Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
edgeagg
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by edgeagg » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:34 pm

Going on 30 years married. We do division of labor:

(1) Wife pays the bills since I can't be trusted to get it done on time. Since women generally outlive men, I should be all set.
(2) I do the investing - which given that I am BH ain't much. We do a quarterly review of finances and spending patterns.
(3) We're both cheap and not given to impulse purchases, so that works out fine. If your SO doesn't have similar habits, that can create friction down the line when you have kids. But, hey, marriage ain't easy, you have to work at it and have clear lines of communication.

oldfatguy
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by oldfatguy » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:58 pm

MotoTrojan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:52 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:45 pm
mhalley wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:43 pm
Probably the only thing to do in this situation is to take over the finances completely and be his “finance mom”.
If he has any interest at all in this type of arrangement, run the other way.
Why? I run the household investments/finances (male), as I am sure many do.
Because anyone who would want someone else to take care of them like a "mom" (or "dad") is not an adult.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by fourwheelcycle » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:55 pm

Gee, I think I've seen this topic before!

We have been married for forty-four years with no financial stresses or problems. We have a joint bank account, joint credit cards, and a joint taxable savings account at Vanguard. We have separate employer-based retirement savings accounts and rollover IRA accounts at Vanguard.

My wife pays all of our monthly bills. I manage all of our other finances and do all of our income taxes. My wife gets on the phone and gives permission when I need to deal with her retirement savings. This works fine for us, but clearly it would not work for couples who want to maintain separate finances. Noting our age, my wife and I are old school - when we got married we integrated everything "for better or worse". Luckily, it's all been "better".

123
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by 123 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:41 am

We had each established our own accounts (band accounts/investment/credit cards) prior to the marriage and just handled them differently. We each still have have our own primary checking accounts where our paychecks go and we each pay our own credit cards. Though we have added each other as a second signer on each of the checking accounts that is only for extenuating circumstances, we don't look at balances, or activity on each other's credit cards or other accounts. When checking account balances get too high, say over $10K, we each transfer the overflow to a joint investment account. I pay all the household bills (utilities, mortgage, insurance, taxes) and expenses (groceries, gas, etc) our of my checking account, which I track and reconcile. If I need additional cash (property tax type things) I can pull it from the shared investment account.

If we do family outings, whether a meal out or a vacation, I pay those using my own credit card.

I manage all the investment accounts (taxable and IRA/401K. Spouse is not interested in investing at all. I have designated trading authority established in all accounts). I get statements for all accounts since I have POA for trading, spouse still gets statements for his own accounts.

I prepare the joint tax returns based on the tax forms we receive and my and my spouse's information (like receipts for medical expenses and charitable donations). Spouse gets own copy of tax return for his records.

There are a wealth of possibilities to handle financial matters as a couple. Each couple has to decide for themselves what works for them.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

crre
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by crre » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:13 am

Caduceus wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:25 pm
It doesn't cause too much relationship conflict because all of these habits are part of the same personality that I fell in love with.
this describes my husband and me perfectly. married 30+ years, and i wouldn't have it any other way.

i spent the first 10 years of our marriage managing everything financial, and the next 10 trying to get him interested in learning how to do it himself. then i gave up, and we are back to me doing the finances. in the event that something happens to me, there are detailed records, and instructions (with which he agrees) to let the kids manage his finances for him.

had something happened to me when the kids were small, there was good life insurance in place, and the knowledge that he would somehow manage financially, albeit in a far from optimal manner.

best of luck.

Cheryl604
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Cheryl604 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:14 am

My husband and I maintain separate accounts and credit cards. We've split the bills so I pay some and he pays some. We have a joint savings account for large shared expenses, like vacations, home repairs or purchases, and vet care for our cats (we don't have kids!). We don't buy things on credit together, for example, the house is in my name and we just bought a new car using cash. My husband is the type to miss a payment and I'm just much happier not knowing. It really hasn't affected me much, as long as he's contributing his share to the joint account, we are all good.

I do manage both of our retirement accounts just because I have the interest and the will to do so.

Edited to add: I do the taxes, but we don't itemize now so it's a lot easier. The most complex things are retirement account related so there's a good paper trail, and I have access to all this records.

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Tamarind
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Tamarind » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:24 am

My wife and I have joint finances, but are both Bogleheads. I'm more an optimizer (I enjoy tuning withholding, fex) while she is a satisficer (spent time researching when establishing our AA, then put it out of mind). I don't push her to apply for better credit cards, but I do ask her occasionally to tweak her withholding or set up an auto-investment and she humors me. In return she asks good need vs want questions when we are budgeting and never fails to call me on it when I engage in mental accounting.

You need to compromise on effort level while focusing only on the most important items.

So OP, you should persuade your bf to put his credit cards on autopay. You should think hard about his level of frugality or impulsive spending as part of his marriageability. But quit worrying about his failure to save closing statements as that's above and beyond and not necessary for most folks.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by BanquetBeer » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:48 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:52 pm
I don't think it is silly. And you didn't answer my question, I agree it is good for the non-managing spouse to know what is going on, but what if he/she is not interested and does not want to know? Should you try to force the issue "for their own good" even if it causes conflict? How far should you go to try and force someone to be interested in something if they have little or no interest?
I don't know anyone with interest in taking out the trash but it still needs to be done. I will start by saying I don't have a lot of experience on this because both my SO and I are aware that there are things in life that you don't want to to - but should do - and we both work towards our common goals. Also worth noting that this became more important to me after we had kids - my SO could have spent it all and live in a cardboard box if that was their choice - but now that kids are part of the equation I don't want finances to limit their opportunities. Additional financial responsibility (life insurance specifics, umbrella policy, health insurance, daycare/private school cost) - were all part of the child discussion.

If your SO is resistant to managing finances to the point it causes conflict, that doesn't sound like an issue specifically related to finances. That sounds like an issue with communication and responsibility. However conflict aside, there are many different levels of "discussing finances".

