Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

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beyou
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by beyou » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:50 pm

Does his business have potential personal liability ? If so maybe all the assets should be in YOUR name !

quantAndHold
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:15 pm

This is a relationship issue, not a financial issue. All sorts of red flags here relationship wise, but not really anything that can be resolved in a financial forum. From a financial perspective, I would be most concerned about division of assets in the divorce, because without intervention, I don’t see this ending well.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by iudiehard1 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:44 pm

truenorth418 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:00 pm
iudiehard1 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:31 pm
there are really only three logical reasons a husband would want to keep money seperate:

1. He wants to play with some of the money and not answer for the spending. Totally get that, so we have an allocated “play money” to handle that. You get some blow money (me: golf, guys trips, etc.) (her: shopping, girls trips, etc.). This is a great way to solve the independence we all need and desire from time to time.
2. He wants to hide things from his wife and is rationalizing it. Hard to hear, but totally true and it would be hard to convince me that not sharing with your wife where your money is going to doing anything but deceiving her. As Dave Ramsey says, the preacher pronounced you as “one”. Live like it.
3. He doesn’t really want to be married and wants to play married. Might as well be roommates if you aren’t sharing accounts.
4. He really DOES want to be married but he is aware that in the modern era there a significantly high divorce rate.. and, further, he is aware that in the case of a divorce he may lose 50% or more of all of his financial assets including a significant amount of financial assets he earned before he even met his wife, as well as a significant amount of income for years after a potential divorce... and further that there is really not much he can do to avoid a divorce ...if the wife decides that she wants a divorce she will have one... even if he is an exemplary husband and father he ultimately does not have any control over whether she will want a divorce in the future or not. Therefore he is trying to maintain some level of control - not over HER - but over his OWN financial future and destiny - in the all too common situation where the wife decides she wants something else and decides to divorce him - by keeping his finances separate and not "co-mingled". The vast majority of divorces in heterosexual marriages are initiated by the woman. Should he have gotten a pre-nup? I think so. But pre-nups are not iron clad, they can be challenged and changed and frequently are. On the one hand the husband loves his wife and wants to be married to her, but at the same time he is also a realist who has seen what frequently happens - financial devastation - when a marriage ends.
True north. See #2. You are rationalizing and already preparing for the “inevitable” divorce. But hey, you will have hid some money to keep away from the snarling women that YOU decided to marry. Just like in business.....when you make bad decisions it costs you money.
Proverbs 13:20 - Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:22 pm

GCD wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:55 pm
IMO, no, you can't. Continuing with the team metaphor, your husband is like a basketball star who is more concerned with his points scored per game than he is with whether the team wins or loses. That doesn't mean the team can't win, but they have a self-absorbed, selfish jerk for a star and he is probably negatively affecting team camaraderie. But your marriage is not a sports team. The ultimate goal isn't to "win", i.e. accumulate the most assets. The ultimate goal is to have a pleasant, stress free, happy family.

Some say the stress will go away when you have one bucket. That's not true. The stress won't go away for him. Unless he really comes to accept the one pot model, he will resent being forced/badgered into it.

When I say "can't" I mean you can't in any marriage I would want to be a part of. Different people have different priorities and desires. I wouldn't be happy in a marriage where my wife and I were obsessed with keeping score individually. Because that's what this is about. Keeping score.
Great post! Yes, a great marriage is a great team. Great teams cease being individuals. That's what marriage means: two become one. Money: it goes in one bucket without keeping score. Kids: We created two, quite jointly. Can you imagine keeping an account of each kid by who seems to have contributed more? "DNA 50-50, but I think I went to more soccer games. Oh yeah, I but I helped more with his math homework in 6th grade and comforted him that time when he was upset about not getting picked for the school play...and, well, now that I think about it maybe my DNA is a little more robust in the areas that matter." Yikes.

Team: A smart running back knows it can't be done without a right guard. Both contribute, but the lineman is tougher to see and measure. In a great marriage, both partners bring different things. 40 years plus here, one checking account and shared credit cards (We get to see what each spends. We can talk about spending when we disagree. It's part of trust and accountability to each other), a shared Vanguard account with not only our joint taxable but our individual retirement accounts all part of our combined retirement plan.
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Teddy Ruxpin
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by Teddy Ruxpin » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:44 pm

I think if we had separate accounts it would operate like this:

All money goes to joint account and all money earned is used to equally fund each person's retirement.

