Money Issues

[deleted account] ( 42 moms have responded )

So, if you are in a relationship, who is in control of the money? What sort of issues do you run into and how do you handle them?



I am in charge of the finances at my husband's request because he has issues handling money. He has no qualms about spending it, especially on useless things. But even though I'm in charge, he still goes off and spends. Never anything too big - I might find out - but always little things like the cards he collects or food that he can eat and throw away and I might not find out about. This stuff adds up. He probably spends $20 a week just on those little things. He tries to hide his purchases from me, or so it seems. He says he's not, but if he wasn't then why isn't he bringing me the receipts like I've asked him countless times?



I don't know if I'm overreacting or what but we are broke as hell right now and he's made off with $20 that was supposed to be put into our electric bill this week on the basis that he gets paid this Thursday so "we'll be good enough to get groceries." So I don't know what to do.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/30/2012

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Ok, I'm in charge. We pull in approx. $3k/month between my job and hubbys disability payments.



50% is bills and necessities, and is automatically deducted on the first of the month. Out of the remainder, 20% is saved. That's the hard part. YOU HAVE TO HAVE WILLPOWER. The remaining 30% is incidentals. That's everything from our cigarettes, to dinner, to games, etc. out of that, my husband is given an allowance, and I give myself the same allowance. He can spend his however, and I refuse to question him on that. It's his. I spend mine how I want, he doesn't question or criticize.



Now, I have to add that, while we do have bank accounts, it's savings only. I have one online account that has a debit card with it, and that's how we handle larger purchases, should we make one. My husband doesn't access the bank accounts. Not because he isn't allowed, but because he sees no need. We DO NOT have a checking account, nor will we ever again. If they don't take cash, they don't need my business.



If we're making a planned purchase, like appliances, vehicles (once in a BLUE MOON, and NEVER NEW) or the like, we get the exact price from wherever we're purchasing, and have a cashiers check made at the bank.



People think we're some backwoods hicks, but then when I have cash left at the end of the month, and my kids have savings accounts, and aren't spending money right and left, I can just smile and say "different systems work for different people".



My hubby and I have been married for 22 years this year. We own our house (a modest modular home), we own outright 3 very nice vehicles, and one beater for the youngest when he learns to drive. We have recently updated all appliances/televisions/floors in our home, and are planning on some renovations this summer. BUT...it doesn't happen over night. It took us 16 years of scraping by to get to this point!



The thing I like about a cash system is this: Once you're down to the last $20 bill in your purse, you get VERY reluctant to spend it....LOL...because once it's broken, it's gone. but, if you have a checking account, or debit/credit cards, it's really easy to say "ok, I'll just write this check, and then skimp a little on this payment this month". It's really, REALLY easy to "float" a check towards the end of the month, because you "KNOW" that it's going to take 3 days to clear your bank, and you get paid tomorrow, so no worries, right?...well, it didn't take long for me to figure that out. We've done the cash method for 15 years. No over draft fees, etc, and we're finally at a comfortable point in our lives, with a little cushion to fall back on.



Jamie, it's just a process. And it involves rethinking everything. It sounds, though, like you're getting it under control, and moving forward, so good job! I know, it's tough to tell hubby "no, we really DON'T need that..." LOL...I was the same way.



Stick to it, and you'll do fine :)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/30/2012

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Actually Jackie. Having multiple accounts in order to manage bills separate from personal spending is very popular now, for the very reasons I posted in my previous long ass reply. ;)



It doesn't mean it is for everyone but I can assure you, it is becoming the norm, more than having one joint account.



One joint account is often the reason for bickering over money within a relationship. That does not mean some couples cannot do it that way, some definitely succeed with one account. It is just that, often one account leaves room for each person to use it as they see fit and the other person may not agree...thus leading to a fight.



When accounts are separated, it makes it much easier to ensure the "required" monies are there when "required". ;)



My husband and I have never ever fought over money. It has been 6.5 years. I have had separate accounts, one for personal and one for bills for 19 years. I have never had an issue. I have never missed a payment. I have never accidentally spent money, while forgetting a bill was on it's way. I know exactly how much is required every month, since it is always the same amount. We just both contribute to the shared "house" account and we are set, no figuring anything out. Ever. ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/30/2012

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Jackie, you do it just like us! ;)



I hate automatic withdrawal. I only use it for those Companies that "make" me. ;) I pay every other bill online as well. I LOVE online banking! lol We also do not use cash, we both take $20 out of each of our pays and that is all the cash we use. Other than that we use debit for absolutely everything....

**Jackie** - posted on 03/30/2012

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YIKES I missed a lot. Just wanted to say I agree that there can be mistakes made with automatic withdrawals from bank accounts. I have been a bank employee for over 7 years and I can assure you, I have seen my fair share of mistakes.



I pay every bill online. I haven't had a problem (knock on wood). I have 3 accounts.

1. House and other bills

2. spending (I transfer money over with a click of a button)

3. ebay (again I transfer money over but I never know what my husband is going to buy and I'd rather keep it seperate)



This system works for us but I have only been doing it for about 4 years. So far so good!

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Amy - posted on 03/31/2012

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My husband and I had a joint account at one point, he was going through some stuff so my brother in law took care of our finances since it wasn't something I wanted to deal with. It's not fun figuring out how to cover your mortgage when you're $500 short. NY brother in law got sick of my husbands crap and gave back the responsibility to me. After about two months of my husband clearing out the account and going negative I gave him an ultimatum. He started getting help for his problems and we closed the joint account. I am the only one with my name on the checking and savings account, he's given $20 a day for coffee, cigs and anyhrhing else he might need. He has no credit cards if he needs gas I go to the gas station and swipe the debit card. This is how he wants it and as much as it's a pain for me I never want to be in the position again where we talk about bankruptcy or selling the house. It's been two years we have a modest amount in savings, I talk to him about all major purchases that I make with our money. If he wants to buy something extra we talk about it and usually we can make it happen.

