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Old 09-29-2013, 02:03 PM   #41
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Earlier this year I started putting $300 a month into DW's bank account automatically. This is her money to do pretty much what ever she wants with it. I did this primarily to make her happy and because our cashflow made it possible. Of course, I didn't tell her until about 4 months later.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #42
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My take on the situation is why would you need to change things in retirement? I am not yet retired but I am thinking it should be somewhat similar for DH and me.

I previously was in a long term marriage where every dime was shared, and we argued alot about money, and how much each person was spending, how much each person needed....obviously we never figured it out, although many folks on this board have!! Currently (married 12 years) we have both separate (individual spending) and joint (household) accounts, and it seems alot more peaceful to me!! We always seem to work together to budget for the household, and we allow each other to spend their own monies at our own discretion. Please note we have no debt so we both are financially aligned in our spending/saving habits and fiscal responsibility--maybe that is why it works.

In retirement, we intend to adjust as follows: Since one of us has alot more money coming in retirement via pension and social security, we will share funds more but will still have separate monies that should be respected as such. We will jointly decide what the separate monies will be, as it benefits both of us to maintain the coffers for our anticipated longevity. Not expecting warfare and hoping I am right!!!
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:24 PM   #43
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Everything we have is joint. We generally mention planned purchases to each other, just to make sure there's no bounced checks. If the money's there, it's generally first person who mentions it, gets it lol. But we are both reasonable, and most purchases have a reason. If its a gun or a guitar, it's mentioned while I'm in the process of considering the purchase, in case DW has a more pressing need for the money. or in case it's her turn to treat herself to something lol. Most money we spend is on travel, which we both enjoy.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:28 PM   #44
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We have always been splitters. We contribute to a joint account for joint expenses. When DW retires we should each be bringing in about the same amount of money with each of our pensions so nothing changes.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:57 PM   #45
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I'm really lucky with a great wife. We pay all our joint bills out of a joint account.

I have my checking acct, DW has hers. I never look at hers and she doesn't look at mine. We can each spend our personal funds without any explanation to the other. Most of the money is spent on gifts for family members or little splurges on outselves. DW had braces last year....in middle age....I laughed, told her that I was proud of her and she paid for and enjoyed her braces with her own money.

What makes it work is trust.....we trust each other and don't worry about personal expenses......life is nice.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #46
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Every month each of us receives $300 "personal allowance" to spend on whatever we want. No questions asked. All other expenses are tracked very closely. The personal allowance is considered as a line in the budget whether it actually gets spent or not. DW lives allowance to allowance while I am sitting on about $11,000 accumulated cash. I may go out someday and spluge on that big ticket item for myself....uh, maybe I better rethink doing that.

We are not yet retired but I think we would continue to do the same once retired.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:17 PM   #47
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Every month each of us receives $300 "personal allowance" to spend on whatever we want. No questions asked. All other expenses are tracked very closely. The personal allowance is considered as a line in the budget whether it actually gets spent or not. DW lives allowance to allowance while I am sitting on about $11,000 accumulated cash. I may go out someday and spluge on that big ticket item for myself....uh, maybe I better rethink doing that.

We are not yet retired but I think we would continue to do the same once retired.
This is our approach as well, except it's $220 / month each currently automatically transferred into separate accounts. Lunches / dinners out, electronic gizmos, gym memberships, hobby stuff, and most gifts are "discretionary". Strangely enough, DW spends hers fully and mine's grown at about $150 / month for the entire time.

Everything else goes into a joint account that we minimize our spending with. If either doesn't agree that we need something, it's discretionary and that's usually the end of it. Nobody seems to abuse the system and I can't remember any huge fights. We originally set this up as both of us know families where one spouse made significantly more than the other and there were control issues. We agreed on this approach before we got married and have kept it since. I was fully employed and decently paid while DW was a grad student at the time, so we wanted to enter marriage on equal footing. It works great to maintain expenses and is probably a big part of why we're headed toward FIRE.

We agreed on this approach and either of us can recommend increasing the allowance if ever desired, which we've done once. I find it also forces me to spend a bit more on small purchases that give me pleasure as that account feels somehow separate from the joint accounts. Otherwise, every buck I spend is just lost future income in my mind.

Now, someday we're buying a cruising sailboat (think used pacific seacraft 34). Obviously, this is going to be a joint purchase.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:21 AM   #48
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Now, someday we're buying a cruising sailboat (think used pacific seacraft 34). Obviously, this is going to be a joint purchase.
Beautiful and very functional boat.
Saving $440 per month, it should take less than 19 years to afford her
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:53 AM   #49
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We have agreed upon amounts that we both feed the basic living expenses account, the rest we're on our own. She likes her job and I like my time.
DW and I have the same arrangement. We feed the joint account for joint expenses. The rest we keep separate and don't have any obligation to tell the other person how much was spent and what was bought. That said, if it's home decor, appliances, a car or something that could potentially impact the other person, we discuss it beforehand.

