are thinking about writing a nice, considerate reply to this topic, get it quickly before for sure it will be locked.

IBTL

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greg24
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by greg24 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:53 pm

This thread and the "girlfriend college major" thread say more about the OP than the girlfriend.

hoops777
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by hoops777 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:09 pm

I honestly believe if you are so crazed about coming up with a system that will control your potential wife's spending,as well as talking allowances and loans.......good luck with this relationship.I can not imagine a normal relationship anything like this.Sounds like someone or both of you are taking advantage of each other and I will leave it at that since this is a polite forum.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

mptfan
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by mptfan » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:24 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:57 am
I am a saver and my gf (of 2 years) is a spender....
I stopped reading after this. Unless she changes her ways, you are likely incompatible.
I eat risk for breakfast. :)

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celia
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by celia » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:30 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:31 am
She doesn't just use her income, she uses mine too. I subsidize her essential expenses and even give her $20 a month for discretionary spending. She saves nothing that's left over.
She doesn't save anything because there's nothing "left over" when her income is so small. Give her $1,000 a week and I'm pretty sure she will start saving some of it. :D In fact if she lost her job and you gave her that much, she would probably only spend $50 a week (same as she's spending now). She sounds frugal to me!

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:54 pm
Any advice on how you make it work? If you have different financial goals, how do you resolve that?
Her financial goal is making it through college. What's yours?

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Toons
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Toons » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:48 pm

Our money was and still is "joint".
We both enjoyed living beneath our means,
Saving and Investing.
Having said that,
It was easy and fun,and still is. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

thangngo
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by thangngo » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:56 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:57 am
hey Bogleheads,

What money management system do you use with your significant other (or have you heard of any good ones)? I am a saver and my gf (of 2 years) is a spender who makes very little working part time a a college student. I make about 15x what she makes in a week. My take home pay = $35k/year, her take home pay = $2500/year.
We need a system.

I have heard of a system where you put all required expenses together and contribute an equal percentage of your incomes towards that. (If I make 15x as much, I pay 15x what she pays into the "required expenses" pot). The remaining is discretionary. If I'm a saver (high earner = saver) and she's a spender (low earner = spender), I save my remaining income and she spends hers. This is a fantastic system if not for one fatal flaw: Somebody has to draw the line between what is "necessary" and what is "discretionary". And if you disagree (she may "need" a new wardrobe of work clothes / blouses), the system doesn't work.

Whenever I talk to co workers about the system above, they say it won't work because she will not see us as "equal partners". Most of them say the only solution is to put all your money together, forget about who's income is who's, and agree on a budget. The problem with this is that agreeing on a spending budget long term is impossible if one is a spender and one is a saver. Sure, the saver may agree to what the spender wants to spend for the first year. But inevitably, the spender will want more as lifestyle creep and the Hedonic Treadmill (http://happierhuman.com/hedonic-treadmill/) set in. At a certain point, the spending starts to cut into the spender's goal savings rate. That's when conflict sets in. This might not happen if she respects your savings goals, but if she is not on board with the idea of financial independence or is poor at delaying gratification, it will happen.

Another problem with both of these is that there's no incentive for the low earner to not go crazy with spending. Subsidies lead to spending increases.

Any comments on this or other systems you use / have heard of?

Also any book recommendations on the topic would be great.
The only way to tackle this is being honest. Talk to her. Does it make you unhappy when she spends all your savings? Is she a spender or is she just in school and doesn't know better? Does she think that it's your job to go hunting and put food on the table and it's her job to motivate you? If that's the case, I'd move on and find someone who share the same value I have. To have a successful marriage, you'll need to find a suitable partner.

My wife is a saver and she trusts me with managing family wealth. I'm blessed and I won't take it for granted. We found each other in our late 20s. I had many strikeouts before hitting the home run.

mouses
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by mouses » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:04 pm

I stopped reading about half way through the replies.

I think the OP's worries are premature. They aren't even living together. They aren't sure they will get married. She is living with her parents who seem to be providing the bulk of her financial support. She works part time and goes to college. She will presumably be in that situation for a few years.

This is not a relationship where finances need to be figured out. It is casual dating. If the OP wants to give her money gifts from time of time, as long as they are not extravagant, that's fine, forget Emily Post.