A set amount amount of money per month is set as discretionary and split 50/50 and goes to separate accounts.

Each spouse can buy (or not buy) whatever the hell they want with those separate funds.

I think these just get too messy doing pro-rata or trying to calculate the value of one spouse staying home, being a business owner, sacrifice, etc.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:11 am

DonIce wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:03 pm
How many wives in history have thought that their husband's salary is "low"?
:oops: :oops: :oops: 'Nough said.
DonIce wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:03 pm
We have no independent way of verifying the assessment that it is, in fact, low.
True. We have no way of independently verifying anything that anyone posts about their finances or personal life. Lending credibility, however, is the subtle fact that the OP is a) actually defending her spouse and b) appears to be sincerely trying to see her spouses point of view. It is important to pick up on context.
DonIce wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:03 pm
Furthermore, it is extremely common for founders to take below market salaries from their companies for many years while their companies are growing so that the companies can succeed. Even in silicon valley, many founders work for salaries many times lower than their market rate would be if they worked for someone else.
Let's make the huge assumption that this is what the spouse is actually doing. How many of these "founders" that take below market salaries to grow the business and enrich themselves down the road tell their spouses that they aren't going to see a penny of that if the marriage dissolves?

Answer? Not many that are still married.
DonIce wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:03 pm
Honestly after reading this thread I think this forum has an extremely imbalanced perspective on this issue.
:oops: As imbalanced, say, as one spouse who is set to retire with 5 to 10 times the assets of the other?

You can make up your own definition of marriage these days. What the OP described doesn't fit in the vast majority of people's definition. You may disagree, but that doesn't mean that the vast majority of people are imbalanced.

JT

JTColton
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by JTColton » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:25 am

My wife and I do separate accounts because she runs a business and we both agreed that its best to not co-mingle accounts.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by Starfish » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:51 am

The problem in this marriage is not te separate finances but the fact that one of the partners wants to spend money (=do things) without the other.
If I made 10X more than my wife and keep them separated, what would I do with the money? Take vacations by myself? retire without her? Eat at 3 star restaurants by myself? It would mean that I don't want her in my life or enjoy her company.

SQRT
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by SQRT » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:03 am

When my wife and I were first together, we made a point of keeping our finances separate. I was dealing with a very expensive divorce and she had assets that we didn’t want to risk losing in that divorce. There are reasons in Canada to keep assets separate as each person files their own individual tax returns (no concept of joint filing). Tax advantaged accounts are always separate.

We retired about 12 years ago and have continued with separate finances. Having said that we each view our assets as “one pot”, all accounts are “joint”, we each have total access to all accounts, her name is on all our real estate. All significant financial decisions are taken together. Certainly a team approach and that is the key I think. Separate accounts don’t necessarily mean it’s not a team approach.

I manage the investment portfolios (her’s and mine). She spends her own income ( pensions and divs) as she sees fit. I cover all our joint expenses from my pension and divs. “My” income is about 15 times hers. We use the same credit cards. She allocates CC expenses between us each morning. We track all expenses and forecast income and expenses out for current plus 2 more years.

Not sure how we would do it if we were to start over with a clean slate. I do like the idea of her having her own source of personal income to buy her own clothes, shoes and bags. Also, it’s nice that she can surprise me with presents from time to time. I think it’s good that she is very much involved in our finances. I discuss all investment decisions with her and she understands it all. Helps that she is also a CPA. Lots of different ways to do this.
Last edited by SQRT on Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by pennywise » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:02 am

bluejello wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:41 pm
Just out of curiosity — is there no one on this thread who feels that if one spouse builds a successful career or business, then they should be the primary beneficiary of that hard work and not their spouse? This is my husband's point of view.

Take Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos for example. Of course we are nowhere near that level, but they've been in the news lately with headlines like "How much of Jeff's money is MacKenzie going to take?" Everyone here feels that she is equally entitled to their joint assets?
I don't think you will find people who feel the way you describe, because the intrinsic basis of a marriage is that success comes in part because of the spouse's support. That support isn't necessarily financial even if money is the marker. One spouse working to support the other-as you said you did for a time while your husband built his business-isn't really about the money . It's about each person sacrificing in a spirit of generosity and support.

