Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Couples Money Management

In our marriage DH and I are like the CEO and CFO of a company. But I've found that as the CFO, I manage and pay every single bill. Previously my DH attempted to pay one bill a month, but it was perpetually late, irritating me to no end. Hence I took over the bill paying completely.

When I read about couples who segregate their money I wonder how can they do it? How can they manage 3 different checking accounts for mine, yours, and ours? I have enough trouble staying on top of 1 checking account such that I think I would probably lose all three. Plus how would you delegate who pays the bills from "our" checkbook?

We ended up going with a joint everything because we didn't have enough money to keep things seperate. We made so little as graduate students and our mortgage, etc was so high that it took two paychecks to make ends meet. And if we didn't want our checks to bounce then we needed to pool our resources. We were making $42k gross at the time.

So DH ended up being like a CEO, where he helped make major decisions. But I would pay all the bills, make minor decisions, and oversee our general finances as a CFO of our company. This may not work for many couples. It relies on trust especially on the CEO's part that the CFO is paying all bills on time, and not overspending.

I can see how this could strain a marriage because often time the "saver" in the relationship manages the books, but the spender doesn't care. In our relationship I'm the spender so it's probably a bit skewed that I manage the money. But I think because I do, it curbs my spending tendancies because I know exactly how much money we have.

Hence my suggestion to spender/saver couples, make the spender pay all the bills. They'll soon curb their habits when they start to see the big picture. If you want to get out of debt, make the spender see how the debt is affecting your family finances directly and the point will hit home fast.

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