My SO isn't interested in the minutiae. Going over "this month, the water bill was $89.13 - a bit higher because new drainage fees kicked in this year (remember last years vote on this?) and gas was 20.14...." would quickly loose their attention.

Instead we know our monthly joint budget, say $6000 and we know our fixed expenses (mortgage, daycare) so every month when the credit cards come due I evaluate a surplus or deficit and discuss next month: We overspent this month by $1000 (rounded) so lets cut back a little next month. Or we have built up $5000 over our typical running balance - do you want to plan a vacation or do you want to cash out that amount to our individual accounts (if we get too low we have a special assessment to pay in - and I discuss why we are over: estimated tax payments, we joined this new club, unexpected car repairs).

For retirement savings (and this is bogleheads so it is more than just 401k) I manage all investments, rollovers, asset allocation. Our plan doesn't include the others retirement assets (unless one of us dies early). About ever other month I give a big picture update: You have $X saved + a pension worth $x cash value. This would generate you $X/yr if you retired today. I have $x saved. Your life insurance is $X and mine is $X - if I died tomorrow you could live on $XX*3.5% if you wanted to quit work.

They have access to all accounts (as do I). They don't check partly because I am the cheap one spending an hour on the phone to correct the $20 billing error. I check their accounts - this has never caused any conflict.

I tell my SO they should know/verify our finances but I don't cause trouble if they don't verify because I trust myself. I will ensure that my children trust and verify.

pennywise
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by pennywise » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:37 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:52 pm
I agree it is good for the non-managing spouse to know what is going on, but what if he/she is not interested and does not want to know? Should you try to force the issue "for their own good" even if it causes conflict? How far should you go to try and force someone to be interested in something if they have little or no interest?
As the spouse who manages the finances for a partner who has no interest whatsoever in the details--I'd say it is important to be reasonable about how much detail you expect to make the other person be 'interested in'.

I'd posit that most people on this forum have a strong interest in the details of personal finance. I know I do; I find it absorbing to figure out optimal ways to manage investing, spending and saving. OTOH many people not on this forum do not share this fascination and that's ok too.

For example, I spent most of a recent hour-long car ride (captive audience) regaling my husband with the specific details on what I think we should do for our social security claiming strategy. We can utilize an option that's no longer available that I've determined maximizes our benefits and it's pretty neat in my opinion. So I gave him the specific information about it and my reasoning as to why it make sense for us.

Later that day I overheard him telling one of our kids that "mom figured out how to siphon money out of Social Security. I don't know how but she says it's legal" :oops:

Generally speaking every few months I give him a simple summary of what is going on. Sometimes I'll show him our online statements or benefit summaries--mostly in service to him never feeling that I'm doing anything that he doesn't know about.

Point being, he simply doesn't care and I don't expect him to BUT I do expect him to listen occasionally to at least a recap/summary. And more rarely to listen to something detailed that I think is important that affects major amounts of funds or will affect us long term like social security benefits. My start/end points are that he knows as much as he needs to know stretching to slightly more than he wants to know.

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:49 am

pennywise wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:37 am
As the spouse who manages the finances for a partner who has no interest whatsoever in the details--I'd say it is important to be reasonable about how much detail you expect to make the other be person 'interested in'.
What if your husband said that he trusted you and he really wasn't interested in hearing about how you were handling the finances anymore? Would it be reasonable for you to stop expecting him to be interested and stop communicating with him about it?

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:19 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:51 pm
Caduceus wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:25 pm
Does one person just usually end up managing the joint finances?
Yes, the more organized and diligent person takes over and manages the finances.
This is what we did. My spouse had many amazing qualities, but he's lousy with money management. Joint account, I manage the savings plans, and keep him updated. We sit and do the taxes together.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:33 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:21 pm
BanquetBeer wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:09 pm
I will also say (this should not be applicable to you because you would be managing them) - don't just trust a spouse to manage finances. It isn't that uncommon to hear stories where the money manager says things are going great only to discover when the house is being foreclosed on that they have a drug or gambling problem.

As much as the money manager should communicate the situation to the passive spouse, the passive spouse should trust but verify!!!
I understand what you are saying, and I don't strongly disagree, but isn't there a point in a healthy marriage at which you trust but don't have to verify? How far does this sentiment go, should you "trust but verify" that your spouse is not cheating? "Honey, I trust that you are not cheating on me, but I need to verify it, so give me your phone so I can check your texts and your emails."
If you're not cheating you shouldn't have a problem sharing you phone login.

I have no reason to check my spouse's phone, but if I did I would. Blindly trusting someone when you have a reason to be suspicious is just being naive, and seeing yourself up for failure.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by BanquetBeer » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:42 am

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:49 am
What if your husband said that he trusted you and he really wasn't interested in hearing about how you were handling the finances anymore? Would it be reasonable for you to stop expecting him to be interested and stop communicating with him about it?
If I was discussing my interest in photography or long distance running - absolutely reasonable.

If I was discussing my life threatening medical condition, our finances, our kids/family obligations - suck it up buttercup. That’s part of being an adult is managing adult responsibilities. You don’t need to know how to do it all but you need to know enough to get by or not get cheated by someone you hire. Lots of posts on here about people taking over grandparents accounts with insanely high fees and limited resources after 20 years of paying that fee.

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:33 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:33 am
If you're not cheating you shouldn't have a problem sharing you phone login.
I would have a real problem if my partner came to me and said "I trust you, and I don't think you are cheating, but I need to verify it so I need you to give me your phone so I can check your texts and emails just to make sure." And I think most people would have a problem with that.

Sandi_k
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Sandi_k » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:36 am

DH and I have been together since we were teenagers, and didn't get married (and thus merge finances) until we were in our early 30's. So we transitioned from uneducated kids to income-earning adults together. In terms of natural personalities, sounds like we're similar: I'm the persnickety money manager, and he's an artist.

While you dismiss the idea of his being uninterested in finance as part of his charm that you love now, I should highlight the idea that in many instances, the qualities that were charming early on are the very same characteristics that drive you CRAZY 20 years later. The old bromide about long-term relationships applies, I think: Women get married thinking he'll change; Men get married, thinking she won't. Both are disappointed.

