Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jena, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    So, this is going to sound silly like i'm a fish out of water, yet how does everyone else handle joint finances in their households?? When there are two ppl working? I've always been the bill payer, except for now ofcourse. I always handled the bills with my ex husband. We just put our money together it was diff we were married had kids, etc.

    So, work starts soon and conversations regarding my contribution here are already being spoken of. I'm getting a little nervous to be honest. I am because I can see this as the next hurdle we must cross together. I get that for almost a year and a half now he has paid all the bills, which is great. Yet this new job is decent pay but not a fortune. Should I just offer to pay 50/50??? Probl is I cover food bills, it can be quite large ea week. He'd problem expect me to half all house bills and continue paying grocery bills.

    Any thoughts on how ppl do this?? ofcourse i'll have my own checking/savings account in time.
  2. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    You should really discuss it with him. I don't think you could afford to go 50/50, but if you are going to do things jointly, than make a budget together.
  3. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I would figure out exactly what the monthly bills are, and split it in half (food included)

    SO has an account with his and my name on it, and I have an account with just my name on it. When he gets paid, he (meaning me :) ) transfers some money to my account, he has enough left over to pay his credit cards and a little spending money. I bear the heavest of the expenses because I make a lot more money - after his child support he has like only 500.00 to his check so paying equal isn't feasable.

    Even with this arrangement, we still have arguments over money. But whoever has money pays for whatever is needed at the time. You should make a list of the total monthly bills, see what your paycheck brings in, then divy accordingly.

  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When husband and I got married, we both had good jobs and had been independent of our parents for quiet some time which meant neither of us was new to life expenses. So, I only thought it fair that he pay for everything and my money was for the fun stuff. After all, he did ask me, right? :D Of course "I do".

    O.K., seriously: We did keep our funds separate. He could get in embarrassing trouble as a bank examiner if we had any overdrafts, so he says. That was fine with me. It is so easy to mess up an account with two people active on it. One can take out/spend more money and by the time the other is told, the other could do the same. O.k. confusing! But it can happen.

    I don't remember if/how we split costs before easy child came along. When easy child arrived, I quit my job. When I reentered the workforce at half time, we continued separate accounts. I paid for snow removal (husband is on the road a lot and I can not keep a toddler in the house long enough to shovel a driveway), daycare, kids' programs (Girls Scouts, voice lessons, ect.) and "fun" stuff (movies, bowling, ect.). husband pays major upkeep bills and credit card bills. I do have my own credit card but usually use his for household expenses (groceries, personal needs items, whatever, pretty much everything).

    My income also paid for easy child's private school and braces and will pay for difficult child's orthodontical needs.

    Many of my friends think that we are silly to do this but what works for us does work for us.

    My suggestion is to list fixed expenses and approximate weekly groceries. Split the expenses based on which income will cover it. Maybe take turns grocery shopping - one buys one week, one the next.

    Deposit as much as you can in savings accounts (one for each of you). We have our own savings accounts also.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    Everyone is basically saying the same thing, list all expenses and decide upon a method of dividing them. 50-50 may not necessarily work but something you both agree on. husband and I just have one account and I pay all the bills but if I had it to do over again I think I would do it in this way. It gives you so much more control over your own destiny and prevents fights. Especially if you both have different approaches and priorities. You should each have a certain amount of income that you can spend however you want without have to be accountable to the other.
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    husband and I had one account for the first 15 years of our marriage. I never paid a bill and for a while didn't even know where the bank was. Then, the ugly addiction took over, and things changed drastically. In order to survive, I had to open my own account. He had too many overdrafts and they would have eaten up all of my check. When he left treatment, we kept it that way. We split the bills percentage wise. I make more money...I pay the mortgage, car insurance, all the big bills. He pays the car payments, cable, lights, and minor bills. We each contribute to the food. I was so burned by his deception, that I could never go back to the way things were. I know that if anything were to ever happen again, I could support myself.
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi and thanks for the input, i get the general gest of it. I wasn't sure if couples did 50/50 split, or did it based upon how much each makes?? if we do that i'm at a 3 and he's a 10 if you want to use numbers to show ranges :)

    See here's my issue i'm learning as of late how complicated blending two families can be when it comes to outside family and soon to be finances. He pays a ridiculous amt of child support and maintenance. Now i love the children and would never want his kids to do without. Yet here's the kicker to it all, when we first got together he said when we moved in together I won't be paying the maintenance much longer, we'll look into a house once you settle down with a job and difficult child stablilizes, its' a pure space issue. We are crammed here beyond. My creativity in how to make everything fit is kinda coming to it's end lol.

