Originally Posted by Spring Flower
However, what you wrote in the paragraph above would really, really bother me. My husband does think of the money as "his paycheck" sometimes, but it is a joint account. I have complete access to it. Having an "our" account and a "his" account where he deposits his paycheck would make me very, very nervous. I would wonder why that is the arrangement.
I tolerate the comments from my husband here and there to some extent (well, you know, I stick up for myself but I haven't left his a** yet
) but I personally don't think I'd tolerate separate accounts. I know most states are community property and all, but separate accounts sends a very bad message to me...unless there is a good reason that I'm missing here, which could be.
and good luck!
Well, we both have multiple separate accounts, retirement, savings, and checking, stuff that we had before marriage that it hasn't occurred to us to change. I think the reason DH's pay is direct deposited to another account is because he just didn't change it when we married. It doesn't bother me or make me nervous at all. But he definitely sees the money he earns as money that HE has earned. I think mostly he is just tactful about the way he thinks about it; he has only called it HIS money in moments of tension/anger/unthinking.
Somewhat OT: When DS was born I was on the ball saying we should get our wills in order in case something happens to one or both of us. My mother recommended an attorney who does estate planning work. I asked DH to call the attorney to get an appointment (he's the one who needed to coordinate with his work schedule, DS and I were more available).
The attorney told DH that he only did trust work, didn't recommend wills, and asked about our situation. DH told him about our age difference of 20+ years, baby, SAHM, etc. etc. and the attorney came back with all of the advantages of setting up a trust and talked about how if DH died he could set up the trust to 'control' his assets after his death so that I wouldn't be able to spend assets on 'future' spouses and 'future' children I may go on to have with them.
This whole idea was appalling to DH. He told me all about it and we didn't know what to think. We both felt so uncomfortable we have no desire to work with the attorney and still don't have a will, 3 years later. I guess the attorney thought that DH was the one interested in setting up the wills, that I am some sort of trophy wife who needs to be controlled from the grave, and that DH had some sort of agenda? Did the attorney not think that I would be involved in this project in some way? Was he going to recommend the same things to 'protect' MY assets if I die first???
The point is that no, I don't think that DH is trying to control or hide money from me, nor control decisions about spending, but he still thinks of it as HIS money, because he is the one who officially earned it.
Originally Posted by Spring Flower
My husband used to track our money and call it budgeting. It wasn't budgeting at all, it was sitting in front a spreadsheet putting in every cent and asking where and why money went to certain things. It got to a very ridiculous point early on (this was many years ago) and I sat him down and said I didn't want to track in that fashion. This was before kids and while I was pulling in good money in a good job. (Hmmm...perhaps that was a warning sign I missed!
Now, we "budget" or rather I budget in the traditional sense. I look at bill obligations, target a savings point, and finesse the numbers from there, figuring how much is left over for the extras. I like my style better. Tracking is just no fun for anyone and the experts in finance don't really advise it.
I think DH actually likes to track, and I don't mind if he does it. We are both highly analytical, and I agree that it is good to know where your money is going, and note inconsistencies and ID the reasons for them. Because he doesn't really buy anything, I think he is regularly surprised at how much things really cost. I regularly give him perspective comparisons, that we as a family don't buy nearly as many shoes/DVDs/restaurant meals/stuff as other families. I know that especially in the beginning DH was nervous about being the sole breadwinner and he likes a lot of security, so I think it comforts him to look at where the money went and that there is still enough for us to survive on.
One finance book that recommends close tracking is _Your Money or your Life_ which has been out for a good many years. The book is about figuring out the minimum amount of money that you need to live the lifestyle of your choosing, and adjusting your income to meet that minimum goal so that you have more time to focus on things you would like to spend your time doing.
Oops, another novel.