Who handles the money?

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How do you handle finances at your house? Our theory has always been, we would put all the money together, pay all the bills, and split what was left. So far this has not been a problem, as there is never anything left!!!!!

Seriously, though. I generally handle the day to day paying of bills, and deciding if we can afford something. My husband truthfully doesn't want to think about it. Sometimes he will mention something about making more money,that he should get a full time job, or other concerns. I usually tell him that if I think we need more money, I will let him know, and until then just not to worry about it!!!

He just doesn't do well with the day to day concerns about electric,and saving on groceries etc... He does always know the general bills and how much we have saved, and these sorts of things. I have a very clear system set up in our files, and lists made of all our bills for the next year (a general plan).This way, if something happened that I was not able to handle these things, he could easily step in and deal with it.

We don't carry a lot of cash on us, only what is necessary, and my husband usually carries enough for gas, and that is it. He is extremely frugal, and doesn't spend money on anything he doesn't truly need. We both carry a credit card for emergency situations, (since he often travels for work, this is very convenient for him.)

I am glad to be able to take over this area of day to day life, so he doesn't have to think about it. I am glad that he trusts me to make sound financial decisions. I know that he realizes I am very frugal, and conservative with money. I think this mutual trust has contributed greatly to the success of our marriage, and our being able to accomplish all that we have. We never make big financial decisions without a lot of thought.

-- Melissa (cmnorris@1st.net), November 15, 2001


When we got married, I told GAry I didn't want anything to do with the bills. Every once in a while he'll have me take care of financial stuff, but mostly he does.I tell him what I want, if we have the money I get it, including groceries, gasoline, clothes and of course books. I hate spending money. I hate running errands, I hate starting out on errands with maybe $200 and coming back with 5 or less.

-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (atilrthehony@countrylife.net), November 15, 2001.

I am the one who handles all the financial matters in our house, and have since we were married. My wife wishes to have nothing to do with any of it. I keep track of and pay all bills and keep track of our budget. I usually get groceries and most everything else we need. My wife gets things that she needs that I may have little knowledge of, such as jewelry, clothing, etc.,but the bulk of purchases are made by me. We talk about large purchases before they are made and always agree before we spend the money. It has worked out very well for us, although I know of other couples where the woman does it and it also works out well. I guess it really doesn't matter who does this job, but whoever does it must do it responsibly in order to save the family as much money as possible.

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (bjwick@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.

Hubby is a genious at the computer, but always had trouble keeping up with doing the bills and such. (Works too many hours!)..I was glad to take over the finances, because I enjoy doing the numbers;) We only keep the one checkbook, and use it mostly for paying bills. We both pay mostly with plastic in town, but pay it off every month, because I HATE paying interest. And I try to make sure he always has money for his pockets, as he travels a lot...Once in awhile, he does become concerned about how much money we do or don't have; then I take out the checkbook and savings and assure him of the numbers.

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), November 15, 2001.

We had a debate about this early in our marriage since Tom and I had different ideas about what a budget should look like. Tom did not want me to be concerned with the finances and I had a hard time submitting to that. I finally put the whole thing in the Lord's hands and let it go. Now I don't even think about the bills. Tom gives me $80/wk in winter and $100/wk when we're not paying heating bills. I have been able to barely make this cover food, non-food, animal feed, and children's allowances. Plus I get all Tom's pocket change through the week. This can add up fast since in Canada we have $1 and $2 coins instead of bills. Having a garden and raising animals for meat has really helped a lot.

-- Cathy N. (keeper8@attcanada.ca), November 15, 2001.

I take care of balancing the checkbook and paying bills. Hubby doesn't know how to reconcile a bank statement. There is no "my money, your money" unless we have Christmas or Birthday money from Mom. We rarely carry cash. Hubby's paycheck is directly deposited. He takes care of making sure we have cash for our contributions at church and the kids' allowances.

-- Jo (mamamia2kids@msn.com), November 15, 2001.

Well people, this is going to sound a little strange . . .

My wife and I both keep seperate accounts. When expenses arise that involve both of us, we both chip in equally. When expenses involve either she or myself, that party pays that bill. That is it.

Saves a lot of arguments. No one can complain about how much the either spent, because he or she isn't paying for it, the responsible party is.

