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Old 12-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #81
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Ugh tough one... I must have PTSD from my ex because reading OP's post was hitting on some deep feels I must still have buried down deep.

Money wasn't the #1 problem in marriage, but it became a bit of a war and certainly seeded resentment. To the point that my ex would use our grocery bill to purchase gift cards ($100-300 a month worth) to then use to buy her friends drinks at restaurants, or clothes at stores while hiding the activity inside our "budget"... when I would question her about why the grocery bill was $900 in a given month, she didn't want to talk about it.

I just give that example to show that ignoring the issue and thinking it'll go away is not a good way to handle things. I'd definitely recommend talking to a financial counselor and even a marriage counselor. It's possible that getting a third perspective will open both your eyes to a compromise or common ground. Sounds like the way things are right now there will be resentment in one direction or the other... at least if you guys can meet half way, maybe then you can both feel good about the situation being met in the middle.

I will say, the one saving grace (my perspective to be clear, though I'm sure it echos most of the rest of this board) was 401k contributions. The happy ground I got to with my ex was ... I maximized my (our? I mean right? haha) and with company match that means $2,000 a month was going into 401k without us being able to touch it... the rest always got spent. Which I didn't like, but I was always content to see the retirement growing.

Despite our other problems, my ex didn't want to be in debt, she just loved to spend everything we currently had. So realizing this, we always felt like we were living paycheck to paycheck, but were lucky to avoid debt.

When we divorced... we split a $300K account after 8 years... I think she got about $100K cash after the distribution, which she instantly bought a car, and house (new husband) with... I was able to rebuild on my $150K and am approaching $450K just 6 years later. So though I'd be much further along... at least I didn't have to start over entirely.

I give this example just to show, there are ways to save, without controlling the whole family budget. Get the money into savings before you guys can even have a discussion about where it goes and towards what.

Wishing you luck!
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:08 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
Money wasn't the #1 problem in marriage, but it became a bit of a war and certainly seeded resentment.
My mom and dad had separate budgets, and separate expenditure categories. My dad controlled my mom, or tried to, and it caused a lot of resentment, to the point that my mom used spending as her only method of exerting power. At first, she wasted tons of money, then later, created a secret savings account, and started saving money separately. If they had figured out a way to have a healthy relationship, they could have saved much more, and lived happier lives together, possibly not ending in divorce. But what I learned was that each had their spending priorities. My dad liked to spend on travel, computers, photography, and tech. My mom on house and home, entertainment, clothes, books, and magazines. She overbought, and wasted lots of $ on food we threw away, and on books and magazines that were never read.

It's hard...I'm focused on saving as much as possible to retire as early as possible, and my wife is currently outspending me! Since both partners almost never have the same income, nor the same priorities, marriage will always be about some level of compromise... [disclosure: I'm only at year 5.5].
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:34 PM   #83
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+1

Early on, Mr. A. asked me to take over the household finances. He did not even balance his checkbook - just trusted that his salary would cover his spending - and he bounced a couple of checks.

He knew I was a saver, who'd watch every dollar. After all, I had arrived in the work force with no money, and in less than six years had bought a house. Meanwhile, I knew his deep-down philosophy was to pay bills immediately and not carry debt; his strategy was correct; he just hated tactics. And he wanted someone else to be the one to say "Uh-uh, we can't buy that this month, gotta wait."

It's eclectic, but it's worked.

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The issue is not about you controlling the money or there being a power imbalance...
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