Stifler's - posted on 03/30/2012

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I have my commonwealth account tht i've had for 20 years and a sub with it where all my centrelink payments (once a year) go to and accrue interest. I have a visa debit with it in case I want to buy something online. I also have a no fees suncorp account so I can transfer money from damo's suncorp account (his account is where his pay goes to and then all the bills money goes tot he sub) to mine and then we have the wide bay account which handles his shares and i save money into every week without fail at least 10 bucks, something is better than nothing. He has a visa debit with his account for ebay reasons and for if we need it. Neither of us has a credit card. The only loan we have is my car loan which comes out weekly by direct debit. Other direct debits are private health, insurance on my car and life insurance.



Edited to add I have a card to his suncorp account and he has a card to my commonwealth savings account. I bank online with both banks and transfer online and basically check the statement a lot.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/30/2012

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Oh awesome! I was hoping someone wasn't going to say "Yeah that's the most screwed up system ever!!" lol

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/30/2012

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Actually Kelly, I don't think you had to explain anything to me.



I think the way you and your husband do it is great and a very acceptable method. Many long term relationships do it the way you two do. However, many also, do it how my husband and I do it.



To have a shared account is how it used to always be, especially once married. There are several benefits to doing it this way, for some. Although, there are indeed several benefits in having separate accounts for other's. In which, is becoming a very popular method amongst married couples. Which is often the suggestion given by a financial adviser. Financial adviser's do not have one method approach. They take everything into consideration, including individual spending habits.



I was simply refuting that having separate accounts is more difficult to manage. Since, this is not factual.



When two people join together, it is often hard to let go of individual control of ones monies. Often each individual within a relationship has "different" spending habits. There is benefit in having an account each and one shared bank account, as we do in our home.



1. If my husband had access to "all" of our money in a combined location. I would not know, at all times, when something was bought. He does not keep receipts. Sometimes, life is busy and you forget to tell the other you "had" to spend $20. Often, it would not be caught until later. Which could spark a question of "Who spent it?" It is easy to forget about a $20 spending spree. Although, it can add up, quickly. I do not need to ask him if he has spent any money before I need to buy something.



2. My husband had his account since he was 14 (when he started working). He is with a different bank. He loves his bank, I hate his bank. He was always in control of his own money, even if he was not good at it. Now I manage all his money, except any left over, which stays in his account. It is his, only. Mine is mine only, unless he needs something over and above the "extra" he has in his account. I am not greedy, I share, I just expect reason. ;)



3. Where I take care of ALL the family purchasing and if we only had one account, my husband would see that there was money in the one account and not realize what all still needed to be bought. He just may go and buy those rims he so desperately "wants". Leaving us short for other things, like diapers.



4. It does not take me anymore time to look at my bank account or his, then it would take you to "balance" yours. See, I do not need to balance anything. Our individual accounts are ours only. What comes out of his was done by him, what comes out of mine was done by me. What is in them is extra "free cash flow" so we can spend it ALL, if we wish.



5. Our shared account, the "house account" has the exact amount required each month placed there, by both of us. We share the house requirements equally. I only have to look at the account once a month, at the end. In order to fill in my spreadsheet, to ensure all was completed. No worries on whether there is enough in the account, or if anyone took too much out. Since this account is NOT used for anything other than our monthly bills (requirements).



6. There is no added Identity theft from having multiple accounts. Actually, there is less risk of losing all of your money when you have multiple accounts. Since you often have your money divided throughout the accounts, rather than having it all in one main account.



7. If something is paid for out the wrong account, that is very easy to fix. You simply transfer the money from the correct account into the one that was debited. I have selected "chequing" rather than "savings" before. Oh well, when I get home I transfer it back. ;)



8. You do not need to keep any balance in a chequing account here. I have a $2000 overdraft on my account. I can be minus if I so desired (never have been though). However, if you keep $1500 in the account at all times, the account cost is free. ;)



9. I do not need to remember how much can be used from our individual accounts. Since everything in them is "free cash flow", we just need to know a ball park figure, so we don't go over. If we do though, no biggie, it is only a couple bucks interest for doing so. ;) I do not need to remember how much can be used from our shared "house" account because we don't use it. It is strictly for bills and living expenses, of which I have a very strict budget for. We spend the same from it every single month, including groceries.



10. We can buy each other gifts, without the other knowing. No one can ask questions of what that money was spent on, since it is coming from our own accounts. Now, I do have access to my husbands account, in order to transfer his portion of the "house" account requirements and pay his Visa (since he wouldn't) but he just tells me he is planning on buying something for me. Then I stay out of his account for a while. ;) He does not have access to my account (he doesn't want it).



For couples that have different approaches with spending money and different idea's of what is "important", it is very wise to have separate accounts, with one being shared for living costs. We do not pay much more by doing this. It comes out to be $10 more a month. No biggie.



Really what my method does is breaks out, "free cash flow" and " static cash flow". It keeps money very well tuned and organized. ;)



So, there you go. I am only trying to explain to you that my method is not at all harder or even more complex. It actually makes it much easier, IMO. Everything is separate. Therefore much easier to manage. Less likely to make mistakes, such as "oops, that should have waited, I forgot about that bill". Less likely to have bickering on who spent what. Less likely to mistakenly spend too much and not have enough for a bill. Less likely for a lot of things, actually.



ETA:

Again, we do not have a bunch of debit cards and pins. ;) However, someone that ever got my card would have a heck of a time. I use a 10 digit code. ;) For online, I have a 15 digit password.. ;) Which is also a recommendation for debit card pins and passwords.



http://www.divinecaroline.com/22287/9553...

[deleted account]

No, Meme, I am not assuming multiple accounts would be with multiple banks, in fact, I would assume anyone using multiple accounts would have them with the same bank.



