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Author: bisous73 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75  
Subject: combined finances Date: 3/14/2001 1:10 PM
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I posted this on the wedding chapel board, but thought i might have better luck here.

Although I'm not quite a newlywed couple, I'm half of an engaged couple... :) (will be a newly wed in may2002)

and here is my post.....

********************

well, i think this is my second post to this board.... and this is sort of just a little bit of a rant... and also wondering if anyone has suggestions for me... and my fiance.

the situation is this... we have combined our money and I'm in charge of it, since my fiance really isn't money-minded. He, of course, agreed to let me do what i want/need to do, to get our bills paid, ect....and he would listen to me, about what we can and can't spend/buy/do....

well, of course, as you can imagine, this system has had it's ups and downs.... I have showed him the budget numerous times, and he looks it over, asks a few questions, and then agrees, that everythign looks good. But then the weekend rolls around, and he wants to do this, or that, or buy something... and I end up being the bad guy, by saying no, we can't, or no, we don't have the money, ect. leads to a "discussion"... I get hurt, and say i don't want to be in charge of the money, we will seperate everything, ect... and he says NO, please, no... I'm sorry.... ect.

so then we go back to me being in charge, and working things out. and him trying to take an active roll in it, and it works for awhile... until something else comes up.

So anyways, the point of this post.... I'm tired of this rollercoaster ride....

HOW can i get him to see the financial picture more clearly, and get him to pay more attention, and actually follow the budget and watch his spending during the week?? any ideas, thoughts??
the thought has crossed my mind, that we could "take away" his debit card, and just give him cash for the week... but that seems a little too harsh/childish to me, and i really don't want it to come to that.

BUt, I'm tired of being looked at, as the bad guy... and yet, I don't want to seperate the finances really, because his will fall apart, and I don't want that to happen (because in the future, we will eventually want to buy a house, or something, and his financial past will count, you know?)

I guess this weekend, I will have a chance to sit down and talk to him about it seriously (He is in the Marines, and away on a DET) ... so any suggestions by then are MORE then welcome.

thanks in advance.
tasha
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Author: jg3jlo Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44 of 75
Subject: Re: combined finances Date: 3/14/2001 3:50 PM
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Hi Tasha,

I think you are right in that taking away the debit card won't do much to fix the source of the problem, nor necessarily will going back to each managing your own finances seperately.

To me the key to getting buy-in from both of you on your financial plan is to have specific goals in mind. While some people can do saving for the sake of saving, I think most (certainly me!) find it a lot easier to be saving for something (or many things). What is important here is for both of you to come up with things together that you want to be saving towards, that way you are both bought in to the idea and can contribute equally.

Start out with the basics- having enough each month to pay rent, bills, etc. Then maybe set up a apecific goal to create an emergency fund for the two of you so you don't have to turn to credit cards in an emergency- most folks seem to thing 3-6 months salary is about right (you may already have this taken care of). On top of that, think of other things that both of you want(or each of you- individual goals are important too!). Obviously you have a wedding coming up- if you are paying for all or part of it yourself then you'll want to start putting some money away for it. If that's taken care of, plan for the honeymoon, the new house, or whatever else is on your wish list.

A few other thoughts... Don't try to knock everything off all at once- obviously you'll want to have enough on hand to live on. And by live I don't just mean subside- make sure to have fun too! Otherwise the savings will quickly become a drag and it will be hard to stay disciplined. Also, it is probably best to prioritize what you are saving for, but don't necessarily try to knock things off one at a time. The emergency fund is a great example- don't try to save three months salary all at once or you'll go crazy. Throw some wedding savings and maybe some other things in there too. Finally, don't just focus on the big things or they'll have a tendency to get you down (they take longer); throw some small to mid sized goals in there as well. Plan for a three day weekend somewhere fun/exciting/romantic, or for a new item for your home, or anything that you can achieve in a relatively short amount of time. Then when you achieve your goal you can enjoy the accomplishment as well as the vacation/item/whatever.

This got really long but I hope it is helpful. Again, the key is to set goals TOGETHER, that way you are both "invested" in the outcome and you can both enjoy the accomplishment! -JG3

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Author: bisous73 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45 of 75
Subject: Re: combined finances Date: 3/14/2001 4:36 PM
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JG3,

thanks for your post... even if it was long. :)

It has given me hope, anyways.... I'm sure my fiance and i will be able to work this out.. and it will just take some time.. trying to combine our different money habits, and wants and needs, ect.