Call me selfish, but I never understood needing to get permission to spend money that I've earned. If we were a single income household, I could understand that the money earned is joint money due to the other person's contribution through keeping the house and raising the kids.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:57 AM   #50
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I can't imagine having to be accountable to someone else for such a small amount of money as $51. I guess that's why I truly enjoy being single!
OK, Meadbh, you may have started a bidding war here. I'll go $52.50.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:40 AM   #51
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I have a chunk of money from a bonus when I was working that I keep in a separate account- it's been recycled through various tools and toys a few times. Most recently, the account balance went way up when I sold my sawmill that I had used for hobby income. Turns out that I could sell it and get about 10 years of hobby income so why let it rust away here! I knew it would hold value but was pleasantly surprised how well I did after using it for nearly 6 years.

We deposit a small amount each month in an account for my DW that is used the same way. Everything else is in joint accounts (except IRA's, etc.)
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:02 AM   #52
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DW and I have the same arrangement. We feed the joint account for joint expenses. The rest we keep separate and don't have any obligation to tell the other person how much was spent and what was bought. That said, if it's home decor, appliances, a car or something that could potentially impact the other person, we discuss it beforehand.

Call me selfish, but I never understood needing to get permission to spend money that I've earned. If we were a single income household, I could understand that the money earned is joint money due to the other person's contribution through keeping the house and raising the kids.
+1

I felt my anxiety level rising as I read this thread and imagined having to run purchases above $50 past DH!

We have a joint account that covers all household expenses, eating out, travel, etc. We put the same amount in every month. Everything else, we keep in our own accounts.

In our initial retirement planning, there's been a lot of numbers-running based on our own accounts and our own projected spending, which we acknowledge will probably have to change some and become a bit more of a joint project. He's got more in his 401k (older, makes more), but I have a decent personal savings because I've always said that there is no way I'm working once he retires, so I figured I needed to save a bit more.

However, I have additional monies coming (inheritance) that wouldn't be fair to consider just "mine". Rising tide, etc.

But basically, we happily keep our own accounts once all household bills are dealt with.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #53
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DW and I have the same arrangement. We feed the joint account for joint expenses. The rest we keep separate and don't have any obligation to tell the other person how much was spent and what was bought. That said, if it's home decor, appliances, a car or something that could potentially impact the other person, we discuss it beforehand.

Call me selfish, but I never understood needing to get permission to spend money that I've earned. If we were a single income household, I could understand that the money earned is joint money due to the other person's contribution through keeping the house and raising the kids.
It is not a matter of permission. Until DH retired 3 years ago both DH and I worked full-time during our marriage. However, we put everything in a joint account and I always kept track of spending in a budgeting program. It wasn't a matter of anyone needing to ask permission to do anything. It was to keep track of what we were doing since we had shared goals. We found that to best achieve our goals we do best by having each having an individual spending category. By putting a cap on the individual spending category we make sure that we are meeting our shared goal (we do periodically change the cap). But having the category also helps us meet our individual goal. That is, if I am getting $500 a month spending money and I want to save up for a new iphone, then I might choose to spend $400 of that spending money and accrue $100 a month for the iphone. This works well for us to structure what we each do. But, no one is asking permission to do anything.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:39 PM   #54
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Every month each of us receives $300 "personal allowance" to spend on whatever we want. No questions asked. All other expenses are tracked very closely. The personal allowance is considered as a line in the budget whether it actually gets spent or not. DW lives allowance to allowance while I am sitting on about $11,000 accumulated cash. I may go out someday and spluge on that big ticket item for myself....uh, maybe I better rethink doing that.

We are not yet retired but I think we would continue to do the same once retired.
We pretty much did the same thing until retirement. We each enjoyed the freedom of our own accounts to spend as we llike without asking the other. I invested most of mine throughout the years which gave me the opportunity to give her a few nice gifts (one being a midsize motorcycle) that I knew she wanted. That gives me more pleasure than buying for myself.

I stopped my allowance a year ago since I really don't need to add to my account. I didn't see a need to tell her but now we have a little more in the joint account to play with. Her allowance continues to be transfered automatically every 2 weeks so she can buy new tennis stuff (shoes, balls, rackets, etc.).

My first marriage was a nightmare with money. This time it is MUCH better even after 26 years. Never had an argument about money. Ever!