I noticed in your response that several things are different in Canada than in the US. Here, you cannot have a card that accesses more than one account through anything other than an ATM. You can select "checking" or "savings" when getting cash, but if you are just paying for something in a store, it will automatically choose the "checking" account because there is no choice--so if you are using the card for a personal purchase, the store won't know and the amount will be pulled from the "house account" if that is the one set up as a checking account.



Also, in the US, a lot of banks require you to keep a minimum balance in EACH account. The balance changes depending on the type of account, but most checking accounts require about $500 to stay in the account at all times. May not be hard for most, but if a couple is struggling, keeping $500 in 3 different accounts would be difficult.



I don't feel I should have to explain the reasons I listed, most seem like common sense to me, but okay:



1) waste of time--You do still have to sit down at your computer to transfer it. You may not mind, but for me, it's 5 minutes I could be doing something a lot more fun.

2) ID theft--the more accounts there are under one name, the easier it is for hackers to hack into them as they all tend to have the same passwords and PIN numbers. Also, every time you transfer money that information is sent through a secure database--if that database is hacked, you are exposed. Thus frequently transferring money online puts you at risk more often. One should avoid it.

3)more cards--as I mentioned above, you need separate cards for separate checking accounts here. You can have the same card for a checking acct, and a savings acct, but the second one can't just be called a savings account, it actually has to be one, and you can only access it through the bank, atm, or online--you can't buy stuff in a store with it.

4) more passwords/PINs--it is advised for security to have a different password/PIN for each account so that if your password or PIN is discovered the culprit only has access to one account.

5) above

6) mistakes--the more often you move money, the higher risk there is for mistake. A mislaid piece of code, a miss-typed number, a forgotten transaction, etc. There is a "law" about this somewhere about how reducing the number of steps to complete a task reduces the margin of error...There's also the risk of paying for something big out of the wrong account, whereas with only one account, it doesn't matter where the actual money came from, just that it got paid.

7) Paper trail--If there is a mistake, you have to look at 3 account statements and compare them against each other, instead of just one statement with all transactions in sequential order. Not a big deal going back for a month, but going back for 3 months would be a pain.



"Since I would then have to remember how much is in there, how much can be used and how much is for the house only."--meme

Don't you have to remember how much is in your personal account, and how much can be used from those anyway? The amounts available for "house only" expenses and "personal expenses" never change, so you wouldn't really ever have to think about that--you just have to know how much you can spend each month, which doesn't change whether all the money is in one account or separated into several.



We do keep separate accounts for savings and investments, but they are not a part of our living budget.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/29/2012

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Well I suppose it has worked different for everyone here.



I have very good credit, my score is a 9 (this is out of 10, with the 3 credit bureaus). I have withheld paying a bill. It was explained to them and agreed by them, that until the problem was fixed they would add a comment to my file, that payment was being put on "hold". It all depends who you talk to and how you argue your stance. ;) of course you cannot just withhold the payment. You have to call them and speak with them. ;)



Amanda---So best to pay a bill right away, and then deal with the error. No biggy to have your account credited once the problem is fixed. Dec 2011 my hydro company credited my account 700 dollars. Didnt hurt me a bit to pay the mistake bills and fight it. If anything it helped out because I didnt pay a hydro bill from Nov 2011 until March 2012. If I had withheld my bill, I would of had my hydro cut off, and had extremely bad credit.



See this is why I would not pay early, without first seeing the bill. If you do they give you a credit. I may need that money more than I need a credit. They will not refund your money. What if I needed that $700 for the next 3 weeks? Now I am SOL. So, I don't have to pay the bill next month but that is next month. I could have the money for the bill by then, I may need to buy food now...



What is no biggie for one person can be a biggie for the next. I would not want to nor at times could I, be without $700 due to a mistake the company made. Then to have to accept a credit that would take months to get back.



Kelly---

Our financial advisers actually advise against multiple accounts. Just on the top of my head, I can think of several reasons they list: 1) waste of time transferring money around, 2) higher risk for identity theft 3) more cards and checkbooks to manage (a lot of people will accidentally grab the "house" card/book for a personal expense and it messes everything up) 4) more PIN numbers to memorize 5) minimum balance fees 6) higher risk for banking and user mistakes 7)more difficult paper trail for locating errors...



1) waste of time transferring money around

Why is it a waste of time? Our accounts are all at the same bank. All accounts are listed under my one bank card. I open up my bank account, see all accounts, select "transfer" select the account and hit confirm. Easy peasy..



2) higher risk for identity theft

How is it a higher risk? Same bank, same hierarchy account. One main account, with several sub-account beneath.



3) more cards and checkbooks to manage (a lot of people will accidentally grab the "house" card/book for a personal expense and it messes everything up)

This is not true. We have one bank card for both my account and our house account. It is with the same bank. They are both chequing accounts but are setup on my bank card as a chequing and savings. So, if I use my own personal I account I select "chequing", if I use the house account I select "savings". They are both chequing but you can set your bank card up however you wish.



4) more PIN numbers to memorize

Again same card, same PIN number. Just a different selection for chequing or saving. No extra costs. ;)



5) minimum balance fees

Same bank, very low cost for account. I am not sure what a minimum balance fee is? I can have whatever balance I want, no extra cost.



It does not cost me anything to transfer the funds from one account to the next. When I go into my online banking it is all on the same screen and I can move money around like there is no tomorrow, free of charge.



6) higher risk for banking and user mistakes

How is it a higher risk? It is all the same bank. Same screen when in online banking. What mistakes?



7)more difficult paper trail for locating errors..

Same paper trail. It is all in one spot. Just different accounts BUT the same bank, so all listed under my name. ;)



Kelly, I think you are assuming multiple accounts must involve multiple banks? This is not the case. You can have as many accounts as you want with one bank and have them all placed under your bank card number (the one on the front). It is then a one stop shop to view and manage ALL of your accounts online. No extra paperwork, no extra cards, no extra PIN codes. It is advised to keep your bill account separate from your personal account. However, if you go about it the way you assumed it works, yeah, I agree, that would not be advisable or beneficial.



