SO-You Finances split

Tangent from a reddit financial sub. How do you and your SO split your finances and financial decisions? 50-50? Joint accounts? Seperate accounts?

Our accounts are 100% joint, and all funds are family funds. I have 0 information or control over our daily finances. I know vaguely where our chequing accounts are, but have never logged on. I wouldn’t know how to pay a bill. My SO has full control over all that. If I want cash for coffee, I generally have to ask. I do have a debit and cc, but I’m not much of a spender. I’ve no interest in this stuff, it’s not tied to any control concerns with me, it’s just administrative and I’m happy to offload. Basically I have 0 interest in needing to have $200 in an account that I can spend without oversight.

My SO otoh cedes pretty much 100% of our earning income ability to me. They work with me, but the household income is still determined by me. Similar to my lack of concern over control over the daily stuff, they don’t have any concern about control over their earning ability. Both of us I think are a bit extreme in what we care about having control over.

Separate accounts because we are lazy. I do all the financial stuff, including taxes, bills, and investing for us. Some payments come from their account, some from mine but I have access to all. While my wife doesn’t fully understand all of the financial dealings/implications, I always tell her what I’m doing and she is learning more and more every time. We are essentially 50/50 in terms of earnings and spending even though I steer the decision making mostly.

In terms of spending, it’s sort of an unofficial guideline that any purchases over $100 we bring up with one another. We are both fairly frugal. Even though she doesn’t care, I stay out of her credit card statements for privacy (like I never want her feeling guilty about buying fast food for lunch or something if she thinks I’m combing through her statements).

Joint accounts. My wife pays everything.

If I want to buy something, I use the debit card.

Its rare that I spend more than $100 at a time.

I have no idea what’s in my bank account or my retirement accounts. I kinda don’t want to know.

Numbered for my convenience.

  1. Little things: no need to discuss. Big things, over $100 or some monthly expense, we’ll discuss it. Monthly things (utilities): we generally try our best to save money on them.
  2. We’ve been married long enough that our assets (and debts) are 50/50.
  3. Joint accounts.

No way I could live with asking someone else for my hard-earned $20 every time I wanted to spend it.

100% joint. I am the sole earner, but even when she worked it wasn’t close.

She controls the checkbook. If I want cash I ATM and let her know how much and I have credit card in my name I control, that I use for gifts, my vices (cigars), but enough other things that we get points for, so when time to pay off, nit obvious what a gift cost.

Oddie and me have an interesting setup…

When I first started working in the U.S., we made about the same amount, but because he pays child support (joint custody, right) and alimony (for 10 f------ years), I basically write him off. So when he moved in with me I continued to pay all the same bills and he paid for whatever he still had (like the second car, his cellphone, kids’ healthcare, other misc. kid stuff that he is still required to pay half of for more unfair contractual reasons).

So Oddie income works like a savings account, both because he doesn’t pay (as many) major bills as I do & because he is not an impulse spender (unlike me). He actually paid more on the new house down payment than I did, and is paying off my car with a contingency loan on his 401 k that was actually for the house (but we didn’t need to use). I’ll probably pay him back to get rid of that other loan shortly, especially now that I make 30% more than I did before.

It was nice to have Oddie’s job still intact when I lost mine, and it was a scary place to be when I didn’t know if I was going to be employable for the next 5-7 months while waiting for my green card. A recruiter at Brighthouse saved my ass at that time and I probably should have stuck around longer to thank her, but such is life.

Epilogue: I do the kids healthcare now because it’s like $350 a month for the whole family and I was told that I shouldn’t lose that deal. I also cannot wait until we have 2 full incomes and more money than I would know what to do with. It’ll be nice.

I’m always surprised when fellow actuaries don’t track their finances.

For us: 2 joint accounts, 1 is essentially in-out money for the mortgage and the other is everything else. I track all of our finances and check in at least weekly, manage all credit card bills and investment allocations and give my partner an Annual Report (or maybe a little more often than that, but actuary humor).

Edit1: Actually come to think of it, the mortgage account is fully in my name, we just haven’t ventured out during pandemic to get my partner’s name on it too. Otherwise it would be joint.