    So, the maintenance was to end over a year ago, yet he still pays it. The deal on record was when his ex took a live in partner which happened almost immediately like a week later!! than he dropped maintenance which makes sense partner would help pay mortgage etc. Well, that never happened. Ex still works her local easy job, her partner still doesnt' contribute (she works from home) and boyfriend is footing the huge huge bill. I said doesnt' it make you mad that we cannot move forward in our lives because your paying for your ex's lifestyle at this point?? the marital home houses his kids, ex, her partner and her 3 kids. He said well I dont' know what to do the kids would do without it if i stopped she'd miss mortgage payments than id' have a bigger crisis on my hands trying to pay off mortgage that she didn't pay.???

    I guess i run it from my divorce, we split down the middle we both went on to lead our lives, he remarried and me well i have a healthy fear of marriage yet i moved on, we no longer shared bills i didn't ask for maintenance, etc. He still pays for the ex's car insurance also and get this they still share a cell phone plan that his ex pays. i'm sorry this is weird.

    So, every now and again i get frustrated when we speak of finances and my new job and we begin to do our calculations and basically we can't afford to go anywhere. He gives her 75% of his mos. salary, or better. If it were just the child support wed' be truly ready to fly yet this other mos is the greater of the two. by the way she also asks him for loans periodically as well here and there and he gives it because she guilts him it's for the kids.

    So i get it it's his issue to handle and get ok with. Yet meanwhile it sort of makes me feel like what's the point i get a job and we still cannot gravitate towards a larger place or a home of our own. I said to him by continuing to pay the maintenance you are enabling her to continue being depenedent on you, do you like that?? his answer is no but i dont' know how to justify cutting it when it means hurting my kids.

    As far as mos division of bills the argument will stand that the food bill is mostly my girls and i being he works a million hours a week and is basically hardly ever home except two nights a week and his kids are here two nights a week. Yet i'm thinking if i try to handle half ontop of this huge food bill that'll be that for me. Sure i'll be contributing and helping him which is great after what he's done yet i have my own stuff to take care of also. he'll be walking around with tons extra and i'll be hurting.

    iknow i sound silly yet we're going out this coming tuesday to discuss schedules, difficult child, finances. ugh.
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    You need to discuss it with him. I handled things very differently with my H before we were married even after we had kids together. I didn't have a joint account with him until we married even though we owned a house and two cars and other things together.

    Now my salary is direct deposited into a joint account and his earnings go into an operating account (he is self-employed so we have to do this). I pay most of the bills as I am the breadwinner. When I need money, I tell H and he gives it to me.

    Another thing we did several years ago was pretty much get rid of credit cards and live on cash, checks and debit. It has helped significantly, especially in this economy. We never had joint credit cards as I find he is a bit spendthrifty for my taste. I keep careful track of the money in the joint account. He is not even supposed to use the ATM card at another bank because I get ****** off at the fees.

    If I were you, I would pay all of my own child related costs, since he is not your children's parent. I would contribute proportionately to the food and housing supply costs with one child equalling half an adult. As for the mortgage, if the house is only in his name he should pay it and you should offer to pay half of the LIPA/Keyspan/National Grid/oil, etc. If the house is in both your names, then it should be split as close to 50-50 as possible depending on your income. You should pay for your own car expenses and work related expenses.

    As time goes on and if you get more serious or marry, this can be rethought.