How did we deal with it, in terms of the long-term evolution? It's all about systems. I set up DH's early "filing system" as simply as I could: since we didn't have room for an office in our rental house, I set up paper bags in his bureau, and that was where he stuffed receipts and bills: DMV, paycheck stubs, savings and checking statements, etc. Later we moved them to a banker's box, with slits in the cardboard lid and dividers in the box, so he could "file" mail without even lifting the lid. Eventually, we moved into a house with an office and a desk.

He *hated* the idea of saving for retirement, even though he was a money hoarder. He'd save up several thousand dollars, and then go spend it all on a car, or a motorcycle. So I told him that I would not nag, as long as he saved for retirement too. So I set it up that Fidelity pulled $167 per month from his checking account to fully fund his IRA. In his mind, it wasn't a bill because he didn't have to write a check for it. :shock:

Once we got married, we established "his, mine, and ours" accounts. Legally, they are all joint accounts, but he has one account that is his (he prefers the ATM locations of WF), and we have and I have accounts at the credit union (better rates). I pay all joint bills from the joint account, and "my" bills from my account (my credit card, my car expenses, my lunches out). Since we've been tracking for so long, I know what the joint accounts require, and we transfer our deposits to that account once per month.

He has become much more money-savvy through the years; he is very good at saving now, and is much less extravagant in his spending. Our big splurges tend to be joint trips, these days. He maxes out his SEP-IRA every year, when our accountant tells him what that amount is. He pays estimated taxes without too much nagging....and we are meeting our savings and spending goals.

To be fair, tax time used to be much more tense, since he was self-employed for years and disorganized in some ways. It used to take two evenings to get all the documents together for our tax preparer, and I'd be stressed out by his inability to get paper I needed gathered up. I learned to leave him a list of required documents (receipts for charitable donations; interest earned from 3 accounts; total income for the year; total taxes paid to state and feds, etc.) and then leave for work. :D That helped a lot. Over the years, he became better at organizing his documents, because he learned it was easier to file paperwork in ways that made retrieving the figures easier.

We still maintain our individual accounts, and don't fight about money. He has an idea of how the bills are paid, since he knows my password on my laptop; since he's joint on all accounts and on our Google sheet annual budget document, so no worries there. Finally, I do have a file called "In Case of Death" that gives him more pointers about life insurance, financial details, banking logons, etc.

The key for us was his willingness to accommodate long-term savings in his money management. Once we got that system in place, everything got easier.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by BanquetBeer » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:01 pm

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:33 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:33 am
If you're not cheating you shouldn't have a problem sharing you phone login.
I would have a real problem if my partner came to me and said "I trust you, and I don't think you are cheating, but I need to verify it so I need you to give me your phone so I can check your texts and emails just to make sure." And I think most people would have a problem with that.
I would also have a problem if my spouse said it that way.

I wouldn’t have any problem handing my spouse my phone (they have the password) and letting them use it. If I stumbled upon them going through my files, I’d want to know why - not because I’m angry but if they had an insecurity I’d want to know what we can to to honestly calm any concerns.

Part of a marriage is helping with the physical, financial, and mental challenges of life.

With me planning finances and giving my SO an update, I couldn’t imagine getting upset if they simply said “would you show me?”

If they said “I’m sure you’re not a liar but you need to show me the statements” I would be upset about their communication style but not specifically their request.

Dave55
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Dave55 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:03 pm

For 31 years I have managed our investments and paid our bills. My wife wants nothing to do with it. There was never an issue or argument about it. In the event of my death, she knows who to contact to take over the investing side and she is capable of paying the bills.

Dave

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:04 pm

BanquetBeer wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:01 pm
If they said “I’m sure you’re not a liar but you need to show me the statements” I would be upset about their communication style but not specifically their request.
So it's the way it is said? It's ok to "trust but verify," but it's not ok to say it that way? Having the intent to verify what your spouse is doing is ok, but it's not ok to express that intent? What if they say "I trust you to handle the financial matters, but I want to verify what you are doing." Is that ok? How is that different from saying "I trust that you are not cheating, but I want to verify." Not trying to argue, just trying to understand.

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:09 pm

BanquetBeer wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:01 pm
if they had an insecurity I’d want to know what we can to to honestly calm any concerns.
What if the answer was "You could calm my concerns by letting me check all of your texts and emails and files."?

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friar1610
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by friar1610 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:42 pm

edgeagg wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:34 pm
Going on 30 years married. We do division of labor:

(1) Wife pays the bills since I can't be trusted to get it done on time. Since women generally outlive men, I should be all set.
(2) I do the investing - which given that I am BH ain't much. We do a quarterly review of finances and spending patterns.
(3) We're both cheap and not given to impulse purchases, so that works out fine. If your SO doesn't have similar habits, that can create friction down the line when you have kids. But, hey, marriage ain't easy, you have to work at it and have clear lines of communication.

Pretty much the same but 50+ years. Being retired military, I characterize it as strategic (long-term financial planning, investment planning, doing the actual investing, etc.) and tactical (bill paying, managing cash flow, making sure there's enough cash on hand, etc.) I'm the strategist; she's the tactician.
Friar1610

mhalley
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mhalley » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm

If I didn’t “force” an annual discussion of our financial situation my wife would have absolutely no idea where we stand financially. I don’t know if she just trusts me that much or just chooses to be oblivious.
As far as trust but verify, I have seen many horror stories where a spouse had no idea anything was wrong until the finances were in complete shambles, whether due to a gambling problem, drug problem, get rich scheme, failed business, affair, etc. They think everything is great, only to find multiple mortgages not being paid, multiple cc of thousands or hundreds of thousands not being paid, etc.

