Need Some Finance advice...what Kind of Budget Works Best for Your Marriage?

Updated on January 05, 2012
L.F. asks from Cartersville, GA
16 answers

I am a SAHM to 2 young kids. My husband is our money maker at this time. I love him but he is really bad with money. I decided to open my own bank acct. Does anyone know if my husband's check can be direct deposited in my acct.? We have tried for me to take his card, etc. but he just takes money out. I haven't asked him yet so don't know he will respond.

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M.F.

answers from Portland on

It's OUR money.
He works out of the home.
I work as a mom inside the home.
He respects what I do and sees it as a job, not just me sitting home doing nothing.
He has said numerous times how grateful he is that I am able to care for our daughter and how much he respects my job as a mom...

So in our minds, we both work.
The money in the bank is our money and we both have access to it.

We NEVER spend ANY money with out talking to eachother first.
We know exactly what is being spent and what it is being spent on.

We both access the bank account online regularly to check the balance before making a purchase or paying a bill.

We don't have a lot of "fun money" and have to be careful about what we spend so that we do not get in any trouble.

When the check is direct deposited, whomever sees it first says "We got paid!"
as the time of day may vary.

We NEVER use checks, its cash or debit card, checks are just trouble.
No credit cards either, if we don't have the cash, we dont get the item.

2 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

You need to be on the same page with your finances for starters.

We have joint accounts but we are both very anal about our money and how we spend it. We do not budget, we buy what we need, when we need and we don't ask permission to buy things either. We are huge planners.

I manage the checkbook, reconcile my banking online daily. Yes, I know, a bit OCD about it. However, I also manage all the financials with our company we run from home and I am always on Quickbooks and running reconciliations on all the business accounts as well. We are very prudent with our finances, we keep high balances in to maintain free checking and other perks. We currently bank with BOA and Chase.

I don't know if you can direct deposit his check to your account if his name is not on the account. You'll have to talk to the bank about that.

He needs to learn delayed gratification and basic finances. He is not some kid... he is a married man and he needs to understand that his not being responsible will hurt his family.

Good for you for keeping up with things as well as you do. Again, you must be on the same page.

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B..

answers from Dallas on

For us, the best budget is the one *I* come up with. We have one account. My husband respects me enough, to not spend outside the budget. (There is ALWAYS discussions between the two of us, if there is a desire to spend outside of all the things we allow for.) My husband doesn't feel more entitled to spending money, just because he is the sole provider. That may be part of your problem...

My husband would spend like crazy, if I wasn't in control of the money.

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L.A.

answers from Dallas on

Cozi solved so many fights for us. As an app, it works best if you both have smartphones, but the website is really useful too. It's a family organizer that both adults can access. Calendar, shopping lists, to-do list, etc. You can create your own lists under each category.

To help us manage our spending (frittering...) we set up 2 lists under the To-Do category. One is titled Bills and we enter a bill as soon as it gets to us with the due date. The program automatically puts this due date on your calendar.

The other list is Expenditures. Every penny we spend we put it in the list. Once the item is entered into our Excel spreadsheet I check it as "completed". Cozi strikes it through but the item stays on the list until you clear it out. Only once the transaction has cleared our bank account do we clear it off the list. Now we almost never forget about that cup of coffee, etc that we're still waiting to clear the bank.

I love that everyone can access Cozi so no one has "control" over schedules or budgets. My husband loves that all my appointments and playdates aren't scribbled on bits of paper all over the desk.

At the end of the day, what will work is whatever you can both get on board with. Cozi was it for us. Maybe it could help your family too!

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K.P.

answers from New York on

We have a joint account, but I am the "bill payer" while my husband is the "long-term planner". It works for us. We also don't make any "big purchases" without consulting one another and looking at expected expenses in the next few months.

Your husband can have his check deposited into your account, but HE has to go to his employer and complete the direct deposit form. As long as HE authorizes it and completes the form, he can have all or a specific percentage put into your account. Just a thought... have a small part of his check (his "fun money") put into his account and the rest into yours. That way, when he's run out of "his money" he can't access the rest.

Good luck with this!

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A.F.

answers from Norfolk on

We share one checking account. I am a SAHM and pretty much control the flow of money b/c I pay the bills, grocery shop, and what else is needed. He use to take out like 40 for the month to do w/ what he wants -usually snacks for lunch at work or whatever. But he doesn't do that much anymore. If its any big purchases we consult eachother, or if he wants to get something, he'll ask if we have the money for it.

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E.M.

answers from Louisville on

if you cant talk openly with him about money than somethings not right. you will have to ask the bank about the direct deposite thing

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C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

My grandparents had that issue. My grandfather was really bad with money. My grandmother was in charge of the checking account. She paid all the bills, and with the money left over, she would give my grandfather an "allowance" in cash. That was his money to spend for the week, and if he ran out, he ran out. Of course if he wanted to buy something bigger, he would just tell her and she would then budget for it and give him the cash when he could go buy it. This method worked for them. If your husband has a tendency to go to the bank and withdraw money from the teller, then yes, I think the best option would be to have the money in an account with only your name. You can direct deposit a check to any bank account, I believe. Of course your husband would have to agree to it.

