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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308791  
Subject: Re: Reconciling Different Money Priorities Date: 8/15/2008 12:50 PM
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Recommendations: 8

Let's be clear here. Her first paycheck comes in today and right now is going into the joint account. She will now be contributing to joint expenses. We don't currently have allowances - we spend what we both see as reasonable and are currently trying to reduce debt. Over the past several months, this has meant that DW has not been buying designer stuff. She now feels deprived and has said that her preference is to have completely separate accounts and for her to make no contribution to the mortgage and to pay no rent but for her to contribute to joint expenses (probably around $2000/month contribution). I've countered that we can have separate accounts as long as she pays into a joint account and pays "rent" for living in the house. I suggested $1,500 into the joint expense account to cover utilities, food, eating out, dog, household stuff, etc and $3,000 of rent, which is roughly the cost of a Manhattan studio. She then refused to pay any rent at all.

At this point, I took a different perspective and said that we should get separate allowances, to which she grudgingly agreed. I suggested $500 for her and she has since refused to consider anything below $2,000 per month.


Ok, I can kinda see her point here.

Her perception:
I was "living" on $900 for a long time while finishing school and not working and not contributing to the household.

Now, I'm working, I'm bringing in a good amount, I should get to play a little and buy the things I want.

You said her take home is roughly $6000/mo. So you want her to contribute $4500/mo to household/rent/mortgage expenses.

So, you want 75% of her income into the community barrel.

She thinks that's unreasonable.

This is why, in my suggestion of "yours, mine, ours" I talked about percent of income. I like the 30-40% range contributed to household/community expenses and here's why:

She's only making a little more than a third of your income. If she contributes $3000 to the mortgage, that's HALF her income.

Spending 1/2 your income on rent/mortgage is not smart or comfortable.

Recommendations say that "living expenses" including housing and utilities should not be more than roughly 1/3 of your income.

So, I say, adjust your numbers. Have her contribute $2500 or so to the community barrel, plus hand her the bills for the house remodel and maybe, I don't know, the dog-walker bill or something.

However she chooses to pay it and play with the rest of the money is up to HER.

Give her some freaking control instead of dictating. Give her responsibility.

Ishtar
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