How this aligns with money management is a long and very contentious topic on this board. My husband and I have always had yours-mine-ours bank accounts and we are celebrating 30+ years of marriage. I think many here misunderstand fundamentally that where the money is deposited is so much less important than whether each partner feels s/he is bonded and united with his/her spouse in how they are going to work together to build a life.

In our marriage, when we had children I left my FT job to work very part time for years. We simply adjusted our proportional deposits each month; he was at one point carrying the load financially at 90% to my 10%. And that was ok; I was taking care of our kids at home most of the days and overall that was our shared commitment. I eventually returned to paid work and ended up making more than he did--adjusted the monthly deposits, no worry. He retired this year; I'm still working full time and now I cover his medical insurance along with mine and he pays a bit less into the household account pot since his pension is lower than salary. It's all worked just fine because the bottom line is we are a team. What each of us brings in is for the good of the family and the marriage. So the intrinsic principle of one person 'enjoying' rewards that are not shared with the other isn't a philosophical basis in most marriages I think. Wherever the money comes from and however it is managed, money is really just a way to support the life two people build together

The real valuable resource is the trust, respect and sense of security between those two people who know that they are each there for each other no matter who earns what.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by pennywise » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:12 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:52 pm

right it is just a mechanism so that if wife wants to spend a few hundred dollars a year on dance classes which I think are completely dumb, she can do so without me criticizing her spending money on it, and she cant complain about my spending on areas that she wouldn't agree to spend money on like liquor.
Actually that sounds like a great complementary set of indulgences: you get drunk, she dances for you. Keep that marriage spicy! :wink:

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by BanquetBeer » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:35 am

We split finances and I think it’s a highly workable model - when finances are similar. If you have a large difference in compensation (especially because one spouse takes on family - non compensation duties) I think it’s a terrible model. But we also live on less than one salary and save the rest (not fighting for limited resources)

We split because we have different spending priorities and retirement goal dates. I do manage all our finances interns of investment strategy, and suggested savings rates.

For your situation, would make more sense to one pot all income then (approximately) equally split savings. That way if you want to spend $x on clothes and he wants to spend $x on computers - there shouldn’t be much conflict.

The problem with this approach is if you divorce, the higher spending spouse “wins”. Just because he keeps his accounts in his name doesn’t mean if you divorce him you don’t get half. I know some couples with that mentality and it leads to financial destruction. I’m confident we wouldn’t have that issue but that is not typical for couples.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:55 am

bluejello wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:14 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:11 am
One pot. The reason you have friction is because you have two pots (or three). Get rid of the friction by going to one pot. We've had periods in our marriage where she earned more, periods where he earned more, periods where one person didn't earn at all, and periods where both are very well paid. One pot works just fine in all of those scenarios. Beats me how people deal with two pots. There must be a million different ways to do that, no wonder there is friction as you debate between all those different ways. There's only one way to do a one pot.
I mean, this is what I've been pulling for since the beginning of our marriage. But my husband philosophically disagrees. We've been married for 6 years and this is still a point of argument. What do you do when one spouse wants to combine finances and the other doesn't?
Muddle through I guess. I can't imagine this sort of thing is worth ending a marriage. There's lots of compromise in marriage.

Maybe you can work to make the "middle pot" bigger and bigger over the years. At a certain size, the other pots become almost irrelevant.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by zeal » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:01 am

+1 if you can't come to a sensible agreement, seek counseling. In a healthy relationship, if one party is not happy, the other party cannot be.

Didn't read all the posts so I may just be repeating others, just thought I'd put in another vote and offer my thoughts.

Marriage is a team sport. From what you've told us, he is not being a team player--you have done all the compromising in this relationship. You could have easily been the breadwinner if you hadn't given up your career and moved to allow him to be the breadwinner. You are entitled to his income just as much as he is, because he wouldn't have it without your sacrifice and support. Since giving up your income, you've taken on marriage responsibilities other than income that he no longer has to worry about--it's not like the amount you contribute to a relationship is equal to the amount of money you make.

Also, I cannot agree with his logic because it is flawed:
My parents fought about money, so I want to keep things separate so that we won't fight about it." You are fighting about it--what you are doing is not working. Change it, yesterday.