Once she is out of college, then if they decide to live together or get married, than finances can be decided.

retire57
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by retire57 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:10 pm

greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:53 pm
This thread and the "girlfriend college major" thread say more about the OP than the girlfriend.
+1

stoptothink
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by stoptothink » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:18 pm

retire57 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:10 pm
greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:53 pm
This thread and the "girlfriend college major" thread say more about the OP than the girlfriend.
+1
+2

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gunn_show
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by gunn_show » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:28 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:18 pm
retire57 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:10 pm
greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:53 pm
This thread and the "girlfriend college major" thread say more about the OP than the girlfriend.
+1
+2
+3
"I love competition. And I want to win." R. Murdoch

indexonlyplease
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by indexonlyplease » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:06 pm

amd7239 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:57 am
hey Bogleheads,

What money management system do you use with your significant other (or have you heard of any good ones)? I am a saver and my gf (of 2 years) is a spender who makes very little working part time a a college student. I make about 15x what she makes in a week. My take home pay = $35k/year, her take home pay = $2500/year.
We need a system.

You are not married. So she can do what ever she wants with her money. You will have to decide if you want to help her while in school. Before you get married, both of you need to work this out. If not no reason to get married. It will only cause problems in the marriage. Before my wife and I decided to get married we agreed that I would manage the money. So she and I have a budget. Evey year the more we made the larger the budget was for both of us.

I have heard of a system where you put all required expenses together and contribute an equal percentage of your incomes towards that. (If I make 15x as much, I pay 15x what she pays into the "required expenses" pot). The remaining is discretionary. If I'm a saver (high earner = saver) and she's a spender (low earner = spender), I save my remaining income and she spends hers. This is a fantastic system if not for one fatal flaw: Somebody has to draw the line between what is "necessary" and what is "discretionary". And if you disagree (she may "need" a new wardrobe of work clothes / blouses), the system doesn't work. This has worked in our 25 year marriage.

I laughed when I read the word "blouses". Not sure anyone uses that word. When married you put your money together and become one. Agree on everything purchased and both have a budget. That's it. Does not matter who makes more. I make triple the money my wife makes. But we are equal.

Whenever I talk to co workers about the system above, they say it won't work because she will not see us as "equal partners". Most of them say the only solution is to put all your money together, forget about who's income is who's, and agree on a budget. The problem with this is that agreeing on a spending budget long term is impossible if one is a spender and one is a saver. Sure, the saver may agree to what the spender wants to spend for the first year. But inevitably, the spender will want more as lifestyle creep and the Hedonic Treadmill (http://happierhuman.com/hedonic-treadmill/) set in. At a certain point, the spending starts to cut into the spender's goal savings rate. That's when conflict sets in. This might not happen if she respects your savings goals, but if she is not on board with the idea of financial independence or is poor at delaying gratification, it will happen.

Another problem with both of these is that there's no incentive for the low earner to not go crazy with spending. Subsidies lead to spending increases.

All this must be worked out before the marriage. You will read that most marriages end because of finances. I would state this is a good reason not to live together before marriage. Or at least figure this out before you live together. And what every you do, don't marry someone in debt. Because that just became your debt.

Any comments on this or other systems you use / have heard of?

Maybe you met the wrong girl. Sorry.

Also any book recommendations on the topic would be great.

amd7239
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by amd7239 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:32 pm

AdmiralSnackbar wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:01 am
In response to the OP's request for books, the three books that helped my wife and I get on the same page are:

(1) The Millionaire Next Door - Stanley
(2) Financial Peace University - Ramsey (not a book, but a program)
(3) The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing - Larrimore, Lindauer, LeBouef (of course!)
__

I know people have a mixed views on Dave Ramsey. However, for your situation where you both need a common language and baseline financial literacy, Dave Ramsey might be useful.

Good luck!
How did you go about initiating this conversation with her? Was she open minded enough to say "sure, I'll read this book / do this course", or did you have to do some convincing?

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Sandtrap
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:48 pm

Leemiller wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:24 pm
You've put yourself in a weird situation that is the problem. It is one thing to buy dinners, etc when you go out, another to give someone an allowance. A 50/50 split is weird when you make so much money but an allowance is weird too. It would even be fine to help with bigger expenses, like if her car broke down. Now you want to control how she spends the money, but if she was an independent, hard working type I don't think she'd be in a sugar daddy scenario.

Just please don't buy a house together until you are married whatever you do.
+1

GoldenFinch
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by GoldenFinch » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:20 pm

gunn_show wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:28 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:18 pm
retire57 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:10 pm
greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:53 pm
This thread and the "girlfriend college major" thread say more about the OP than the girlfriend.
+1
+2
+3
Usually these threads end with the words "relationship issue" or "topic exhausted" or "locked."

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pondering
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by pondering » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Has the OP shown either thread to his gf?
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Re: Spouse Money Management

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:47 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (topic exhausted, derailed to discuss relationship issue). See: Locked Topics
Moderators or site admins may lock a topic (set it so no more replies may be added) when a violation of posting policy has occurred. Occasionally, even if there are no overt violations of posting policy, a topic (or thread) will reach a point where the information content of the discussion has been essentially exhausted and further replies are much more likely to cause distress to the community than add anything of value.
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