Edit2: We’ve almost never had to negotiate financial stuff… My partner wanted a pricey landscaping job that I didn’t care about, but we saved up for it over several months.

100% joint account. Our bills are on autopay. We mention largish transactions (>$200) but neither of us is a gatekeeper on those, just more of a mention thing. We both have separate credit cards that auto-pay each month from our bank account - I monitor the overall size of the accounts and will potentially shift more into checking if we have a very large (>$1,000) expense coming up. I know roughly the amounts that my credit card and hers are going to come out to each month, but we both fluctuate in our spend usually within a few hundred dollars. We don’t budget even though we could probably save more since budgeting and tracking our spend adds way more stress to both of us than we care for, and thankfully we are well off enough that without budgeting we still can get basically anything we want.

For large expenses like remodeling, vacations, cars, houses we obviously align on what a good price range is and what we feel comfortable with.

It’s an OCD thing that I’ve shed, clearing my mind for more important causes, like curing cancer. And drinking.

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I absolutely do not track anything I outlined above.

My entire financial plan consists of:
(1) Do I get paid enough to cover the monthly bills? Yes, go to step 2. No, WTF get a job you bum.
(2) Are you contributing to your pension? Yes, go to step 3. No, WTF get a plan you bum.
(3) Is there money left over? Yes, SPEND IT… I mean… just kidding… but it’s okay if you spend some of it. Go to step 4. No, WTF get a boyfriend that isn’t a bum.
(4) Have you hit an even number like 10 k just sitting in your checking account? Yes, don’t ever spend enough such that it will break that barrier unless you are paying off a credit card or a loan in one large lump sum. If you can maintain this level consistently, proceed to step 5. No, keep waiting at this step until you do. But also, probably buy those shoes you wanted.
(5) I am not often at step 5, but I might be this year and then boy will things get crazy when I start investing or something like a real gawd damn adult!

Lol, I hope you are at least investing your matching % in your 401k. Otherwise that seems fine, I’m definitely excessive with my tracking. I have an 8-12 year plan (depending on market performance).

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I think I am anyway… I get paid monthly and the pension didn’t kick in yet (I started mid-November). I think I’ll start seeing something go through tomorrow, hopefully.

Ah right. Forgot that you were in a new position. You are a recent Canadian expatriate to the US, correct?

It’s all one big pot of money to us. She pays most of the bills, mostly because she lives in fear of a bill being late, but we make any large decisions together.

Yep, which means I also have some locked-in pension monies chilling in Canada, and a little bit of pension/HSA currently sitting at a former employer in the US. I like to call this my diversification plan.

Also I’m surprised at all the $100 notification limits in here - Oddie only wants a shoutout at $500*.

*But this high limit may be because he knows I, uh, do what I want.

When we first got together, it was split by percentage of household income. They made more, they paid more. As my income grew, it shifted the other way. Now that they are permanently disabled, I pay all bills, and their disability income pays for vacations (which helps them feel like they’re contributing, pushes us to take more vacations than I would be willing to pay for, and allows me to invest more than they would, if they were in charge of saving).

We don’t have a single joint account. Perils of both previously being married to people who cleaned out bank accounts without notice.

ETA: Oh, I’m wrong, we do have a joint CC that never gets used. And we’re both on the house deed, but it’s only me on the mortgage.

I would be a bit annoyed at spending over $100 without mentioning it unless it was some kind of surprise gift, etc. Not furious, but we had one incident where my partner had made regular $250 purchases monthly for months, without telling me, and that became a small tiff that we worked out.

Joint savings and separate checking. I fund the savings because my earnings are 95% of the family earnings, because she focused on the kids and just coaches figure skating a couple of nights a week.

I earn 100% of the income. Maybe when kids are all in school my wife will find a job. If she does it will hopefully be just because she wants to and not because we need it.

I also run the budget (I love!), but we both talk about our financial goals. We treat all money as “our” money. All accounts are joint accounts. When we were newlywed and poor (I think we made $17k together our first year of marriage) we talked about every little purchase and my wife was the one to make sure she could feed us on our limited income (coupons, WIC, etc.). Now that we are much more comfortable, we don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s nice to be able to get small things (<$50) without having to wait for them.