Combining finances will require a mindset change for him, but it will seriously simplify both of your lives and strengthen your relationship leaps and bounds. My wife and I both do different jobs during the day. It doesn't matter which one of us gets a bigger paycheck or if one of us doesn't get a paycheck--we both do different jobs for the benefit of our family. When the money comes in, no matter the source, it is our household income, not his+hers. We use our household income to pay for our household expenses. Simple. All possible joint accounts are joint accounts (checking, savings, taxable, titles to home and vehicles) and all individual accounts (IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans) will be treated as our household income when we retire and begin using these funds.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by SDLinguist » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:19 am

After going through the entire thread I think most things have been said. There are a lot of red flags from what you have told us OP. I just want to share a story.

To me it sounds like the age old issue of women not being seen as equal. Your husband is never going to admit it out loud and he probably doesn't actively think you are inferior, but subconsciously that's the issue. It is just too ingrained in society not to be the case sadly l. I constantly have to catch myself when I fall into those patterns of thinking at work or at home and it takes a lot of effort to unlearn.

It just sounds like he can't see how much support he actually has from you because he doesn't see the support you give as being of equal value to what he is doing, i.e. $$$$.

My dad has an MD PhD and a PhD in genetic biology. My mom has an MD. They met in med school in the mid 70s in Germany. My dad is smart but was a terrible student so he didn't get into med school on his first try, he spent a year at a law school that his dad had to pull strings to get him into before he was able to somehow get a spot in medicine. My mom is 3 years older so when they met she was almost done and he was just starting.

My mom finished her MD and then went on to start the PhD part of the MD PhD but she then stopped because she got pregnant with my brother and someone needed to actually make money to support a child and my dad's schooling.

It was the late 70's by then, so what does a woman do in the medical field at the time? Of course she decided to go into thoracic surgery. So she is taking care of a child, doing her residency and supporting my dad while he unashamedly admits he was mostly playing sqaush with his advisor and doing anything possible to not see patients but instead be in a lab somewhere. The seventies were wonderful right?

Then in 84 my dad decides he would rather study genetics instead of medicine, so my mom starts her own private practice so she can work more flexible hours around my brother now starting school and make more to support my dad's second degree.

89 and 90 roll around and she has me and my sister in a 12 month span (this also leads to great jokes about her having children in three different decades, which I know she just loves :P) and my dad gets his first "real" job working in a university lab after having finished his second PhD. My mom then changes her schedule to be 4-6am house calls for her geriatric patients (old people are up super early all the time I learned), kids to preschool by 7:30. In her practice by 8, patients until 2pm and then back to the kids and the house.

94 rolls around and my dad starts working for an American company and starts making the same amount of money she has been. So my mom starts to reschool into psychiatry while running her practice and taking care of the house. The plan was to sell her medical practice and open a new psychiatry practice in our basement. She would see patients while we are in kindergarten and take care of the household once we were home, then as we would become more independent she could work more again.

But come 96 and my dad gets the opportunity to move us all to SD for his job during the biotech boom. It is a huge opportunity but this means my mom, who is only a couple hours away from her required session hours has to give up a practicing medicine. She becomes a SAHM in a foreign country in her early 40s where she gets to hear from the 20 something PTA moms at my elementary school about how smart she is even though she has an accent.

The last 20 years were great for my dad's career and he is now retired too. I love my dad but he is totally blind to what she did to support him and what she gave up for him. They are way better off now than they would have been if we stayed in Germany, though it's not like they would have been bad off there to begin with. My dad though only sees it as him bringing home the bacon so to say in the last 20 years..

They don't argue over money because on that they have the same philosophy but that really is the big sticking point in their relationship, him not seeing how much support he got from her.

I know my mom would suggest it too, get some counseling, everybody should. A marriage can probably survive fights over money or fights over respect but probably not both, especially when the two are intertwined as you say they are.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by Hulu » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:24 am

So many good ideas including therapy. To answer your stated question to feel like a team each partner "believes in both each other, the marriage, argues constructively and the plan". If your marriage is really a priority to both of you a good therapist or even marriage book would go a long way.