Keeping everything with the same bank under the same card, that is what is advised. At least it was by my Financial adviser. I am not sure who you sought info from, perhaps they have a difference of opinion. However, this works great for us.



We never have to worry that any of our "house" money has been used. It does not cost us more, neither in money or time. It is not high risk, actually very low risk. Lower for us then if we only had one account. Since I would then have to remember how much is in there, how much can be used and how much is for the house only.

Amanda - posted on 03/29/2012

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There is only 3 things on auto withdraw in my accounts.



1 mortgage

2 car/house insurance

3 property tax



As I clearly stated before I pay the bills myself. I would never have those things on auto withdraw, for the very reasons Meme stated, sometimes bills are wrong. Btw you can not withhold a bill because its wrong, I totally giggled at that one. You still get charged Late fees, taxes, and anything else they feel like charging you, even if they are wrong. And it STILL GOES ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT! So best to pay a bill right away, and then deal with the error. No biggy to have your account credited once the problem is fixed. Dec 2011 my hydro company credited my account 700 dollars. Didnt hurt me a bit to pay the mistake bills and fight it. If anything it helped out because I didnt pay a hydro bill from Nov 2011 until March 2012. If I had withheld my bill, I would of had my hydro cut off, and had extremely bad credit.

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2012

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I recently had to take control of the finances, I am now slowly loosening the reigns to allow my husband to learn how to shop for groceries on the budget I made and buying any extra treats or small purchases (he must discuss it with me first though).



Some people were never taught how to conserve and how to sacrifice when need be. They have no idea that it is even an option to just fill the car up with the money allotted for it that week and not just fill it up when it is empty. These don't have to even be people who grew up rich, they can just be people who grew up with parents who put everything on credit (this is how my husband grew up).



I do realize though, the only way he will ever learn to do it on his own is to screw up and live with what happens after. Now, I won't allow him to make big mistakes, but if he decides to buy a huge bag of flour that could make two months worth of cookies for one week's usage...then he better damn well like flour with every meal and we are not buying anything extra to make up for his messing that up.



I have had the lying about little things too, especially about treats for my daughter. He made it impossible for me to ever treat my daughter myself because he would do it in secret, tell me way later and that means we have no money left for any mommy/daughter treats like ever. Thankfully, this has stopped, but I know of what you speak.



20 dollars a week is a big deal to us too, so don't feel poor because you are among friends.

[deleted account]

if we do get a second checking account, we will keep the current one as the "house bills" and the new one will be for extras. we will also cut up our cards to this current account so that the only access we'd have to the house account would be through my checks, which hubby won't touch and that i'd only write for bills. the second account would have one debit card, no more, that hubby can borrow IF he needs it.



but that's if we even get a second account. i may decide not to get one, lol. i just feel like it might be easier to just write checks out (cuz i'm weird and i like writing checks). plus fewer cards means fewer chances of them getting lost or stolen. i still prefer cash but as far as bills go i'm good with writing checks. most places still accept them - i know our utility places do, and that's all that matters to me.

[deleted account]

Sorry Meme, I read your reply to comments where someone said there was no need for extra accounts if you are on top of things to imply that you thought everyone should have separate accounts.



"As for bills, they are paid as soon as my hubbys pay cheque comes in. There is no need for extra accounts if you are on top of things, and pay things EARLY. "



"I have been on my own for 19 years. I promise you there is a good reason to have a "house" account. ;)" --meme



"Having a seperate account for your house bills is actually the first thing a financial consultant will tell you to do. ;)"-meme



I may have misunderstood your meaning. My apologies.



Our financial advisers actually advise against multiple accounts. Just on the top of my head, I can think of several reasons they list: 1) waste of time transferring money around, 2) higher risk for identity theft 3) more cards and checkbooks to manage (a lot of people will accidentally grab the "house" card/book for a personal expense and it messes everything up) 4) more PIN numbers to memorize 5) minimum balance fees 6) higher risk for banking and user mistakes 7)more difficult paper trail for locating errors...



That said, there ARE situations where separate accounts are beneficial, ours just isn't one of them.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/28/2012

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Yep - which is why it was asked "How do you deal with money and what works for you"... ;) Never said it works for everyone but I do know if I do it this way other's do too. Same goes for how everyone else does it. No matter what, if one person has thought of it, so has a million other's. ;)



I do it this way from my personal experiences. Other's do it their way from their personal experiences.



I like having a house account. As soon as we get paid, that is the first thing I do. Transfer the amount from those pays that are to be dedicated to the house. Done. No more wondering or checking if we accidentally went over. No worries on whether we missed a payment. It's all right there, no need to scroll through a bunch of withdrawls to locate the house ones. Having a seperate account for your house bills is actually the first thing a financial consultant will tell you to do. ;)

[deleted account]

I love our bank--thus far (and I've been with them for 15 years) they've never made a mistake, and I've never met anyone who's been the victim of such a mistake, except here. In fact, when another company double billed us, they actually fought for us, and they deposited money into our account in the amount of the double bill so that we didn't have to worry about it during the dispute, then when the other company straightened it out, they just paid the bank back. I have a great bank :)



I do agree with Meme's rule of looking at and filing EVERY bill--just because it is auto drafted does not mean you don't have to check it. Our bills are all opened and compared against our statement, then filed, so if there is a mistake, we can catch it.

That said, I disagree that everyone needs separate accounts or a "house account" in order to stay on top of bills. It may work for you, and is a great reason for you to have one, but it may not work for every one--I've never had one, and like you, never paid a bill late or missed a payment. It would definitely not work for our household. For us, it's best to just have it all in one place and know how much we can spend each month. Sure, some months we have extra money and COULD spend more, but by not doing so, we get awesome vacations and we don't miss the extra $$ on months we don't have as much.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/28/2012

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Oh, I pay everything via online banking too, just not automatic withdrawl.