Thanks for your advice.

tasha


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Author: larce Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 46 of 75
Subject: Re: combined finances Date: 3/14/2001 4:59 PM
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I can relate all too well, though, we take turns having our "good guy/bad guy" moments.

My latest strategy is to write out all the checks and deduct all other debits from the checking account at the start of the month, even if it's not mailed until the end. I also deduct savings and credit card payments as indicated on our latest budget. I never pay attention to my balance as stated on my ATM receipts, but on my check register, which has everything for the month already deducted. I'm trying to institutionalize this at a household-level, but our finances aren't fully joined yet.


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Author: bisous73 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47 of 75
Subject: Re: combined finances Date: 3/14/2001 7:50 PM
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yeah, that is a good way of doing it. and actually that is what we do....

as soon as we get paid, ALL the bills that need to be covered from that paycheck are paid immediately!!!
and i show my fiance this, and how much we have left....
but to him, if the bank says we have money... he seems to feel he can spend it. argh!!! and not stick to our original budget.

but hey, we have come along, long way since we first starting combining stuff,... so i'm sure this is just a little bump in the road, and will soon be worked out.

thanks for all the great advice you guys, though.
it helps to know that i'm not the only person struggling with this type of thing.
tasha


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Author: vakoala Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48 of 75
Subject: Re: combined finances Date: 3/15/2001 3:27 PM
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as soon as we get paid, ALL the bills that need to be covered from that paycheck are paid immediately!!!
and i show my fiance this, and how much we have left....
but to him, if the bank says we have money... he seems to feel he can spend it. argh!!! and not stick to our original budget.


This I can relate to. Have money must spend. My hubby will spend a dime if he has it. I also control all the finances. We now have our own allowance which we don't have to account for (ie to each other). I found it a great compromise. He can spend a little and I don't freak. We have also decided what is considered necessary and what is not. It is as specific as the number of pairs of socks in good condition we are allowed. I know this seems extreem, however, my husband has a thing for tee-shirts and since he wears uniforms to work the 50+ he has seems to be more that enough that if he wants new ones they arn't necessary clothing.

I would be wary about combining everything. We each have our own account for the allowance and I am working on him getting a credit card of his own. I don't want to sound morbid...but what happens if something happens to you and he doesn't grasp money. It is something that really bothers me as I am the one with the majority of the income and do all the finances. If something happend to me I don't want him not to have any credit of his own...or the ability to handle finances.

One more suggestion, parcel out the money in the bank...if you are saving for the wedding take the money out of the account and put in a wedding fund (does not have to be a new account just hidden money). That way he can see that the money is really already spend..the bills just arn't in yet.

You are definitly not the only one struggling. We have been together for over 3 years...not married a year yet and still changing the way we handle our money.


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Author: bisous73 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 49 of 75
Subject: Re: combined finances Date: 3/15/2001 4:43 PM
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thanks for your post.

I think the allowance idea is a good thing. More than a few people have given me that suggestion... and when i mentioned it to my fiance, he didn't freak out. so that is a good thing. :)

we are waiting to solidify the final solution until next time we are actually together in person, and can sit down and look at the budget on paper, and the plan... but i think for now, we are agreeing (over the phone) that we will each take a certain amount of money out of the bank on such and such a day.... and it must last until the end of the week, or whatever. :)

thanks for the advice.

and yes, you are right... my fiance will definitely have to learn to deal with money...but all in good time. right now, the marine corp takes up most of it. :)

thanks. tasha


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Author: 7karen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 52 of 75
Subject: Re: combined finances Date: 9/15/2001 1:19 AM
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I'm not sure I really belong here either since I just moved in - but I've been going through some of the same stuff. (Been looking at Family Fool board mostly, not here). It has taken a fair amount of explaining but possibly my boyfriend is just realizing there is a logic to what I do that seemed a little compulsive to him (being a former cashier I expect the checkbook to BALANCE, & I'm not writing checks unless the money is ALREADY THERE, etc.) I'm learning to be more patient & more calm & logical & to appreciate progress in small steps (the rent, phone & cable are caught up though something happened to the phone bill before he went on the road.)
Oh well. Stepping back & looking at it all w/ a little perspective, I'm thankful.

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