I think your real question is how can you have a good marriage. And how can you argue or negotiate constructively. And how can you make your relationship better. And how can you look deeply within yourselves to know what you need in a relationship. Seems like therapy, journaling, reflecting, communicating, gratitude and improvement type questions. Basically to avoid resentment so you can love each other in ways the other appreciates and understands. The things you wrote seems to indicate that there are some skills like communicating gratitude, compassion and love that are contributing to the issues. Cats don't marry birds so I'd look into what you BOTH brought into the relationship that is creating dissatisfaction and division.

Good luck!

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by WannabeAgAlum » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:25 am

This is easy. If you will eventually divorce, keep things separate. If not, do one pot. Same thing applies to prenups.

Oh, you'll need a crystal ball.

Wannabe.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by stevekozak2 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:50 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:19 am
Fundamentally disagree.

Of our retirement assets (we have twice that in taxable assets), 70% are in my name, 30% in my wife's. Of that 30%, I contributed probably 70% of it. While legally in each of our names, and treated that way if one of us passes and for designating beneficiaries, this is OUR money. WE are going to retire in 2 years, WE are going to spend OUR money on OUR retirement.

When a relative of mine gave us a gift, she intentionally split it into two checks, one to each of us. We smiled, and put the funds in our joint account. When I inherited money, it went in our joint account. When my wife inherited money, it went in our joint account. The property she inherited was deeded to both of us. Our, joint, US.

My wife stayed home with our kids from when our oldest was born until our youngest was in elementary school. WE gave up hundreds of thousands in income. WE made that choice.

To the OP, I'd suggest counseling to resolve this situation.
I agree with this philosophy 100%. If you are planning to stay married, then be one. My view on marriage is that you become one and thus there is now a WE instead of an I. If you don't want that, then you probably should not get married.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by stevekozak2 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:06 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:58 am
We have been married for 8 years and do separate accounts. We each put 60% of our paycheck into joint account, the rest goes into our personal account. This is enough to pay for all joint bills and a little more. Personal spending comes from your own personal account, joint bills come out of joint account. Now this isn't perfect as I am putting 18% of my pay into my 401K and DW is putting in 6%, but I also make more so I have more left over. Also bought a new car for DW but payments come out of joint account, because we both use the car, and I tend to spend more on her during birthday and holidays and I put the grocery shopping on my account, even though it is a joint bill, this is also like noted above, I make more money so I have more left over. If we need to make a big purchase we both take from our personal accounts or we have a HELOC is we need it.

The reason this system works, is that all bills are paid first then personal spending after, and if all one pot hoseholds like my sister, she bought a new car when they had a kid because she wanted to go from 2 door to 4 door, next week her husband went out and bought a BMW since she made a purchase he felt entitled to one, and it was a horrible mistake but that is the mentality that can happen with one pot both see the other spending and think they deserve to spent from the pot too and then it is a race to spend....
In the example of your sister's family, the problem is that "she" bought a car and "he" bought a car. In true one-pot family teams, "we" buy a car(s).

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by veindoc » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:13 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:55 am

Muddle through I guess. I can't imagine this sort of thing is worth ending a marriage. There's lots of compromise in marriage.

Maybe you can work to make the "middle pot" bigger and bigger over the years. At a certain size, the other pots become almost irrelevant.
This was going to be my suggestion. 3 categories. Joint expenses, joint savings, and hubby’s business. The above two you both contribute.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by ThreeBears » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:25 am

i've noticed this board is pretty old school about marital finances.

we have separate accounts. yes, we are a team.

Honestly, it doesn't seem complicated for us.

dbr
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by dbr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:33 am

ThreeBears wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:25 am
i've noticed this board is pretty old school about marital finances.

we have separate accounts. yes, we are a team.

Honestly, it doesn't seem complicated for us.
Totally true. These issues are not about how a couple of people have organized their accounts.

I guess after forty years of marriage we should be "old school" but most of our assets are in individual accounts. Not the least of that is 401k accounts which are individual by law. I can't ever remember my wife and I disagreeing about the use of money wherever it is/was.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by Sam1 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:34 pm

If my husband pulled this I’d make sure and live my life like a male bachelor.

I wouldn’t have kids but if I did I wouldn’t take a day of unpaid leave

I wouldn’t do any unpaid labor at home more than my spouse does. None of the invisible work of women like planning vacations, decorating the house, hiring people to do odd jobs around the house, remembering family birthdays etc. Nothing that takes time away from my career.