If you are talking automatic withdrawl, then you're lucky you have not had any issues. I have and it took from 3 weeks to 2 months before we got our money back, they had to investigate. One time it was our mortgage. We had switched companies, we were told the previous company would not take another payment since we paid them in full, so we could end the term early with them. Well, sure enough, they did. That was $920. I was sooo mad. We had to pay the other mortgage company. So, guess what we had to do? Use our line of credit. I do not like doing that. It is for emergencies ONLY. It's not pleasant when the emergency is given by a company, that is a forced emergency (don't like it). ;) Another time, it was $100 and a company took 2 payments directly after one another. That took about 3 weeks, to get it back.... It is possible the banks work different here, I dunno. Just my horrible experience.



I also, like paying bills myself. Since when a bill comes in, you have 4-4.5 weeks to pay it. So, if something BIG happens unexpectedly the week I receive the bill, it is no biggie to wait to pay it until next week or pay. It is still paid on time all the time.



There are advantages to both.



For me, I am a control freak. I like being in control, I can't be if it is auto-paid. However, we do have somethings on auto-pay. Our mortgage, electric and insurance (house and both cars). Everything else I take care of. I open every single piece of mail and I register every bill into my filing cabinet. I have copies of all my bills for the past FOREVER. LOL There have been times I have had to dispute bills too, I prefer to wait and pay them so I know the bill is correct, as well.



Can you say mildly ANAL? LOL

Sherri - posted on 03/28/2012

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@Meme we pay virtually everything on line and if there is a problem our bank refunds our money with in 24hrs and then fights the problem to get the money back. It has never been a problem and we have been banking this way for many many many years. We also have had Identity theft twice and had all money refunded by the bank within 24hrs.



So I am completely with the mind set of Amanda on this one.

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thank you, me too! i need to keep track of things better. get myself into the groove of checking out how everything will work out every week instead of just whenever bills show up. and get into paying bills ahead of time!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/28/2012

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Woohoo! That's awesome Jaime. Glad to hear! Hope it all goes well for you now. ;)

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i hate automatic bank drafts because yes, they have screwed me over before. last month our gas bill was double what it should have been and we hadn't even had the heat on! so we had to call and get them to read the meter again and turns out they'd read it wrong. the reader must have been dyslexic that day, lol. if we'd had automatic drafting, we might not have caught it. well, i'm sure we would have but there's the hassle of them refunding our money...



but i just went over the budget again. i went by the minimum hours we work each week and included tax on our checks. also just said there were 4wks a month, making it even so that i have 2 checks and he has 4. this was how i did it when it was just me, and worked out great, especially on weeks where i realized i had an entire check that didn't have to go to bills. it was easy to get ahead doing that. anyway, i wrote our paydays and what to expect from each check on a calendar along with all our major bills, when they were due and how much.



we will be pretty much starting from scratch next week since everything we could have saved went into "emergency" stuff (i popped a tire on my car and also had to pay the sales tax on it within the week, which altogether was about $700 and messed us up). i have gone by how much we will have each weekend after bills and paychecks, and we should have plenty to save up! the only problem is, WILL we have that much money sitting by?



and now i just realized i forgot about this coming weekend (i started writing things down on April, lol) so we will have at least an extra $400 that we can put in savings. yay! that brings me up to budget on our savings account! trying to get $500 in there a month and already have $100 set back so i'm extremely happy now!



if we just do it month to month and pay all our bills a little earlier than necessary we should be good, right? because i see that again, at the end of April we will have one of hubby's checks not going to anything in particular! so i must make a note to pay everything as soon as we have the money for it, or as soon as the bill comes in if we do have the money, and then we'll be meeting our goals and should be okay...



thank you ladies for all your suggestions and stories! they have really helped me with figuring out how we should do our budget.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/28/2012

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As for bills, they are paid as soon as my hubbys pay cheque comes in. There is no need for extra accounts if you are on top of things, and pay things EARLY.



I have been on my own for 19 years. I promise you there is a good reason to have a "house" account. ;) I have learnt many lessons. I am more than on top of my bills, trust me. I have never ever been late or only made a parital payment, never.



I know how much they are before they get here BUT I do not pay them until I get the bill. I have received incorrect bills before. I like to make sure everything is accurate BEFORE giving the assholes my money. ;) If I have to dispute a charge, they don't get their money until it is resolved.



I also do not like automatic payments, for this very reason. I have had "bad" things happen. Too much come out, none come out, it comes out twice. Nah, I like the good old fashion way. Stay in control when you are in control. ;) Once you give a computer control (a computer is only as smart as the person behind it), you are asking for trouble. Have fun waiting the 2 months it takes for them to track the problem and get your money back. Been there done that too, more than once. ;)

Amanda - posted on 03/28/2012

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My hubby and I make the choices. But we are both personally responsible for our buys. We buy everything with our bank cards, first so theres a paper trail to every penny, second because I dont like to handle actual cash.



Yesterday my hubby called me panicing because he saw a withdraw from a bank machine for $400 bucks, he thought someone was stealing from our account (because we never use cash). LOL!! He had forgotten to get my carpet for my house cheap, I had to pay cash.



Now my pet peeve of my hubby spending is his 4-7 dollar lunchs at work, when I make more then enough dinner for all the children and hubby to have it for lunch the next day (we arent sandwhich eaters, spoiled brats they all are.)



As for bills, they are paid as soon as my hubbys pay cheque comes in. There is no need for extra accounts if you are on top of things, and pay things EARLY. All our direct payments also come out of our account the morning of his pay cheque, there for there is no guess work, once I have paid the bills, everything left in the account is for food, and extras.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/28/2012

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I am always looking for a new system so I came into this group and MeMe....I just took notes lol.



Basically for us, my husband is the only one with an income and he makes a lot of money...we are what you would call upper class BUT we live paycheck to paycheck. I cut coupons and don't buy thing we don't need. I have maybe 4 pairs of shoes but my daughter has everything she needs. On Friday we order pizza and rent a movie and that is the extent of our "going out".