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:27 pm

mhalley wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm
If I didn’t “force” an annual discussion of our financial situation my wife would have absolutely no idea where we stand financially. I don’t know if she just trusts me that much or just chooses to be oblivious.
Why do you force it? What's wrong with her being oblivious? I assume you trust yourself not to ruin her financially.

miamivice
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by miamivice » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:30 pm

It's worth highlighting something in the posts above:

In the OP's post, she was concerned with the mechanism about how finances are done. Is every receipt filed away? Are closing bank statements kept for future reference? Is the credit card bill paid on time each month. These are technicalities about how one goes about finance, but says nothing how a person spends or saves money, or whether they live for today or save for the future. In my opinion, much of the difference in technicalities can be resolved simply by the one who cares the most doing the job, as long as the jobs are equally split. I don't see these technical differences to be a big deal, except the person who is the perfectionist does need to realize that not everyone lives life the same way. For example, not everyone saves closing statements from bank accounts and that's fine.

Much of the following posts talked about longer term goals and how much is spent, used, saved, and invested. Things like setting aside for retirement, or how two people agree on how money is spent, etc. Those are fundamental values that would be hard for a happy couple not to share.

TravelforFun
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:41 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:45 pm
mhalley wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:43 pm
Probably the only thing to do in this situation is to take over the finances completely and be his “finance mom”.
If he has any interest at all in this type of arrangement, run the other way.
I'm glad I didn't run the other way from my then girlfriend even though I knew she had no interest in finance. I've been managing our finance and my now wife is managing other very important aspects of our family.

TravelforFun
Last edited by TravelforFun on Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

delamer
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by delamer » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:50 pm

mhalley wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm
If I didn’t “force” an annual discussion of our financial situation my wife would have absolutely no idea where we stand financially. I don’t know if she just trusts me that much or just chooses to be oblivious.
As far as trust but verify, I have seen many horror stories where a spouse had no idea anything was wrong until the finances were in complete shambles, whether due to a gambling problem, drug problem, get rich scheme, failed business, affair, etc. They think everything is great, only to find multiple mortgages not being paid, multiple cc of thousands or hundreds of thousands not being paid, etc.
I am in much the same position with my husband. Ironically, looking at our educational background, you’d expect him to be the family finance guy. But I was raised by parents who came out of low-income Depression-era backgrounds while he had parents who came from middle class to affluent backgrounds. So I am just much more attuned to (or fixated, if you prefer) money.

I can’t imagine having his level of “uninvolvement” in our family finances. I just am not trusting enough; even intelligent, well-intentioned people do dumb stuff and make mistakes. But I can’t force him to care either.

And he is perfectly capable of handling the finances if I am gone or incapacitated.

Afty
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Afty » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:06 pm

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:49 am
pennywise wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:37 am
As the spouse who manages the finances for a partner who has no interest whatsoever in the details--I'd say it is important to be reasonable about how much detail you expect to make the other be person 'interested in'.
What if your husband said that he trusted you and he really wasn't interested in hearing about how you were handling the finances anymore? Would it be reasonable for you to stop expecting him to be interested and stop communicating with him about it?
In our relationship, I treat it a bit like giving a summary to an executive (please no comments from the peanut gallery). I prep top line numbers once a quarter and spend 15 minutes going through them with my spouse. I bring up important questions and present a few options along with my recommendation. If there is a problem (e.g. not meeting our savings goals), I bring it up and we discuss how to fix it.

A lot of people have difficulty discussing or handling money, and I would speculate that this is why a lot of our spouses are not interested in personal finance. I suggest trying to take as much emotion/blame/etc. out of the discussion as possible. Come to the table with numbers and data and not blame or judgement.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:16 pm

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:33 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:33 am
If you're not cheating you shouldn't have a problem sharing you phone login.
I would have a real problem if my partner came to me and said "I trust you, and I don't think you are cheating, but I need to verify it so I need you to give me your phone so I can check your texts and emails just to make sure." And I think most people would have a problem with that.
I think most people in a trusted, committed relationship would NOT have a problem with that.

I think the only opinion that matters about this issue is that of your partner. What do they think?

BTW, both my spouse and I have the same pin on our phones and we know all of our email and financial login information.

If you are unable to share this info with your partner, maybe you didn't trust them enough?

delamer
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by delamer » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:22 pm

Afty wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:06 pm
mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:49 am
pennywise wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:37 am
As the spouse who manages the finances for a partner who has no interest whatsoever in the details--I'd say it is important to be reasonable about how much detail you expect to make the other be person 'interested in'.
What if your husband said that he trusted you and he really wasn't interested in hearing about how you were handling the finances anymore? Would it be reasonable for you to stop expecting him to be interested and stop communicating with him about it?
In our relationship, I treat it a bit like giving a summary to an executive (please no comments from the peanut gallery). I prep top line numbers once a quarter and spend 15 minutes going through them with my spouse. I bring up important questions and present a few options along with my recommendation. If there is a problem (e.g. not meeting our savings goals), I bring it up and we discuss how to fix it.

A lot of people have difficulty discussing or handling money, and I would speculate that this is why a lot of our spouses are not interested in personal finance. I suggest trying to take as much emotion/blame/etc. out of the discussion as possible. Come to the table with numbers and data and not blame or judgement.
I’m curious as to how you unexpectedly don’t meet your savings goals. Our retirement savings got taken out of paychecks automatically, money was moved to savings accounts on a regular basis for college and any other goal (plus we had a fund set aside for car/home repairs). Then we lived on the rest.

If we had a large expense that we were unprepared for (very unusual), we dealt with it when it came up — not after-the fact. And that meant adjusting spending, not savings.

But maybe I am misunderstanding your comment?

delamer
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by delamer » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:29 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:16 pm
mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:33 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:33 am
If you're not cheating you shouldn't have a problem sharing you phone login.
I would have a real problem if my partner came to me and said "I trust you, and I don't think you are cheating, but I need to verify it so I need you to give me your phone so I can check your texts and emails just to make sure." And I think most people would have a problem with that.
I think most people in a trusted, committed relationship would NOT have a problem with that.

I think the only opinion that matters about this issue is that of your partner. What do they think?

BTW, both my spouse and I have the same pin on our phones and we know all of our email and financial login information.

If you are unable to share this info with your partner, maybe you didn't trust them enough?
I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d ask my husband to give me access to his phone for the purpose of checking its contents.