Get a lot of long looks at the grocery counter though. Both of us pull out our wallet / purse and chip in half. And if one of us is short, the other pays, no questions asked. We know the other is good for it.

Sounds strange, but works for us.

-- j.r. guerra (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), November 15, 2001.

Hi j.r.! I am intrigued by your system! What do you do about expenses for your child? Do you split these too, or is one of you responsible for clothes/toys etc... and the other responsible for day- care/medical etc...? I can see how it could spare a lot of issues over who bought what. I think this would work well when the 2 people involved have comparable incomes. If you think I am being too nosy, just ignore this!!!

I did know one couple, where the husband paid for EVERYTHING, but the wife's money was hers alone. She didn't pay for anything, even groceries, just put all her money in the bank. If he ran short, she would loan him the money he needed for the bills, but he had to pay her back... We were always amazed at this.

Another couple I know, the husband has a good job, but the woman just works part-time, and he refers to everything as HIS! That has caused some uncomfortable moments in the conversation at times!

Money is a big issue. That is why I brought this subject up here. Maybe to give people who are struggling with this a different viewpoint, and to give some single people something to think about before they marry.

-- Melissa (me@home.net), November 15, 2001.

DH and I have been married for over 20 years now, and I have always handled all the money, all the bill paying, I do all the taxes ( lots of paper work there, as we are self-employed and file the long forms, lots of long forms), order and manage to pay all the fuel bills, and make sure all taxes, insurances, etc., are paid on time. He is the only one actually bringing in hard money ( owner-operator truck driver), and I manage the farm.

Since he can be on the road for weeks at a time, it only makes sense for me to do this, plus I have a much better mind for financial things, he has trouble balancing the checkbook ( let him do it once, never again!!!).

If I want or need something ( unless it is something big like a piece of farm equipment or something), I just get it. I am very frugal, and DH knows that I'll spend very wisely. He has to talk me into buying ANY major purchase, as I usually have the opinion we don't really need it!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (annie@1st.net), November 15, 2001.

When we first got married my husband asked me if I would handle the money. He hates to write checks and keep records. We have always just had one account and whatever either of us made just went in to it. We discuss major purchases and the budget every now and then but never have had a lot to worry about. Being poor does have its perks. ;>) Mostly our "want lists" are the same anyway.....homestead equipment and the like.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), November 15, 2001.

We both work to estasblish our budget. Then one or the other usually does the day-to-day payments and balancing of account (only one personal account). Depends on the season; times are I take care of it, then we'll switch. We're both frugal with money.

I do have a working fund which I administer. Actually, we have four bank accounts: our U.S. personal, our Brazilian personal, my U.S. working, and my Brazilian working. Whew!

-- Randal (randal@rhyme.cjb.net), November 16, 2001.


We split the costs of raising our son. Medical bills, toys, clothing, etc. I guess I should have been a little more explicit in my previous answer, but I was a little pressed for time.

Basically, anything for our family benefit is a shared cost. House taxes, groceries, furniture, tools, things like that. A car repair is listed on the personal expense side. She owns two cars and a motorcycle, I own one truck. Car insurance, therefore, is a personal expense also.

But if a purchase is for the exclusive benefit for one or the other ( A hunting knife or camping gear for me, a dress or other personal item for her), than that person pays for the item. So no one gets bent of shape if the other buys what might be considered something extravagant.

Like I said, weird system, but it works for us. We hardly ever have any arguments when it comes to money spending.

-- j.r. guerra (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), November 16, 2001.

I lurk around here, but had to chime in on this one. My husband I use a system similar to j.r. and his family. Basically, we both put our paychecks into the family checking account. We pay our joint (family) bills (mortgage, taxes, insurance, food, auto expenses, phone, power bills etc) from this account. We leave a certain amount to run our household in this account; the remainder is devided between savings and our personal accounts. We pay for clothing, haircuts, educational expenses, recreational expenses etc. from the personal accounts.

We rarely fight about money and we never have to answer to each other about what we chose to spend (or not spend) our discretionary money on.

We used to manage our finances in a more traditional manner but I didn't like having to ask for spending money and dh didn't like having to account for his purchases.

-- Lisa (lisa@ucolick.org), November 16, 2001.

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