Even though I no longer work and bring in no income I am still in control of our finances and everything that comes with it. My husband said he will never question where his money goes as long as bill collectors don't start calling lol.



Anyway, he honestly had no idea how much the electric bill was or even our cell phone bill so I showed him. He used to spend like 15 bucks a day on lunch and coffee...really? I showed him a print out of our account and bills for one month and now I make his lunch every day. Maybe you need to sit down with your husband and really show him how much of a difference 20 bucks makes.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/28/2012

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Jaime---



We have three accounts. One each of our own and one for "house" bills. I honestly think this is a great way to do it. You never ever have to worry that you will spend the "house" money. After that, well you figure out what everyone wants and go from there. ;)



Don't think you're poor. You are 14 years younger than I. I have had a lot more time to build up to where I am. When I was your age, you have WAY more than what I did. ;)

Stifler's - posted on 03/27/2012

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@jaime my husband is like that too... if we have extra money he won't want to save it he will want to spend it and i will be like we should put it away

Sherri - posted on 03/27/2012

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I am in control of the money. We have no issues. My husband makes the money has it direct deposited and I pay the bills. If anything is left over then that is spending money for whomever.

Stifler's - posted on 03/27/2012

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My husband works so I do the paying of bills and budgeting and grocery shopping. Always have. I added up all our bills over a year and add the amount needed per week to a sub account where direct debits come out of aswell so whatever is left we can spend on groceries, save some (even if there's not much I at least put $10 away in an account that isn't accessible unless damian takes a day off work and goes to wide bay australia and signs something) and incidental stuff so he knows if there's no money when he checks he's not going to the bottle o after work.

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I'm beginning to think we need a second checking account so that I can transfer our extra money to it so that it never dips into our bills. When I lived by myself, I always kept bills and extra money separate. It helped so much. But it's not so easy now, lol. If it was just my money I'd know exactly how to divide it and not have to worry. But it's his too and that makes me nervous I guess. I really don't like being in charge of the finances but if I'm not we'll be broke constantly.



Reading your posts, I feel so poor, lol....



We don't have many bills, honestly. We have rent, water/electric (they're from the same company), gas heat, car payment and insurance, internet, and his phone. I always feel like there's more but pretty sure that's it. Altogether, with what I budgeted for savings, food, diapers, dog/cat food, and other things that we tend to get, we SHOULD only be spending half what we make, and the rest should be for emergencies like if one of our cars needs to be fixed up or if we need to go to the doctor for anything (we don't have health insurance, couldn't afford it before I got pregnant with this second child and now can't be approved for anything because I have a "pre-existing condition" and all that bs...). I really need to redo all the math and make sure I have it right, because if I don't then I'm going to screw us up really bad...



My husband is of the mindset that we can afford everything, I think. We've never made as much money as we do now but I don't think he realizes how close to July it is (due date) and how it's very possible we won't be able to afford a lot of things after the second baby is here.



I'm such a pessimist, lol. I don't like thinking we're doing good, it gives me false hope, lol.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/27/2012

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The only reason in my home me bringing a lot more money home means anything, is that I have to spend a lot more on the family things. If we divvied up the remaining it wouldn't be very fair for ME. LOL



Since I have this bad habit with spending money on everyone and my husband would only spend on himself. ;) I know that's my own problem but I can't help myself when I see a cute little outfit for my boy (or a toy car he would LOVE) or a really nice top for my girl or an awesome hat for dh. I like seeing them happy - don't get me wrong - so does my husband but he KNOWS I will spend my money on them. So he wouldn't bother. hehehee.



So it just works that, we talk together and make specific purchases in agreement. Other than that, my husband gets to have his extra money per pay for him. Which is not a lot ($100) but is enough for his vice, beer and Tim's Coffee. I control the rest (since it is in my account) but confer with him if it is a big purchase (we usually have to save a month or two, sometimes more for)... if he needs more, than we talk and he usually gets it. He LOVES shopping (but not alone). I HATE shopping (unless it is for my family, I have fun with that). So, to keep it fair too, our way works for us....;)

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I agree with Meme that different methods work for different families. In fact, I doubt anyone here will have the end-all-be-all solution for you, but you can pick and choose from what everyone suggests, and build something that works well for your family.



I think your husband might be a lot like....dare I say it? ME! If I don't have a set amount that I can spend, I'll just keep spending. To ME all of my purchases are justified, but dh would think a lot of them are silly--why pay $200 for a dress when I can go to Target and get one for $30? I know that the expensive one will fit me better and last longer, but he just sees the price tag because he could care less what I'm wearing. Also, my husband LOATHES shopping and decorating, so I can't expect him to help me make those purchases, whereas Meme's husband doesn't mind taking part in those things.

My husband & I also hate talking about money and spending--we just have so many other things to talk about that it gets forgotten--so our method allows us to spend on what we want without ever having to talk about it (unless it's a big purchase, like vacation or vehicles) whereas Meme's husband likes to communicate with her about purchases and the like, so they don't need the weekly limits that we do.



I also come from a poorer background and know that, for a lot of couples, if they just spend with no limit and no communication, they will overdraw the bank acct. My husband and I would likely end up like that if I didn't set spending limits for us each month because, quite frankly I LOVE expensive clothing, and dh loves expensive drinks--We can easily spend a few thousand in a month, but we don't because we have set limits.



Dh makes a lot more than I do, but I don't see how it matters. I have a small income from an office building I lease out, and he has a real job, but all the $$ goes into one acct, and we each end up with about the same amount of spending money each month....

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I was in charge of paying the bills... He was in charge of making the money and spending us $50,000 in debt in 7.5 years....



Yeah, the only 'helpful' advice I have is Good luck!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/27/2012

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Yeah, again it all depends on the family structure. We do not add our buying extra's into our spreadsheet. Our spreadsheet is "only" for our "needed" expenses, those in order for us to live. Other than that we have all left over money for things we want. We do not keep nor submit receipts for minor spending.