And I wouldn’t give him access to mine for that purpose.

Afty
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Afty » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:37 pm

delamer wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:22 pm
Afty wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:06 pm
mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:49 am
pennywise wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:37 am
As the spouse who manages the finances for a partner who has no interest whatsoever in the details--I'd say it is important to be reasonable about how much detail you expect to make the other be person 'interested in'.
What if your husband said that he trusted you and he really wasn't interested in hearing about how you were handling the finances anymore? Would it be reasonable for you to stop expecting him to be interested and stop communicating with him about it?
In our relationship, I treat it a bit like giving a summary to an executive (please no comments from the peanut gallery). I prep top line numbers once a quarter and spend 15 minutes going through them with my spouse. I bring up important questions and present a few options along with my recommendation. If there is a problem (e.g. not meeting our savings goals), I bring it up and we discuss how to fix it.

A lot of people have difficulty discussing or handling money, and I would speculate that this is why a lot of our spouses are not interested in personal finance. I suggest trying to take as much emotion/blame/etc. out of the discussion as possible. Come to the table with numbers and data and not blame or judgement.
I’m curious as to how you unexpectedly don’t meet your savings goals. Our retirement savings got taken out of paychecks automatically, money was moved to savings accounts on a regular basis for college and any other goal (plus we had a fund set aside for car/home repairs). Then we lived on the rest.

If we had a large expense that we were unprepared for (very unusual), we dealt with it when it came up — not after-the fact. And that meant adjusting spending, not savings.

But maybe I am misunderstanding your comment?
That was kind of just a theoretical example. On reflection, I don't come to the table with a lot of problems; we've been very lucky, and the market has been strong for a long time now. I more often have strategy questions that I want us to talk through and agree on. For example, we are approaching hitting our college savings goals, and we need to decide what to do with the freed up cash flow. This is something where I'll prep a few options, make a recommendation, and talk it through with my spouse until we reach an agreement.

tibbitts
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by tibbitts » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:58 pm

MotoTrojan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:52 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:45 pm
mhalley wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:43 pm
Probably the only thing to do in this situation is to take over the finances completely and be his “finance mom”.
If he has any interest at all in this type of arrangement, run the other way.
Why? I run the household investments/finances (male), as I am sure many do.
What would you do if your wife announced that since you have run the investments/finances for, say, a couple of decades, starting now she will run them for the next couple of decades?

MotoTrojan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by MotoTrojan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:12 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:58 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:52 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:45 pm
mhalley wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:43 pm
Probably the only thing to do in this situation is to take over the finances completely and be his “finance mom”.
If he has any interest at all in this type of arrangement, run the other way.
Why? I run the household investments/finances (male), as I am sure many do.
What would you do if your wife announced that since you have run the investments/finances for, say, a couple of decades, starting now she will run them for the next couple of decades?
She is in agreement that I hold that responsibly. If she insisted and didn’t have a plan I was comfortable with I’d probably say she can run her accounts and I’ll run mine.

Topic Author
Caduceus
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Caduceus » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:28 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone. He really is very financially responsible, in terms of the big picture - he saves a lot and earns a lot - so this is just about the organizational aspects of it. In fact, one of the reasons why he's so absent-minded about things like credit card bills is he will set very aggressive career goals and he is very focused about that. He's almost certainly going to be promoted to a fairly senior position as an investment banker by the end of this year. He's the sort of person that doesn't sweat the small stuff and I am constitutionally incapable of leaving something un-organized, so our friends laugh a lot at the two of us.

It's funny, but him not sweating the small bucks is actually how we first met. We met when he paid for my meal after I'd ordered takeout from a place that I didn't know took only cash. I remember feeling really embarassed standing in front of this tiny but fierce Vietnamese woman who was insisting I come up with $8 and change for my food. He just walked right up to the counter and paid it for me. I forgot to get his address even though I had promised I would pay him back. The same, fierce Vietnamese woman gave me the address he used for his food delivery (no privacy concerns there from her lol) and he was surprised when I showed up at his place later to return that tiny sum of money. I didn't leave his house that night ... and the rest is history.

So, it really is just the organizational bits of it we are figuring out. We've agreed to stop thinking about it as "his money" or "my money" and to think about everything as "our money" - but what this means in practice needs some ironing out. For example, I can't simply call the credit card companies every time I try to waive a late fee or inquire about a charge. I might get away with it because we are both men, and so the agent probably would not guess I wasn't the actual cardholder, but this might not be legal/proper to begin with.

tibbitts
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by tibbitts » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:55 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:28 pm
Thanks for the advice, everyone. He really is very financially responsible, in terms of the big picture - he saves a lot and earns a lot - so this is just about the organizational aspects of it. In fact, one of the reasons why he's so absent-minded about things like credit card bills is he will set very aggressive career goals and he is very focused about that. He's almost certainly going to be promoted to a fairly senior position as an investment banker by the end of this year. He's the sort of person that doesn't sweat the small stuff and I am constitutionally incapable of leaving something un-organized, so our friends laugh a lot at the two of us.

It's funny, but him not sweating the small bucks is actually how we first met. We met when he paid for my meal after I'd ordered takeout from a place that I didn't know took only cash. I remember feeling really embarassed standing in front of this tiny but fierce Vietnamese woman who was insisting I come up with $8 and change for my food. He just walked right up to the counter and paid it for me. I forgot to get his address even though I had promised I would pay him back. The same, fierce Vietnamese woman gave me the address he used for his food delivery (no privacy concerns there from her lol) and he was surprised when I showed up at his place later to return that tiny sum of money. I didn't leave his house that night ... and the rest is history.

So, it really is just the organizational bits of it we are figuring out. We've agreed to stop thinking about it as "his money" or "my money" and to think about everything as "our money" - but what this means in practice needs some ironing out. For example, I can't simply call the credit card companies every time I try to waive a late fee or inquire about a charge. I might get away with it because we are both men, and so the agent probably would not guess I wasn't the actual cardholder, but this might not be legal/proper to begin with.
I would say that on the one hand, he does indeed probably earn so much money that "small stuff" doesn't matter. On the other hand in terms of his career specifically I would say that any accidental blemishes at all on his credit report may become a detriment, so you might suggest he hire a personal assistant to deal with those issues for him.