I’d prioritize my career 100% since obviously he doesn’t view his earnings as ours.

I wouldn’t spend money keeping up my appearance in anyway different from men. No dying gray hair, no bikini waxes, no pedicures. Clearly this wouldn’t go over well.

Truthfully I’d never marry someone like this. I came across men like this when dating and I stayed away. It’s a red flag for many other issues

It sounds harsh but it’s like your husband thinks you’re a man. You’re not. If he wants to be married to a man then he should go and do that. There isn’t anything stopping him.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:42 pm

I would stop doing free things in the household for just a month. Just leave a dirty house, no cooking, nothing. You live your life as a single girl for a change. Party ever night.

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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by tmcc » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:28 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:23 pm
It's only fair that each of you get the benefit of your own hard work and reward. My wife and I made somewhat similar money when we married, so it was easy for me to invoice her when I made a mortgage payment. When our second son came along, she left work. Not pulling her weight, we decided it wasn't fair for her to eat our food and use the heat in our house, so from that point, she slept outside.....in a puddle.....and begged for coins at the stop sign down the street. I charge low interest, so she didn't get too far behind, but time worked against her. Today, she owes me about a million and a half dollars. I plan to buy a Lamborghini. I hear she's buying herself a water heater for that puddle she sleeps in.

So in reality, did you figure out that we had combined income/payments from day one?
Jack - are you sure she is imputing interest properly on that under-market low interest loan ? Better call the IRS and double check that

stevekozak2
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by stevekozak2 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:50 am

After having finally read this entire thread, I have different thoughts. It seemed, in the beginning, that the husband was being horrible and unreasonable in his actions. Reading further in, however, we learn that the OP is getting everything she wants, in terms of the joint finances, other than control of the business. She talks about him saying that he does not think she should get half of the business if they split up. I began to wonder what precipitates such statements. I wonder what is is that the OP is saying to him about all of this. She has talked him into having one pot at home, so I don't know why she thinks she needs to control the business as well. It sounds like he has business partners that he has to deal with as well. My guess is (based on some comments here about a different thread about home budget, etc) that she thinks he should be putting even more of the business profits into the pot at home. I am reserving any actual opinion about the situation being that we only have the one side. I do think marriage counseling would be a great idea, as I do not believe the actual problems in this relationship are financial ones. The finances are a symptom and not the disease. All that said, I still support a one-pot financial arrangement in marriages. I do not think that means the spouses of a business owner should have equal say in how a business is run (if it is not a family business) just because they are married. By the same token, I don't think the spouse of a doctor should be operating on patients if they have no medical training and or that the spouse of a mechanic should be diagnosing and fixing cars if they do not have knowledge of how the machines work.

basspond
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by basspond » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:22 pm

Like most have said this appears to be a relational issue not financial. Do you remember what marriage is? Two shall become one and for better or worse. It’s hard for me to defend your spouse but since there is a business that had a lot of equity before you came along that might be skewing your spouse’s all in commitment. Your spouse might have known some people who were severely hurt by marriage “bankruptcy”. Work on that aspect and come to agreement on what percentage of profits should be taken for salary and bonuses and be considered as your family’s income the rest rolled back into the business.

MandyT
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by MandyT » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:02 pm

bluejello wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:52 am
runner540 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:47 am
So when his other businesses failed/lost money, how did he eat and keep a roof over his head? Did you contribute at all?
This is also a point of contention. When he was working on these ventures, my paycheck was being deposited into our joint checking account and expenses were being paid out of that account. I consider this as "me paying the bills and supporting him while he was working on his business(es)."

He hotly contests that I ever supported him, because we already had a large pile of savings (in joint accounts) which mostly came from his previous earnings. His point of view is that without me, he still could've tapped into his savings and been more than fine while he took entrepreneurial risks, so I didn't support him during this time.
I've at least skimmed all of the posts after this one. It seems as if we've lost the original poster, at least for the time being.

I got stuck here because of the whole "could have tapped into his savings" thing. Could have, but didn't! I think it would be highly advisable for OP to try to back-calculate the amount of money she could have saved up if her husband had paid his share of the joint expenses out of "his" savings. She might need to know that some day.