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My husband and I both work full-time and he is retired from the Navy.

My check is deposited into what was once only my account. This is also the account that we use to pay 85% of our bills and we use for our daily needs (gas, groceries, fun stuff, etc).

His work check is deposited into the account we opened a couple of years after we were married. This pays for our 3 vehicles and the rest is then transferred into "my" account where I pay all of our bills - I simply prefer this bank over the other two we have so I move all of the money into here for anything that is not paid automatically out of the other accounts.

His retirement check is deposited into his account. My name is not on that account, but I have access through his card and banking information that he gave me. I also transfer most of this into "my" account to pay bills. I leave enough in there each month to cover our insurance bills.

So we have a yours, mine, and ours kind of thing going :).

But I handle ALL the money. He only spends what I tell him he has to spend in a two week period if he doesn't want a fight.

When he handled the money, he'd take us all out to dinner thinking the money way there, but then the electric bill wouldn't clear. That happened a few times and I took complete control. We're now on a steady path to being debt free and rebuilding our savings after him being out of work for some time.

Really you both need to be on the same page. If he is going to spend, spend, spend, he might want to consider a part-time gig to fund his WANTS and then the rest of the money is handled by you?

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I hear ya!!

We actually have 3 accounts. Mine, his, ours. I earn my own money. My check goes into mine, his into his, and then there is ours. Money in our 'private' accounts can be spent however we want. When he's low on money or what have you, i tell him to use the joint acct. he doesn't use it unless he checks with me first.

It also gives him a bit of freedom and pride because he doesn't have to check with me for every little thing, but at the same time, when needed I can quickly transfer money to his private account.

We also took off the overdraft option on all of the accounts. He kept missing entries and bouncing stuff at $35. The final straw was the $3. meal at McDs that cost us $70 in overdraft fees. he hadn't written down a $50 purchase. Grumble. We now have balance text alerts on all accounts so that when and account goes below $10. I know.

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D.G.

answers from Chattanooga on

Pretty much all of our money is ours in my family. He is on SSD and me I'm going to be in process of trying to get it . But we pay all the bills, get everything we need for house, kids, etc. Then if we have any extra we talk bout any fun stuff . He has to learn not to blow cash as even putting it in your account won't help much in long run

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

They can direct deposit his check into any account he authorizes. It sounds like you should be in charge of the finances; hopefully your husband will be on board with that.

Ask your husband if Catherine C.'s advice would work for him.

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A.J.

answers from Clarksville on

I would sign up for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace. (if you sign up for it at a church, it is only $100 for a couple--even if you don't attend the class) My husband and I were debt free except for our house before the class) and it really helped us see how to better manage our money. It was also helpful in opening up conversations about money. I have attended 1 class and facilitated 2. It's a great program.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

If hubby's company offers direct deposit, he can instruct them to transfer funds directly into your account.

What's always worked for us (married 18 years) is to look at it as our money (we both work). When we first met, he was horrible with money. It took some time for me to make him understand that I would not live paycheck to paycheck and that we needed to come to an agreement about how we would spend our money and what was more important to us. Lay it all out in black and white and prepare a budget that you can both agree upon.

E.A.

answers from Erie on

My husband signs his checks over to me or direct deposits them into an account in only my name (he works two different places). We do this for a couple of reasons but mostly because, bless him, he's terrible with money and needs to be watched like a hawk. He really is that clueless. I pay all the bills, do the budget, etc... and he doesn't have to worry that the bills are paid. He's good at making the money, I'm good at budgeting it. It works for us. I go over major budget changes with him when necessary, but mostly I'm in control of it all and he's happy to not have to worry about it.
This arrangement was actually suggested to me by a financial manager when I was trying to save money and dh kept sabotaging it, this happened early in our marriage. The guy told me to take control or live with never being able to pay our bills on time, that dh would eventually get over it. I know you can teach some people to be good with a budget, my dh is not one of those people. He's good at LOTS of stuff, just not that.

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I would say have it written down how much money he is going to give you on payday and what your responsibilities are with it. For instance, if you are supposed to pay the electric bill you must have the bill present to know how much is needed for you to pay it in full.

Then you also need to have some spending money that is yours, you can buy bubble gum with it and it is not ever brought up. If you need more money because the bill is higher than expected he can't say "Well, I gave you an extra $50 last payday, you should have that money so use it to pay the extra money on the bill". That extra money is blow money, for blowing on yourself, on coffee with the girls, for bubble gum if that is what you want. I put a bit of mine in a savings account when I get some, it's not very often I get much of anything. When I get money I spend it on milk, bread, cheese, etc...and do without stuff for me.

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