However, if it is something for the house we decide that together, including BBQ's, windows, fridge's, oven's, etc... We go out together and purchase anything and everything for the home, including dining room tables, washer's/dryer's and the sort. I dunno, we are a very tight family, we like to be a part of everything each other does or buys. My husband wanted his windows in his car tinted, so he got it ($150). I wanted a pair of knee high boots, I got them. Sometimes we just need to wait a pay or two to get all the money together for what we would like.



However, when it is something like 4 more rims? No, I cannnot agree to that. He does not need them. He is just being silly.



If someone needs a pair of jeans I go buy it. If someone needs a new hat (husband) I go buy it. I also have to do all of the purchsing in our home. My husband wouldn't go do any purchasing unless he was on his own and "had" to. ;) He would allow the bank to take all of his money by not making payments on time, instead.



We do not need to worry if we spend $20 here or there, as long as it is not consistent. He only has so much in his account after each pay. I give him the aditional money if he really "wants" something.



So, I can see how it works great for Kelly and family the way they do it. I think it is a great idea. The way we do it for us works great because we are both engaged in our "major" spending. I bring home a lot more money than dh, therefore I am responsible for all extra's like diapers, kids clothing, I use way more gas, suv maintenance (he does his own on his car). So, I have much more expenses than he does. Therefore, he would not get nearly as much as me, anyhow. It just works best that I deligate. Everyone gets what they want in the end, for the most part. Rims? He can have them, if he works two days of OT.



ETA:

We actually do it much like Kelly, except I like using a spreadsheet for our house needs. Otherwise, we do not dish out a set amount of money to each other each week but we do still get to spend for certain things. We never go without. If I wanted a $200 dress, well by golly I would be getting it. Just like my husband got his tint for his windows. ;) My husband has to ask if he has enough money because he never ever looks at his account. I have to do that. ;)



I can also see one huge difference. We do not share a bank account. Kelly and her husband do. ;) We like having that separate. This is how we both get an individual feeling for our extra money.

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The spreadsheet didn't work for us either because dh always forgot to enter his purchases.

It's also annoying for us to constantly keep asking each other, "did you buy something expensive this week because I want to get this?" and telling each other every little thing we purchased--dh doesn't remember to tell me if he bought his team lunch one day, and he shouldn't have to as long as he stays within his budget.

It doesn't matter if neither of us were buying anything big, but it never fails that we both decide we want something big at the same time. For example, he bought a new grill the same day I bought a new table. If we'd been dipping from the same bucket, so to speak, we'd have over drawn our account, but both of us had been spending from our own allowances, so all the money needed was there, and I didn't have to "ask permission" to buy my table, which I'm sure he wouldn't have been too keen on because the old one was still standing, but it didn't go with the decor so I wanted this one, and I wouldn't have been to keen on the new grill because the old one still worked, but he wanted a newer model with more features. This way, we both get to buy what we want, and we don't have to "justify" every financial move we make to each other.



You do need to be more strict with him. I know if he has no freedom to spend as he pleases, he is going to hide things. Show him your budget and tell him WHY he only has this much to spend each week. Dh also keeps a little moleskin notebook in his pocket to write his spending in--nothing too detailed, just like: $20 lunch, $40 game, etc. Then when he gets to $200, he knows he has to wait until the next week to buy anymore "wants." Knowing that he can have what he wants the next week will help him to hold off on the purchase. When we don't have any control over what we get to spend, we tend to spend any time we can. He won't feel the pressure to spend it now if he knows it will still be there next week. It almost seems like he wants to spend it before you do?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/27/2012

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Oh boy Jaime. That is just not sounding good. Really. He is going to have to get more serious about it. When you buy things that are for the family, maybe explaining to him "now this is for all of us", when you buy things "it is only for you". I am not sure. I would not be able to handle it. I am too much of a control freak though. LOL



ETA:

If he hides purchases, maybe you need to hide the money.... ;)

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i was raised to always expect that i didn't have the money to buy anything extra and i ended up being able to save a lot of money that way. my husband was raised to spend it when he got it and "treat" himself because he had extra money. so we come from two completely different worlds. ugh, my life was sooo much easier before we got married, haha!



i have no idea how to use a spreadsheet and again, don't know if that'd work if he never saves his receipts. though i have thought about it and have tried similar things. i have tried to make him keep to an allowance. that doesn't seem to work either. i guess i should be more iron-fisted about this. but he always comes up with some reason as to why my not letting him waste his money is bogus since i get to buy what i want, even though i never buy anything we don't need.



we have had plenty of fights about this. i have told him countless times that i hate it when he wastes money. he just claims he has a problem and is working on it. it really doesn't seem like it to me at all, and that's what hurts the most.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/27/2012

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See, I guess it all depends. Since we never ever fight on whether there is money for this or that. Or can I buy this or that. Actually, we have never fought in 6 years over money. We know exaclty how much money there is each month, I know before the month is even here, since I have it all figured out in our spreadsheet.



If we want something, we talk about it and decide on whether it even makes sense. For instance, my husband now wants rims for his car. This is $600. He does NOT need rims. He has 8 already! He is just being greedy... So, if he really wants them, then he can work some OT.



However, I also make $1500/month MORE than my husband. So, for him to spend $600 on something he does not need, is ridiculous. We could use something else in our home, like a new hot water tank (since the one we have is only good for 3 people, it runs out in 45 mins). We are replacing our front living room window, which is $2000. I would prefer to do that, then buy another 4 rims to go ontop of his 8.



Anyhow, the way I see it is we are in this together and we should be making purchases together. I would be annoyed if my husband was "wasting" his money. LOL We just work too hard for it.



However, I should say. My husband always has enough money for his 24 of beer each month. This is his vice. I always have $50 for my "eat out" lunches at work. Since I go out with my team once a week. ;)



In my home though, we do not need anything. We spend $800/month on groceries. So, no need to buy take-out without the other. We also make supper every single night.



I think it all depends on how your family runs, to how you can manage your money.