FoolStreet
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by FoolStreet » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:30 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:28 pm
Thanks for the advice, everyone. He really is very financially responsible, in terms of the big picture - he saves a lot and earns a lot - so this is just about the organizational aspects of it. In fact, one of the reasons why he's so absent-minded about things like credit card bills is he will set very aggressive career goals and he is very focused about that. He's almost certainly going to be promoted to a fairly senior position as an investment banker by the end of this year. He's the sort of person that doesn't sweat the small stuff and I am constitutionally incapable of leaving something un-organized, so our friends laugh a lot at the two of us.

It's funny, but him not sweating the small bucks is actually how we first met. We met when he paid for my meal after I'd ordered takeout from a place that I didn't know took only cash. I remember feeling really embarassed standing in front of this tiny but fierce Vietnamese woman who was insisting I come up with $8 and change for my food. He just walked right up to the counter and paid it for me. I forgot to get his address even though I had promised I would pay him back. The same, fierce Vietnamese woman gave me the address he used for his food delivery (no privacy concerns there from her lol) and he was surprised when I showed up at his place later to return that tiny sum of money. I didn't leave his house that night ... and the rest is history.

So, it really is just the organizational bits of it we are figuring out. We've agreed to stop thinking about it as "his money" or "my money" and to think about everything as "our money" - but what this means in practice needs some ironing out. For example, I can't simply call the credit card companies every time I try to waive a late fee or inquire about a charge. I might get away with it because we are both men, and so the agent probably would not guess I wasn't the actual cardholder, but this might not be legal/proper to begin with.
Oh my God, what a meet cute romantic story! Thanks for sharing!

esteen
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by esteen » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:58 am

Caduceus wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:28 pm
Thanks for the advice, everyone. He really is very financially responsible, in terms of the big picture - he saves a lot and earns a lot - so this is just about the organizational aspects of it. In fact, one of the reasons why he's so absent-minded about things like credit card bills is he will set very aggressive career goals and he is very focused about that. He's almost certainly going to be promoted to a fairly senior position as an investment banker by the end of this year. He's the sort of person that doesn't sweat the small stuff and I am constitutionally incapable of leaving something un-organized, so our friends laugh a lot at the two of us.

It's funny, but him not sweating the small bucks is actually how we first met. We met when he paid for my meal after I'd ordered takeout from a place that I didn't know took only cash. I remember feeling really embarassed standing in front of this tiny but fierce Vietnamese woman who was insisting I come up with $8 and change for my food. He just walked right up to the counter and paid it for me. I forgot to get his address even though I had promised I would pay him back. The same, fierce Vietnamese woman gave me the address he used for his food delivery (no privacy concerns there from her lol) and he was surprised when I showed up at his place later to return that tiny sum of money. I didn't leave his house that night ... and the rest is history.

So, it really is just the organizational bits of it we are figuring out. We've agreed to stop thinking about it as "his money" or "my money" and to think about everything as "our money" - but what this means in practice needs some ironing out. For example, I can't simply call the credit card companies every time I try to waive a late fee or inquire about a charge. I might get away with it because we are both men, and so the agent probably would not guess I wasn't the actual cardholder, but this might not be legal/proper to begin with.
I wouldn't worry so much then - sounds like you are in step on the big picture things. The main thing you have to work out is 1) are you okay doing the "tactical" day-to-day money management after marriage without getting annoyed at his lack of doing so, and 2) is he okay with relinquishing that to you and working to meet you partway on the organizational side enough to not be a huge roadblock to getting the work done.

If both of you can lean on each other's financial strengths, accept each other's financial weaknesses, and communicate openly about both, you're golden! Now that I write that out... I suppose that's a lot of life.

All the best!

JGoneRiding
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by JGoneRiding » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:15 am

Convince him to turn on the automatic min payment function on his cards. Then at least he will.never get late fees

My Dh isnt that bad but he also isnt as detailed as I am. I am most likely not as detailed as you cause i too have said well it was ar least x and gone with that a time or too.

Just create a system you can both live with then just remind him lightly and call it good.

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LilyFleur
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by LilyFleur » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:05 pm

OP, I love your story of how the two of you met!! :happy

SRenaeP
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by SRenaeP » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:48 am

Caduceus wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:28 pm
So, it really is just the organizational bits of it we are figuring out. We've agreed to stop thinking about it as "his money" or "my money" and to think about everything as "our money" - but what this means in practice needs some ironing out. For example, I can't simply call the credit card companies every time I try to waive a late fee or inquire about a charge. I might get away with it because we are both men, and so the agent probably would not guess I wasn't the actual cardholder, but this might not be legal/proper to begin with.
My DH is a bit like your BF. Therefore, I'm the finance person at our house. I've always tracked my finances using MS Money and have continued to do so, adding in his accounts once we got married (we didn't cohabitate). At my prompting, he has set up most bills to be autopaid and I have online access to all his accounts. We don't have the CCs on autopay because I like to review the bills before paying. If I notice he hasn't scheduled a CC payment via online bill pay, I will typically do it then tell him. That said, he's gotten better over time.

He will typically remember to give me receipts for large purchases but doesn't really worry about the others. Probably because I will see it on the CC bill anyway (we use CCs for pretty much everything). He also knows to leave important mail out for me to see and file. If there is something he needs to do for one of his accounts, I just ask him to do so and he eventually will.

pennywise
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by pennywise » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:58 am

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:49 am
pennywise wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:37 am
As the spouse who manages the finances for a partner who has no interest whatsoever in the details--I'd say it is important to be reasonable about how much detail you expect to make the other be person 'interested in'.
What if your husband said that he trusted you and he really wasn't interested in hearing about how you were handling the finances anymore? Would it be reasonable for you to stop expecting him to be interested and stop communicating with him about it?
He tells me that every time I ask him if he'd like to hear about the current state of our finances.

