Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Anyone going on awesome dates?

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  • #735594 Reply

    No! I am busy correcting the lady who was Wrong on the Internet!

    BoF and I (admittedly after we were married) helped us to map out our spending on different kinds of expenses, etc. It helped not only in reducing our costs but in avoiding fights over discretionary spending since we both just needed to stay within our designated allotment.

    You might want to try doing something similar with your boyfriend, where you work out spending on day to day expenses, food, entertainment, etc, how much each of you will contribute, etc. You wouldn’t need to necessarily meet with someone like I did, but having some kind of organized budget might be a good idea.

    #735596 Reply

    @Lucia_la FMH and I split things according to income. We went to the store yesterday and he paid for everything and next time we go I’ll pay for everything. Our trips at that store usually ends up about the same amount each time. We do pass money back and forth (cash or Venmo [I know you said you can’t use]) on larger expenses or one time expenses. We bought some furniture together that he send me money for. We also discuss at length before we make large buys on what each of us expect the other to do. I would like to get a joint account with him for our team spending.
    What we have works for now, we haven’t sat down for a budget. Now that we’re planning a wedding and he wants to personally pay for his 4 kids’s flights to get to the wedding location we’ll be doing that in the next few weeks.
    We went out to dinner a lot over the last week because people were in town. I picked up some tabs and he picked up others. Kinda unspoken but needs to be firmed out.

    #735598 Reply

    Before Mr. Rascal and I were married but lived together and each paid certain bills, we tracked the expenses that were joint on a spreadsheet: rent, insurance, gas, electricity, groceries, restaurants. And then at the end of the month, we would figure out who paid what and then if the other owed the other any money. It ended up mostly that Mr. Rascal would owe me money because I paid the rent from my checking account.

    Now that we are married, we have a joint credit card that accumulates points. We pay it off every month from our joint checking account, to which we contribute what we determine each of us owes. We track all expenses on a spreadsheet and depending on what I’ve or what he’s spent that month, we move money from our individual accounts into the joint one.

    #735599 Reply

    What we did (and keep doing, as we’ve merged retirement portfolios but keep other money separate) is:

    He pays certain bills plus does all the food shopping, and I pay certain bills. Once a month, we add up all the bills we each paid, and each divide our total in half. Whoever’s half is lower owes the other one some money to make it even, and direct deposits that into the other one’s account. It’s quick and easy.

    Except for mortgage, which is pro-rated based on income, we split everything 50/50, which… he does eat more food, but he also puts in the labor to buy it all and haul it upstairs. It works out.

    When we go out, we split it on 2 cards or take turns.

    #735600 Reply

    Is there a reason why you don’t want to do a joint bank account? It’s really the easiest way to make sure you’re both contributing equally/proportionally towards those expenses. My now-husband and I got frustrated with all the whose-turn-is-it/who-owes-who-what shortly after moving in together and opened a joint checking account into which we could each deposit money for groceries, travel expenses, and so on. The number of bills we paid out of the joint account has increased greatly (mortgage, daycare, utilities) but we still maintain yours/mine/ours accounts. It definitely simplified things for us early on.

    #735601 Reply

    So, the husband and I are way more lax about splitting expenses than just about every one who has responded… but this is what we do…

    We bought a place (his name because of some of my debt) and moved in together after we got engaged. He pays all the bills (mortgage, insurance, cable, gas, electric) and I give him money for the same amount that my rent use to be. He’s paying more by probably a grand, but it’s still several hundred less than when he rented.

    I buy most groceries, household needs (detergent, soap, paper products, shampoo, etc.) and pay for our cleaning person.

    When we go out, he picks up most bills but I occasionally help. Same with travel expenses.

    So, I guess I’m really making out in this situation. He doesn’t care because he thinks of it as our money. We check in regularly to make sure what we’re doing is ok. As an aside, he makes quite a bit more than me.

    Maybe that’s ass backwards, but it works and we don’t have fights or argue about it. I try to pay more, but he likes to, so I’m cool with it.

    #735605 Reply

    @ktfran, we are pretty lax as well and if we were married I think it would be similar. Now, I still do have my own apartment but basically never spend time there. So we each pay for the rent/electric/gas/internet at our own places. As far as other things like groceries, eating out, etc., we just take turns. And similarly to what you described, he makes quite a bit more than me. When we go out to dinner he mostly pays, but I’ll chip in once in awhile, or pay in full once in a while. Same thing with travel, he usually will pay for airfare and rental car and half of the hotels/Airbnbs and I pay for the other half of the hotels. It works out and neither of us have any complaints.

    #735606 Reply

    Before we we bought a house together, we didn’t have a joint account and I can’t remember what we did for unfixed costs. I think we took turns paying for groceries, restaurants, etc.

    Now, we really don’t pay much attention to who pays what. We each put in a proportional amount to our salary into our joint checking and the rest of our pay goes into our separate accounts. We pay for all of our joint expenses out of there, but sometimes we just pay with our individual accounts or vice versa. I mean, we also have a kid and one on the way and really view all of our money as OUR money. For example my Target Red Card is tied to my checking, but what I buy at Target is usually for all of us. Sometimes I pay myself back out of our joint acct, but sometimes I don’t.

    For us, we find equity in all of our activities – financial, chores, etc. – and it all evens out.

    I realize this is VERY wishy washy, but works well for us.

    #735607 Reply

    We took different approaches at different times, depending on what made sense. Before living together, we took turns paying for meals out. When we moved in together, we got a joint checking account that we paid bills and specific expenses (like groceries) out of and I think a joint credit card. We started out by funding that account 50-50, but our individual income situations changed, so we decided he would start paying more into it. We also each maintained our own accounts and credit cards and whatnot.

    After we got married, we had our incomes start going directly into our joint account, but we each maintain some separate pre-marriage accounts. We also have a rather involved prenup so the cash flow decision was part of a larger financial discussion.

    #735608 Reply

    Oh, and all our credit cards are joint. Sometimes we’ll decide that something needs to be paid by a specific person, so they’ll just buy it with a card and transfer that amount into the joint account. It doesn’t happen often, but we know what to do when it does.

    #735610 Reply

    Actually yeah, I have a credit card that he has his own version of, so he can buy relevant stuff on that card, like, say, the dog’s vet bill or something I want for myself and he can pick it up for me. And he has an Amex that I have a version of, which we use on vacation and stuff.

    Honestly, lots of different setups can work, as long as you don’t get too hung up on splitting everything precisely- remember in The Joy Luck Club, the husband was like, this is your ice cream and tampons, you owe me $x, and it was awful. And, as long as it’s pretty easy for you both and you check in about how it’s going.

    #735611 Reply
    rosie posie

    What we do is similar to @ktfran. We didn’t live together until we were married (not for religious reasons we just were both used to living independently and enjoyed our space) and once he moved in I continued paying my mortgage and homeowners insurance and I buy all the groceries/household products. He pays all the utilities, and the health and car insurance. It works out to be less than he paid in rent alone so it’s a good deal for him and took a bunch off my plate. When we go out we take turns paying. He does make a considerable amount more than me so typically the more expensive meals or if we are treating friends to dinner he will pay. We have discussed that when we have kids and/or buy a house together we will need to have a joint account we put the same percentage of our income into and also maintain our own individual accounts. I don’t want to feel I need to explain why I bought a new dress and he doesn’t want to feel he needs to explain why he bought the latest electronic toy he wanted. My mom was a stay at home mom and my dad managed all the money. I know she always felt guilty if she wanted something for herself (which was almost never) and I never want to feel that way and my husband agrees that neither one of us ever should.

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