Cheers!
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #55
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We pretty much did the same thing until retirement. We each enjoyed the freedom of our own accounts to spend as we llike without asking the other. I invested most of mine throughout the years which gave me the opportunity to give her a few nice gifts (one being a midsize motorcycle) that I knew she wanted. That gives me more pleasure than buying for myself.

I stopped my allowance a year ago since I really don't need to add to my account. I didn't see a need to tell her but now we have a little more in the joint account to play with. Her allowance continues to be transfered automatically every 2 weeks so she can buy new tennis stuff (shoes, balls, rackets, etc.).

My first marriage was a nightmare with money. This time it is MUCH better even after 26 years. Never had an argument about money. Ever!

Cheers!
Badger, I am not surprised you and DW have never had an argument about money if you are such a sweetie about it!
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:19 PM   #56
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For those of you that use personal allowances, how do you approach mismatched expenses between spouses?

Some examples: DW pays her hairdresser $80 each month, I spend $10 every other month. She spends more on clothes because "women need more clothes, they need to replace them more often, and they cost more to begin with". Then there's her health/fitness "fad of the quarter", for which I have no counterpart at all.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #57
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For those of you that use personal allowances, how do you approach mismatched expenses between spouses?
With mismatched allowance amounts.

Our system is as follows: DW gets an 'allowance' of 25% of our annual income. From this she pays for groceries, household supplies, her clothing and her personal grooming expenses, which leaves her with a tidy sum for discretionary spending.

From my 75% I pay for everything else.

This system, or a variation thereof, has worked for us for the past 45 years.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:48 PM   #58
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It is not a matter of permission. Until DH retired 3 years ago both DH and I worked full-time during our marriage. However, we put everything in a joint account and I always kept track of spending in a budgeting program. It wasn't a matter of anyone needing to ask permission to do anything. It was to keep track of what we were doing since we had shared goals. We found that to best achieve our goals we do best by having each having an individual spending category. By putting a cap on the individual spending category we make sure that we are meeting our shared goal (we do periodically change the cap). But having the category also helps us meet our individual goal. That is, if I am getting $500 a month spending money and I want to save up for a new iphone, then I might choose to spend $400 of that spending money and accrue $100 a month for the iphone. This works well for us to structure what we each do. But, no one is asking permission to do anything.
Exactly. Not about permission, but rather budgeting another account around planned purchases. Just another part of being responsible with money in our book. As for mismatched "needs" (by definition, none of this account is a "need", but a "want"), we simply agree as to how much we both get each month. That's the only decision we ever need to discuss and it can be changed if we agree to. We both get the same no matter what. I tend to save mine while she usually spends hers each month on little things. We both agree at this point that it's more important to us to save a high percentage of our combined income toward our goals.

I believe that unless both people see the majority of combined income as theirs, there's a tendency to overspend what is viewed as "my" money. The financial losses are only viewed as half, while the benefit of spending is seen as whole. It also can lead to jealousy or petty power struggles between spouses if one earns much more than the other. Marriage is about equal ownership in our book and the cons of this approach (less toys?) are smaller than the significant cons of divorce. This works great for us since DW and I are about equally frugal. Not sure what we'd have done if one of us was a spendthrift.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:52 PM   #59
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For those of you that use personal allowances, how do you approach mismatched expenses between spouses?
For us clothes and haircuts come out of the household budget. For our pocket money DH gets $75/mo and I get $45/mo. He spends all of his every month, I can't find anything to spend mine on so it just accumulates. One time last year I thought, "This is silly, I should try to spend some of this, that's what it's for", so I bought $5 worth of lottery tickets. Then I just felt DUMB. Won't do that again.

It turns out that DH likes to collect stuff, while I like to collect twenty dollar bills. My collection is so much easier to store.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:59 PM   #60
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We have always had joint accounts. My wife takes care of monthly bills, charge cards, and balancing the check book and I take care of investments. I only import her data after the fact, when I reconcile everything in my Quicken screen. I need to know in order to move money to refill the checking account for her to pay bills.

There's no limit on what each of us can spend without telling the other in advance, although for big items such as appliances, furniture, autos, I do not see how one of us would bring it home without consulting the other on style, size, etc... Of course we would be shopping together for those. As far as personal items such as clothing, she usually buys for both of us, as I hate shopping.

My wife can go out with her friends or go shopping, and I do not even care to know how much she spends, which is of course never outrageous. I myself would occasionally bring home an electronic toy of a few hundred dollars, and she does not care either.

In terms of big items like the 2nd home, RV and toad, I have been the one who initiates it, and my wife trusts me when I say we can afford it. I am the investment financial guru, remember?
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