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Best practices for finances within marriage?

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April 21, 2018

I currently manage 100% of the finances (sole provider, pay all bills, file taxes, etc.). She has a credit card which she uses freely and we review all of the transactions together every month or so. She is annoyed at this process (as her transactions are scrutinized) but complies and generally we feel like we are on the same page afterwards.

Over time her spending has increased and she basically buys whatever she feels like. I haven't had a problem because I have been playing a great offense game. Before the pill, I felt like the man because I was making so much money so I didn't even have to worry about her uncapped spending. After the pill, I feel like an ATM machine and me spitting out unlimited money feels more like me being taken advantage of.

I think she may be more considerate with her spending and appreciate me more if she took more of an active role in the finances (this may be flawed thinking - let me know your thoughts). I have been considering breaking our single bank account and credit cards into three separate accounts:

  • My personal accounts
  • Her personal accounts
  • Our family accounts

I would fund her personal account with some base amount of money and then have a monthly transfer into her account. This would essentially be 100% her money and she could do whatever she wants with it. She would then have her own credit card and be responsible for paying off the card with the money in her account.

Things would get a little more complicated with the family account, as there would probably need to be a family credit card and we would use that card for any joint expenses (home maintenance, things for kids, etc.). She may have a tendency to charge to that account if she runs out of money but this could be resolved with the monthly checkup on the family account. Any of her personal withdrawals could count against the next transfer into her personal account.

I've only done finances one way in the five years we have been married. I'm hoping to hear feedback on my plan above as well as any other ways you guys have been successful with managing finances with your wife.

Post Information
Title Best practices for finances within marriage?
Author pursuing_the_ideal
Upvotes 8
Comments 12
Date 21 April 2018 03:07 PM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
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Red Pill terms found in post:

[–]abdadaRed Beret7 points8 points  (1 child) | Copy

I'm a big fan of American Express cards because you can give them to "authorized users" but set a specific credit limit to every user. So if you want to give your wife a rewards card but limit her to a certain budget, it's easy to do. In addition, authorized users can log in and see what they have spent but they can't see what the primary user spends at all.

Give her two cards -- one card is for family expenses (groceries, etc) and one for personal luxuries (makeup, clothes, etc). Don't set a limit on the family card but set a reasonable limit on the personal luxury card.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

This ^ is good. Easy to adopt and gives you total control. One point, do not make it a "joint" ownership account. It is your account and she is an "authorized user" as u/abdada stated above. You can make changes, and even completely remove her at any time without her sign-off.

Budgeting is a great idea, but seldom works. Giving a set amount for spending does work much better, and, is much easier to implement.

I feel like an ATM machine and me spitting out unlimited money feels more like me being taken advantage of.

Change "I feel" to "I know" and take charge of it.

I think she may be more considerate with her spending and appreciate me more if she took more of an active role in the finances (this may be flawed thinking - let me know your thoughts)

Your gut is right here. Flawed thinking. Covert contract. You can't negotiate desire, right? You can't negotiate her desire to please you financially either.

You're on the right track here. You are feeling your way instead of moving forward with conviction.

[–]CaptJohnLukeDiscard4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy

We have one set of accounts that we pull from. I handle the finances and we use YNAB. I put her categories at the top and she checks them before spending money.

It works for us because we regularly have budget meetings and I have set a vision for what I want us to achieve which she is 100% on board for.

If she is your First Officer, you will have better mileage if she knows the destination and wants to go there too. Sell her on it.

Sometimes leading isn’t demanding your way 100% in an authoritarian manner. Sometimes it’s using charisma and her self interest to your advantage.

Sell your wife on your vision. If you can’t do that, either you suck at selling, have a shitty vision, or have a terrible wife. It’s probably not the last one.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I do this, minus YNAB.

[–]2ndalRed Beret5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy

I don't fuck with any of that.

We track spending using YNAB. I budget for everything every paycheck with her input. We have strict savings goals because we have long-term plans that we are motivated to reach.

I budget for personal spending for each of us as well.

If she goes over a budget for something, we talk about it. If it's legit, we find a place for the money to come from. If it's not legit, it comes out of her personal spending. If she goes negative in her personal spending, she doesn't get any money the next paycheck, until it's paid back. (I have this rule for myself btw. But I rarely buy anything.)

Does she like it? Of course not. She looks at our friends who spend freely (though make half as much as I do) and gets annoyed when I ask her why she has not submitted her receipts to YNAB. Do I give a fuck? Hell no. We have a mission and a vision, we're saving for it, we have no debt, we buy nice, quality things (when it's budgeted for), and who the fuck knows how much debt our friends our in. Why does it feel like we are poor? she asks while talking through a $900 cell phone and driving a luxury SUV to a house we built from scratch. This is the cost, I tell her, of being financially responsible and set for life. If she wants to spend freely without budgeting, too fucking bad. I won't settle for that irresponsibility.

Make a plan and tell your wife what the deal is. If she doesn't like it, it probably means she's not sure why you're doing it, so make sure you have long term plans and a vision for the family and how finances help drive that.

[–]The_LitzRed Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

appreciate me more

Your plan is sound but you are harboring a covert contract there. She will never live up to your expectations.

Before my wife rejoined the workforce she had a card for all household expences. She used it for herself, the kids, groceries, petrol and so on. The card had a set monthly limit.

Why it worked so well for us is she never felt like a kid asking/whining for pocket money. She was treated like an adult and had to manage her budget.

I was happy because my budget was being adhered to with zero effort from my side.

For any system to work it must be simple and easy to execute. Remember, your household 'books' don't need to comply with international accounting standards.

[–]thunderbeyond2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Three accts: hers, mine, family.

All the income goes into the family acct, and a "stipend" goes to me and the wife. This way we have our own money to spend as we please (IDNGAF what she does with her money, and she gets no say on how I spend mine). The bulk of the income sits for household bills. Surplus goes against the mortgage.

We had credit cards but I stopped that because there is no way a (/my) woman can use it properly.

[–]Alphaphux1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I do this also

we also have a vacation account which she has access to, that way she can visually see when a vacation can happen and if we blow too much on one then its longer until the next

[–]markpf731 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I have run the same course. You're dealing with a potentially financially destructive personality. She spends for the feeling and the thrill.

I give my wife (same creature as yours) a debit card with an auto replenish of 1k a month (no overdraft fees and no ability to overdraft) to spend on whatever stupid fucking shit she thinks she needs.

Over time she started sneaking charges back onto the family Amex account which was for gas, groceries and kids expenses. This was dealt with promptly with the consequence of what would happen if she did it again.

I've found a zero tolerance policy is the only thing she can understand.

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Min of three checking accounts. Mine, hers and joint. My DD goes into my account and she gets a DD for her mommy money.

All CC's are in my name and she is an authorized user on some of them. She has her own CC in her name with only her on it - she never uses it.

Beyond that, she doesnt care. Has no idea how much money I have in any accounts or other assets.

I pay all the bills and handle all the money. The joint account leave a paper trail as that is how I transfer money from mine into hers.


[–]broneilbro0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

We have mine, joint and hers. All income comes into mine with the exception of rent from a rental property. I did a budget and told her X number is for the joint account. If you go over you will cover it, she agreed. She did it once and it was because our dogs got sick and had to go to vet. She also had to borrow when her wallet was thrown in the trash by our daughter.

[–]Cloudsurf890 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Cut her off and point her in the direction of work when she complains she's skint

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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