As others have mentioned, I respond by telling him that he needs to hear the overview at least, and if he wants to know anything more just ask. It is very important IMO that there is a good faith effort via periodic briefings to keep him informed. I always ask him to weigh in on major financial decisions as well, and if he vehemently disagrees with something I've suggested, we regroup and discuss it further.

However I do not expect him to routinely listen to a detailed "state of the family firm" presentation complete with spreadsheets, charts and deep dive explanation of various scenarios and projections, which is where I suspect many of those whose spouses blank out are getting derailed.

Per my original point, just because he doesn't care about the minutiae doesn't mean he doesn't need to know about the big picture.

money_bunny
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by money_bunny » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:02 am

Leemiller wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:12 pm
Sounds irresponsible/immature. My husband didn’t have as much background in asset allocation when we got married, but he was a saver and didn’t blow off credit card bills. Life only gets more complex, and you need a partner who is mature enough to do all the boring adult things we need to do without blowing it off. Trust me. Add kids and it only snow balls.
Plus men usually predecease their women partners. My Grandmother, and many of the women I have worked with get blindsided or taken advantage of when they suddenly have to take over managing the finances.

It's probably the number 3 most common new member post. "My husband died and the nice Edward Jones man..." "Me Mum's been a widow for a year and the Primerica rep who is in her Church..." and on and on.

HomeStretch
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:20 am

Caduceus wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:28 pm
So, it really is just the organizational bits of it we are figuring out. We've agreed to stop thinking about it as "his money" or "my money" and to think about everything as "our money" - but what this means in practice needs some ironing out. For example, I can't simply call the credit card companies every time I try to waive a late fee or inquire about a charge. I might get away with it because we are both men, and so the agent probably would not guess I wasn't the actual cardholder, but this might not be legal/proper to begin with.
It sounds like with your organization skills that you will have no problem ironing out a process that works for both of you.

Here are some ideas that you might find helpful:
1. I set up a bill basket so my spouse has somewhere to put the bills when they arrive.
2. With our brokerage, credit card and utility companies, we added each other as authorized to discuss the account wherever possible.
3. Automated where possible - auto bill payments, automated savings transfers, etc.
4. I changed billing dates with credit card companies so all our bills come in a round the 3rd week of the month. This way just once a month I can go over bills if necessary with spouse, pay bills not on auto pay and make cash transfers to fund bill payments.

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:57 am

money_bunny wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:02 am
Plus men usually predecease their women partners. My Grandmother, and many of the women I have worked with get blindsided or taken advantage of when they suddenly have to take over managing the finances.

It's probably the number 3 most common new member post. "My husband died and the nice Edward Jones man..." "Me Mum's been a widow for a year and the Primerica rep who is in her Church..." and on and on.
There is no reason to believe that any of those new member posts would have been different if the grandmother (in your example) was more involved in the finances before grandpa died, after all, the grandfather was with Edward Jones or Primerica for years, so why would you think that it would be any different if the grandmother was involved? Do you think her involvement would have caused Grandpa to stop using Edward Jones or Primerica? I don't think so. She would be in exactly the same situation.
Last edited by mptfan on Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:59 am

pennywise wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:58 am
As others have mentioned, I respond by telling him that he needs to hear the overview at least, and if he wants to know anything more just ask.
Does the overview go in one ear and out the other? That has been my experience with a financially uninterested spouse. The old adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink comes to mind.
Last edited by mptfan on Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by WoodSpinner » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:04 am

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:27 pm
mhalley wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm
If I didn’t “force” an annual discussion of our financial situation my wife would have absolutely no idea where we stand financially. I don’t know if she just trusts me that much or just chooses to be oblivious.
Why do you force it? What's wrong with her being oblivious? I assume you trust yourself not to ruin her financially.
Here is why ....

I lost my first wife after a month in ICU trying to recover from a heart attack — she never made it.

Not sure if you have experienced the terror and boredom of an ICU waiting room (they kick you out several times a day for procedures and shift changes). During the second week, I shared this room with a young mother of three, all under 6. Her husband had a stroke and was in the ICU as well. There is something surreal about about the waiting room, so much hope, fear and uncertainty. So much time waiting, thinking and fearing.

Over the next few weeks we started talking and sharing our stories. One of the worst moments of my life but I soon learned that it paled to the terror she was experiencing.

See, her husband always handled the finances, paid the bills and provided her spending money. She had NO idea where the accounts were, how much was in them, how to pay the rent, or even the grocery bill for food. Not only was she dealing with the possibility of loosing a spouse, she was trying to figure out how to feed her kids and keep their apartment. No happy outcome here. We finally figured out that his paycheck (she was a stay at home mom) was deposited to an account in his name and he would transfer money every 2 weeks to their joint account for the bills. Also discovered that he hadn’t gotten around to adding her to his account. My first (and only) loan to a stranger who is now a friend. He died a week before my late wife and it took her almost a month to finally get access to the funds she desperately needed.

I am now happily remarried, still manage our families finances, and am more than a bit anal about documenting our finances, our plans and making sure my wife can takeover the reins if something happens to me. It’s definitely not her thing but she understands how important it is to her own safety and well being. We have learned a few tricks to make it more palatable for her but it’s definitely a work in progress.

You simply never know when something awful might happen and you always have to be prepared to survive,


WoodSpinner

averagelonghorn
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by averagelonghorn » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:40 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:15 am
Convince him to turn on the automatic min payment function on his cards. Then at least he will.never get late fees

My Dh isnt that bad but he also isnt as detailed as I am. I am most likely not as detailed as you cause i too have said well it was ar least x and gone with that a time or too.

Just create a system you can both live with then just remind him lightly and call it good.
+1
I'm not quite done with thread to date; but since reading OP, that was going to be my #1 actionable suggestion. I did this many years ago after I forgot by a day or two a few times. What I do now is have autopay on for min payment on both credit cards we use that autodrafts around the same time every month, even though cc statement dates are about 1/2 month apart; and calendar appointments on to pay the rest several days before the due date. It is such an easy fix to avoid a late payment that will stay on credit report. Even if late on the rest and paying interest; that could easily be "small stuff," whereas late payments (and corresponding late fees) I consider big stuff.