ETA:

I do not like direct withdrawl. I like control. I have had that mess up before. So, I prefer to actually exchange the money myself via online banking. Only thing that is automatic is our mortgage, insurance and suv payment.

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We handle the finances together in our relationship, but here's what we do--it might help you.



We set the bank up to auto draft all of our bills, so we don't have to worry about actually doing it, just make sure the $$ is in the bank on the 1st & 15th because that's when they do it.



For incidental purchases, like food, clothes, auto gas, and other extras, we each get an allowance. This is a certain amount of money each week that we can spend any way we like without consulting the other. To figure out how much allowance, add up all of the bills the bank pays and subtract that sum from your monthly income (if they fluctuate, use the highest amounts). Divide by 5 (5 weeks in a month--you will come out with extra weeks this way, that $$ just gets saved for a rainy day and you never miss it). That number is the amount you can afford to spend each month without overdrawing your account. (you may also want to subtract an amount to set aside for savings from this too, we did)



This is the tricky part--if you usually buy groceries, child stuff, and such that he is not responsible for, you need a bigger chunk of the allowance.

In our household, the only NEED my dh has is auto gas, so he gets only $200 a week. That gives him $50 for gas and $150 for WANTS, like lunches, snacks, and other little things--he spends much like your dh. I get $300 because I have to buy groceries and I use more gas and pay for J's sports and things. I usually end up with about $150, same as dh, after I buy our NEEDS.



If we want something expensive, we "save up" for it by not spending our entire allowance. For example, I knew I wanted to buy a dress this week, and it was $230. The week before last, I only spent $275, so I carried over $25. Last week, I only spent $150, so I carried over $175. This week, I have $375 to spend, so I can buy my dress and still have $$ for groceries and such. This way, dh doesn't care that I spent $230 on a dress because it was my money to do what I wanted with, and I don't care that he spent $120 on video games because it was his money to do what he wanted to with.





In your situation, I'm sure your husband doesn't care too much about saving to throw a baby shower, so he's not going to be very motivated to save, but if you give him a set amount he can spend each week, he will have a little freedom and not feel so pressured to hide his purchase or go overboard with them.

For me, having the allowance gives me some control, which I lacked when dh & I were just constantly asking "can I buy this?" "Is there $$ for this?". Those questions often brought on nasty fights because I wanted $200 for a dress and he wanted $200 for a game or computer part. Also, most of his purchases are a lot less than $200, but he throws a lot away on takeout, snacks, and such, so he would always get his things because it's easy to say "We can spare $50 to go to the movies" but it's more difficult to say "We can spare $200 for a new dress." You know?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/27/2012

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I take care of all of our finances. My husband asks me if he has enough to put gas in his car. I HAVE to manage the finances, otherwise we would have nothing and bills would never get paid.



My husband is not an extravagent spender but that is because I simply do not allow it. He is careless though. When I met him he was paying 20% in interest on a bank visa, simply because he was not paying the bill on time. I got him down to 11% in 6 months. So, I am very clear that he cannot take care of this portion of the household. He is very relieved and happy with that, though.



I do however, have to listen to his "I wishes" all the time. I have told him, I do not want to hear about them anymore. Everytime he gets something though, a new "wish" comes forth. lol I very rarely say I want something. Rarely being once a year when I want to buy some clothes. ;)



Anyhow. We make very good money but we do have many bills. We have a mortgage, new suv payment, a second car (we just bought for him) and $800/month daycare bill, on top of our food costs, gas, insurance and on and on and on. So, even though we make very good money, we still need to budget.



I am firm on bills first, fun last. However, no one here hides purchases. We ask or let each other know our intentions. I have the final say, though. Since I manage the money. If it is something my husband really wants and it is realistic, I find a way for him to have it within a few months.



So, to get to my point. ;)



In order to keep our finances under control I have an Excel Spreadsheet. I created it when we bought our house 5 years ago. Within this spreadsheet is absolutely every bill we have in regards to "living" in our home. I call it our "House Account" xsl. It includes everything from mortgage, electric, water, food and all the other "house" expenses. It does not include car payments or Daycare. It is strictly what we need in order to live and continue to own our home.



It works very well. We have seperate bank accounts. Each pay, I transfer the equal amount from his account and mine and place it into our bank "House Account", then tally it in our "House Account" spreadsheet. I have the spreadsheet set up so it already includes what each of our monthly bills are and the cost, then another spot beneath where I can add how much we paid for each of the bills already listed. At the end of the month, the static info must match the added info. We have never been late or missed a bill, ever. ;)



I would be very adamant with your husband that he just cannot be so selfish. I know he works and hard but that does not mean he can take what he wants for himself. You are a family and he needs to be thinking of that first. I simply would not stand for it.



If we needed that $20 for a bill and my husband took it, there would be some words exchanged. Our family and electricity is more important than whatever he wants. He either needs to be responsible or it is going to cause some serious issues with you guys. Money is the number one cause for divorce. You both need to be on the same page. I think you really need to sit down and tell him how disappointed and concerned it makes you feel, to know there is money gone from the elctric bill....



Good Luck.

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thankfully my husband is usually too lazy to go to the bank for anything that requires more than driving up to the ATM. but lately he hasn't been using his card, he's been using my cash. he actually made off with $25 today, but only spent $20 on God knows what. i just don't know what to do with him anymore.



we're supposed to be saving up for bills and for a baby shower that we're hosting in a month but we're not going to be able to even though we OUGHT to have the money for it. it just disappears. only half our income goes to bills and what we're supposed to be saving but somehow we're not able to even put anything back for that. we make plenty, or at least we should be making plenty. maybe i need to rebudget or something.

Brittney - posted on 03/27/2012

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I'm in charge of paying the bills and all other financial things. But my husband does the same thing. Buys little things that add up, even if I've told him we dont have any extra money...he just spend it any way, I've tried hiding his card, but then he goes off to the bank to get another one. So I haven't found anything that works.

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