    I pay virtually everything in my house. My H is at home so he does child care, cooking, etc. Unfortunately, when he does get some money he tends to spend it on himself or on stupid things or on takeout food. I am still working on this.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Jen, you need to make an appointment with a counsellor or therapist and take the financial discussion to that forum. Maybe they can help you each see a way to compromise - you contrib to bills (of course) and he lessens the maintenance gradually as he sees the partner and wife each have enough $$ to live. And it doesn't hurt kids to do with-o expensive bags, etc.... Sometimes it gives them a more realistic view of life.

    Anyway, it is just a thought. I really strongly think a therapist is needed to get to the bottom of htis. It almost seems as though he is afraid the ex won't feed the kids if he doesn't pay such a high amt. And that isn't right. If that is the case then the kids need to live with-him. in my humble opinion here, but no kid of mine would live with someone I was afraid wuoldn't feed them.
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thanks to you both. susie i agree yet you can't change how someone feels. i should be happy he's a good dad and supports his children, there are many out there as we know that do not. Yet this conversation has to be handled between us and in time the larger issues in therapy. I cannot force him to cut his ex off, that will never be me. these are my secret and hidden feelings to be honest regarding it.

    it's just rough, we can't move ahead until he lessens her. it kinda stinks. I also want nothing but the best for his kids, yet if we're going to spend alife together i feel as though we deserve as well to live nicer especially for a man who owns two restaraunts and makes a really nice living.

    it's just rough, his kids come here and complain about space issues and i almost want to laugh because the next day they return to their 5 bedroom house with a huge porch and backyard with pool, and swing sets and trampoline, etc. they have everything. i don't begrudge them for it yet they come here and complain that they dont have their own bedroom and it gets to both of us after a while.

    Their children though and at the end of the day their going to complain, yet to be quite frank their also spoiled children. my kids appreciate things so much more, so having less does teach a lesson or two at the end of the day.
  11. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I like the advice you've gotten on splitting the bills.

    As for his kids...Lordy. yeah, they are used to living in a 5 bedroom house with all of these things. Guess what? Not everyone does and in my humble opinion it sounds like they need to learn this. Is it cramped at your house? Sure. Does everyone NEED their own room? Nope. Making do, sharing, living within your means....all of that is part of the reality that is life. They need to get acquainted with it.

    If it were me (and again...just MHO) I would let them know that this is how things are and they need to deal.

    As for the maintenance....if things have veered off the agreed deal, maybe he should at least consult a lawyer to see what his options are. If he's legitimally being taken advantage of, he needs to put a stop to it.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I'm not in a relationship now. But in the past, when we were living together and not married, whatever bills were made by both of us (rent, utilities, etc) got split half-half. Otherwise, it got paid by whichever of us had the bill. So, if I owned two cars and he owned one, I paid for two cars, he paid for his. (That's just a hypothetical example). Now, it doens't always come out fairly if the man is making more money than the women- which still happens these days. That gets sticky- maybe take the others' advice- after all- I'm living here alone- lol!!
  13. Jena

    Jena New Member

    klmno that was funny.

    Mustang I totally agree with you in regards to the kids getting used to life as it truly is. my kids don't even complain, they tend to appreciate things a whole lot more. His kids go on and on. we only have 3 bedrooms, so my girls share a bedroom and we have ours and than the xtra goes to his son. the two girls are downstairs on couch. there's no other way to work it we have tried. i am contemplating getting bunk beds for the extra room so that the girls can be in there and his son downstairs.

    point being is they are not used to the reality that this is how life is, and it seems like he refuses to let them accept it. alot of issues there i guess. he feels like they should have huge houses on each end??? i said ok well than maybe you can work from midnight straight thru the next day than.
  14. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    We have separate incomes, separate savings and a common expense account.

    Each year we sit down and agree of who is paying what and what our household costs. When we get paid and the state has taken their 50 percent (Yes 50) a certain amount are sent from each our acconts to our common account, which takes care of all our fixed cost (mortage, school, insurrence etc.). Next our saving are sent to each our savings accounts.

    Then the rest is for food and fun if possible. We have no system about who is buy food, but we loan each other money if it is needed.