6.21.2009

When a Spender marries a Saver

otherwise known as I might die if we have to combine bank accounts.

As the days inch closer to my wedding, according to the knot only 69 more days (insert scream of panic and excitement here), I am starting to worry more about "combining our lives." Now we already live together so that step is taken care of and I've already forced nicely asked K to get rid of the ugly leather couches that used to reside in our living room. We already have a good idea of who does which household chores, Me: ALL OF THEM, K: take out the trash, we have a really good bill paying system worked out to. I guess I just never imagined that I might have to combine bank accounts with him until my recently married friend M said "It's hard to do secret shopping now that we combined our bank accounts." I'm pretty sure at that moment my face turned white and my mouth dropped to the floor, YOU COMBINED BANK ACCOUNTS??? WHAT?? Now he's going to see everything that your buying! I probably scared her half to death but she sweetly responded "Yeah well luckily J let's me shop and doesn't really care." To which I am pretty sure I responded "YOU ARE SO LUCKY, CAN I MARRY J?"

The man I am about to marry refuses to purchase anything new. If he became president, America would become a third world county. He literally put on a dress shirt for work the other day and asked if I could see the HUGE rip in the sleeve, YES I CAN SEE THE RIP THROW THE SHIRT AWAY to which he responded Nah, I'll just save it to wear out or to dinner and roll my sleeves up. Me: No, you can still see the rip. K: So who cares? It's not like I'm trying to make a fashion statement. When I brought home my shower gifts he couldn't understand why we could possibly need new plates when the mismatch of plates we have worked perfectly well. We have screens in our windows with holes in them that let bees into the house, but apparently $5.99 for new screen is a "rip off." I've only received flowers once because and I quote "Why would I waste my money on something that is going to die in one week?"
As I've mentioned before in my blog every purchase we make has to be "a good investment." This is what happens when you date an accountant/financial analyst. He actually sent me a cost benefit analysis of our honeymoon equipped with a chart to see how much money we would save going with option 1 vs option 2, talk about romantic!!

I am a spender, I always have been. As my Dad used to say "Money just burns a hole in your pocket. " I pretty much have my entire paycheck spent before I even get it. I will admit to making very frivolous purchases in my past but I have come a long way in the past few years. I have a savings account and I am better at making purchases that I need not just stuff I want because I have the money to spend. I have learned in our relationship to keep the peace between a spender and a saver is to slowly introduce my new purchases one at a time. Which usually consists of me taking one piece of clothing, ripping the tags off and hanging it in our closet so that way when I go to wear it you can't tell how long it's been in there. I'm sorry but I love my shopping and I can't help it!

I fear the joint account because I fear the scrutiny of every purchase I make. I can just hear the phone calls now, K: "Umm, $3.50 at Wawa, was that for coffee? Did you get a donut too? Don't you think $3.50 is a bit much to spend at Wawa? or K: "$65 at Nordstrom, that better be a really cute pair of shoes you got or else they're going back to you know what else we could get for $65"


K likes the idea of a joining account so he can "monitor" my shopping habits more, not in a controlling way though just in a why don't you save that $100 instead of buying a new dress way. I suggested that we have one joint account for stuff like bills, groceries, activities together and then we each keep our own accounts to use for our own purchases. He's open to that idea too because he will admit to you that he will scrutinize everything I buy.

So married bloggy friends do you have a joint account?

14 comments :

  1. We have a joint account, we actually started that about 1 year before we got married. It works well for us because I have been a full time student since we started dating. If we had separate accounts, I'd be living on the streets because, obviously, I don't bring in a whole lot of cash.

    In our marriage, we are both savers, although I am probably a little more so. I am the one who calls him and say, "hmm, so I see 5.99 at Home Depot? What was that for, dear?"

    All in all, the joint account works for us. We believed it to be the right choice but I know many couples who do completely separate or like you said, one joint and then each have a separate account as well.

    I will say this -- the joint account makes it tough to buy gifts for each other.

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  2. Everything we have is joint. We are both big savers and we each have a set amount to frivolously spend each month. Most of the time we don't use it all though, because neither of us are big shoppers.


    Buying gifts for each other isn't usually a big deal either because we don't use credit cards; we use solely cash, so we know the money is being spent but there isn't an electronic trail of the store/amount, etc.