Everything else I would say has already been said.

2tall4economy
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by 2tall4economy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:44 pm

Wife and I tried split finances while dating and the first couple years of marriage. She chose to stop working abruptly after getting married (immense friction caused). My choice was divorce or living with it. I chose to live with it. The resentment is mostly gone now. Mostly ;)

Wife has a tough time sticking to a budget so when that didn’t work we went to something that may help you; we determined that our monthly spending was X excluding housing, utilities, and healthcare costs and that she generally she spent about three time as much as I did. I then set up monthly debit cards with a monthly deposit into our “spending” accounts, where her monthly contribution is 3x mine.

Works a lot better than before. I don’t get mad when she buys “worthless” stuff with her spending because I know in total she’s generally tracking to our budget.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

Quickfoot
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by Quickfoot » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:17 pm

I do not think spouses should share a checking account but both spouses should have access to the others information any time they want. My wife and I started out with a joint checking which didn't work at all, we then split into a hybrid where we had a common checking and each of us had our own separate checking for "play money" and we ultimately settled on each of us having our own accounts with our own money and dividing bills based on % of income.

Having separate accounts allows us to spend or save as we wish after bills have been paid and we pitch in together on large expenses. It also keeps it feeling more "romantic" in that we can take each other on dates and pay for each other. It also makes holidays more fun because you aren't paying for your own gift.

We contribute heavily to retirement, have no credit card debt, and share many joint financial goals.

Quickfoot
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by Quickfoot » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:19 pm

2tall4economy wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:44 pm
Wife and I tried split finances while dating and the first couple years of marriage. She chose to stop working abruptly after getting married (immense friction caused). My choice was divorce or living with it. I chose to live with it. The resentment is mostly gone now. Mostly ;)
This was actually a leading cause to the end of my first marriage. My first wife decided she was going to stay home with our daughter until she went to school, without talking to me about it. We had built a lifestyle based on two incomes and I'm interested in a partner, not a dependent. Having only one spouse work shifts way too much of the power to that one spouse and also puts too much responsibility and pressure on them. We were divorced within 9 months of her unilaterally deciding to stay home.

peagreenboat
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by peagreenboat » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:50 pm

It seems that most on this board go the one-pot route. In our family we have done a bit of hybrid approach, which has worked fantastically for us. We have money that is “ours” and also separate money. Each of us having our own money has meant that not once - not ever in 30+ years - have we had a disagreement about money.

Paychecks (his and hers) go into our joint house checking account. Every month we pay the bills and fund various savings needs from that account, including joint savings for such things as medical, vacations, savings toward buying our next car, college for our child, any large expense that we know is coming up, general house and car maintenance, retirement saving for us both. After all the bills and savings are paid, we split what remains 50-50, and this is our own personal money to do whatever we want with. It doesn’t matter who makes more money, or even if one partner is not bringing in any income at all (for a legitimate reason, such as going to school or raising a young child). The 50-50 split at the end of the month is a recognition that our marriage is an equal partnership, regardless of who earns more.

I think this feels more fair to both parties - regardless how the family financial situation may change over the years - than each person putting a pro-rated amount of “their” paycheck toward paying the bills. The pro-rated approach can still mean in the end that the higher-earning person has more to spend for themselves than the lower-earning person.

It also avoids a lot of potential friction, for example if one person is a spender and the other is a saver, or if one person has an expensive hobby and the other does not.

dbr
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by dbr » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:17 pm

Note the question is supposed to be about separate finances rather than separate accounts. My wife and I have a number of individual accounts each but we have never remotely imagined that we had separate finances.

Nowizard
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Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Post by Nowizard » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:44 pm

There is a difference between separate finances and separate finances where the higher earner does not disclose their finances. In other words, if there is an issue of not wanting you to know about his finances, there is more than one goal operating here. If there are regular discussions about the finances of each, along with full disclosure of amounts, investment decisions, where the money lies, etc., then there may be less of an issue in theory. There are a number of key areas in a marriage such as health, spirituality, use of leisure time, work and finances. Another area of importance is "Puzzles." They are those things in a marriage that generally lie dormant but occasionally cause problems even though the basis is primarily a difference of opinion. Distinguishing between puzzles and problems is often difficult but important.

Tim

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