Rest of the comments give you a good range of perspective on how to handle differing personal finance styles. You should of course discuss, decide if your overall goals are similar enough and compromises possible where they aren't
I would say, just having moved in together; you DO have an opportunity to figure out how you'll handle the shared essential expenses. Everything above rent/mortgage and utilities you now share (and maybe food) can be separate now and integrate over time if an when you you get engaged and when you actually marry.

But seriously, get him to at least get on autopay for the minimum payment for the CCs... Just ask that he do it as a favor to you to make you sleep better at night.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by BanquetBeer » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:17 pm

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:04 pm
BanquetBeer wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:01 pm
If they said “I’m sure you’re not a liar but you need to show me the statements” I would be upset about their communication style but not specifically their request.
So it's the way it is said? It's ok to "trust but verify," but it's not ok to say it that way? Having the intent to verify what your spouse is doing is ok, but it's not ok to express that intent? What if they say "I trust you to handle the financial matters, but I want to verify what you are doing." Is that ok? How is that different from saying "I trust that you are not cheating, but I want to verify." Not trying to argue, just trying to understand.
I don’t say anything in private I wouldn’t say to my spouses face... At least I would never put it in writing. Not that I’m so nice and police, I’m just quite transparent.
I would be upset about any confrontational and rude conversation (not that big of a deal though). It feels like people here see the ‘I need to look through your phone’ and view it as the spouse having a problem with you. I see it as the spouse has their own confidence issues and it would be me helping them. That is since I’m not cheating. Maybe I would feel different if I was guilty.

mptfan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:09 pm
BanquetBeer wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:01 pm
if they had an insecurity I’d want to know what we can to to honestly calm any concerns.
What if the answer was "You could calm my concerns by letting me check all of your texts and emails and files."?

I wouldn’t have any issues with that. First of all, never put anything in writing you don’t want made public (advice from an attorney 20 years ago). Second of all, the only texts my SO is not on are usually pretty boring (‘want to go work out?’ To my best friends type stuff)

I don’t have a secret life. I have seen many friends who have this big barrier in their marriage and need permission to go out. If either of us want to go out, we just inform the other and only hear pushback if there is an issue (kid 1 has a fever, etc)

They are welcome to go through my stuff. I just don’t think it would be that exciting.

mptfan
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by mptfan » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:16 pm

BanquetBeer wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:17 pm
It feels like people here see the ‘I need to look through your phone’ and view it as the spouse having a problem with you. I see it as the spouse has their own confidence issues and it would be me helping them. That is since I’m not cheating. Maybe I would feel different if I was guilty.
That's not the reason, at least not for me. I am not cheating either, but if my partner told me that she wanted to look through my phone to verify that I was not cheating, I would have a problem with that. Not because I am cheating, because it would bother me that she did not trust me enough to trust that I was not cheating without the need to "verify."

Yes, a cheater could use that justification to refuse to turn over the phone and hide evidence of cheating, but at some point in life you have to just trust those who are closest to you. I refuse to go through life with the mindset that I have to check my partner's texts and emails to "verify" that she is not cheating. If I don't trust her that much I should not be with her. Does that make me more vulnerable to be cheated on? Maybe, but I accept that risk, and I trust my judgment enough that I would know that there were problems long before I find myself checking my partner's texts to see if they are cheating.

I apply the same way of thinking to finances as well, up to a point, the difference being if I am cheated on I may be emotionally devastated but I would not be financially devastated and I could pick up the pieces and move on with my life, but if I were financially devastated the damage would be so much greater in the sense that I could lose a lifetime of savings and it would be so much harder to start over and I may be the victim of theft or misuse of funds. So since the results can be so much more catastrophic and can wipe out a lifetime of hard work and saving, I think it's reasonable for the non-managing partner to be given the opportunity to be informed of the finances...but not forced.
Last edited by mptfan on Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:51 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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nedsaid
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by nedsaid » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:22 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:25 pm
So I recently moved in with my boyfriend and I think marriage is on the cards (he has hinted about proposing). We are a perfect match in just about every other way but our organizational/financial styles and differences drives me (and him) a little nuts sometimes. I am a perfectionist and I keep detailed tax records, have everything digitized, etc. He will say things like - "I don't know how much it was and I can't find the receipt, but it was definitely more than $X, so let's just put $X on the tax return." He also constantly is late on credit card payments - he pays when he remembers - and he says the interest cost is negligible anyway since he doesn't put much on them. He will close bank accounts without saving the closing statement ... things like that.

It doesn't cause too much relationship conflict because all of these habits are part of the same personality that I fell in love with. But I am wondering how couples with different financial styles manage it. Does one person just usually end up managing the joint finances? It is all a little new to me - the idea of poring through his credit card statements and checking receipts, etc. ... do people do that? Up till now, we've basically led separate financial lives.
I don't think it will be a problem for you. A couple of things.

First, recognize your own personality and realize that life isn't perfect. Give your partner some slack and I think you will be fine.

Second, you might allocate a smaller amount of your budget to allow your partner to do some spontaneous things, mad money.

My suspicion is that you will be the one running the finances just keep your partner in the loop. It sounds to me that there won't be a problem.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Elsebet
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Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Post by Elsebet » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:20 pm

Marriage partners have different talents. Earlier in our relationship I struggled with trying to make my husband something he wasn't and when I stopped things just work so much more smoothly.

I'm the wife and I do the finances, major purchase/home improvement planning, and most cooking/baking. I just have a knack for that stuff and enjoy doing it.

My husband does all the building stuff and handles anything that makes loud aggravating noise (miter saw, riding mower, chainsaw, etc). He also does minor electrical/plumbing work and built a pantry and well filter/softener enclosure for the house. He just has a knack for that stuff and enjoys doing it.

We share household cleaning/chores equally.

I do go over our finances with him once per year and have instructions shared with him on google drive.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

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