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  3. After we get married next year we plan to have a joint account for bills and then each have a separate account for our own spending, that way he can't yell at me for buying shoes and I can't yell at him for buying more fishing poles. Right now we have one joint credit card and savings account but those are strictly for wedding expenses/saving.

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  4. Matt and I will not be doing a joint back account and if we do it'll be for stuff around the house like groceries and bills.

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  5. We have a joint account together and I have a separate account from before I met him. I am in school again and thus not making any money so I kinda live off the joint account and do not try to spend much. But when I get money for holidays or earn a few dollars on the side he is wonderful and lets me put that into my account since I get such limited income and spend hardly any of his on non-essential items (i.e. spending only on food, gas, tutition, etc.).
    We have talked about what we are going to do when I finish school and get a job. We have decided to divide my income into a few categories. One half of my income will go towards savings to spend on the house (i.e. kitchen renovations and furniture) and one-fourth will go to savings that he will invest for retirement. And the final one-fourth will go to my kitty to use for clothes/presents/etc. and spend as I see fit. We decided to use this plan due to the fact that eventually we will have kids and I might not work. Thus we are not putting my income into our living expenses. It will go to things that will be easier to cut back on.

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  6. We have joint accounts. We also have separate accounts (he has tax accounts for work) and I just never closed my individual account.
    When I was working, it wasn't a big deal, but now that I am a stay at home mom, I watch what I spend b/c of the income loss

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  7. Ryan and I have joint accounts and I'm a spender too so I know how you feel. But it all manages to work out. I think every couple is different; different incomes, different expenses, different situations so you have to do what feels right for you guys! Either way, I know you'll figure it out;)

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  8. Nat, Have you heard of Dave Ramsey? B and I went through his 14 week class prior to being married so that we could both "be on the same page" before tying the knot. IT WAS SO WORTH IT. (And, yes, I had to practically DRAG B in the doors every week...but halfway through, he was totally in to it!)

    Not only does he talk budgeting, but also every other financial move you might make in your entire life...planning for Christmas to buying a house to saving for retirement.

    He's Biblically based, but minimally intrusive - no bashing you over the head with scripture.

    And, back to the original question, B and I have joint accounts with a set amount of "blow money" that can be used by each of us every month. Works for us :)

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  9. Dave and I will have joint accounts when we get married, but also separate checking accounts so we can buy each other gifts without the other knowing, and obviously shop for ourselves too. We haven't working out the complete logistics of it all yet, but we have 9 months to go! So a good amount of time to figure it out. :)

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  10. We do have a joint account. It was a little unnerving, but it's been easier than I thought. I am a spender, but I also love a bargain, so I don't spend a ton. And he's had to come around to seeing quite a bit of money spent at Target. As long as neither one of us OVER-spends (spends money we don't have), than we agreed prior that neither had a reason to get upset. Just talk about it and lay ground rules you can both live with BEFORE you join accounts.

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  11. i don't have one yet but i read in a magazine (which is where i get all my good info) that a good system is to set a number - say $50 - where it's okay for either of you to spend that much a week on personal stuff with no questions asked. Anything over the amount you choose would need to be discussed. obvi you would choose the dollar amount to fit your real budget.

    anyway, that way you won't get into convos about a frappacino and must-have DSW sale shoes but if you're going to get that Chanel wallet then maybe it's okay that you hafta talk to your husband about it? that's just me though.

    also, be sure to wait til your married before joining accounts! :)

    oh, another also: i'm not married and have never shared an account with anyone. what do i know?

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  12. This post sounds exactly like a what a friend of mine deals with. He is a saver and she is more of a spender. They have joint accounts and he gets on the computer everyday and monitors purchases. She said that sometimes he'll even say, "how was lunch at fill in the blank?" and she just shakes her head.

    We do not have a joint account, but I would like to get one started in the next few months. We do have a joint savings and try never to touch that money.

    I am so excited to hear that you're a Philly sports fan...yay for that :)

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  13. My advice is to go with a joint account for bills where half of both paychecks go for bills and living cost and then seprate accounts for personal spending money. That is what hubby and I did when I was working.
    Now that I'm a stay at home mom, we just set up a certain amount of his paycheck to go into my account for my personal spending money for the month. Sometimes I stick it into my savings ya know my MAD money, but most of the time it ends up at Macys LOL. Plus it still gives us our own money for presents and stuff.

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