Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

I apologize if this post is a topic already here on TAM. I did a search before posting and did not find a post that addressed my situation.

Here is my situation:
1. My wife has been working full time for just a little over a year. When she started her job, she opened a checking account separate from our joint checking account and has been depositing it in that account.
2. My wife did not consult with me before opening her own checking account.
3. My pay has always been deposited in our joint account since we were married 23 years ago. I have never had an account that is mine only.
4. All of our bills are paid from the joint checking account except for one. My wife bought a car last March and is paying the car payment from her account. In the past year, she has paid off a $300 pediatrician's bill. She does not buy groceries on a regular basis, but uses the joint account when she does.
5. My wife does not keep track of her money. When she runs out of money, she spends from the joint account.
6. I get paid twice a month. The last paycheck of the month pays mortgage, utilities, car insurance. The paycheck in the middle of the month pays my car payment, credit cards, miscellaneous bills, cell phones for my wife and two kids, etc.... I rarely have extra money.
7. She will occasionally transfer small amounts of money to the joint account.

I just got paid last Thursday. After bills were paid, I had about $300 left. That has to last me until the 15th.. and I have to pay our daughter's college tuition with that paycheck also. I told my wife that the joint account could not be touched. As of tonight, there is $25 left in the joint account.

I need to do something, whether it is to close the joint account and open my own account or whether it is to insist that she start sharing her paycheck by depositing it in our joint account. That makes more sense to me as we should be able to better manage our money if it is shared.

I know some couples do well without a joint account. Some do well with all their money going to a joint account. The couples I know that do not have a joint account usually also share paying the bills.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:03 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

What percentage of your joint income is your wife earning?
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

I don't know what she makes because I never see her paycheck, but my guess is that she makes about two thirds of what I make.
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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:10 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

Taking money without joint consent is stealing. Or she has a huge sense of entitlement.

First you need to sit down and have (another) conversation with her about $. Tell her how you feel about her taking $ from the joint account for her personal spending when she knew you didn't like that.

Listen to her expectations, and then tell her yours. Hopefully you both can come to an agreement.

If she doesn't follow through with your mutual agreement in January, it is time to take decisive action.

In February, open an account in only your name for your paycheck. Deposit what you believe is a fair amount (1/2 the bills?) into the joint account, and expect her to do the same. Bills will be paid from the joint account, and she cannot take spending money from that account or there won't be enough for bills.

Does she make much money in her job, or is it just for extra spending money.
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:11 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanttolove View Post
I don't know what she makes because I never see her paycheck, but my guess is that she makes about two thirds of what I make.
Have you ever needed the money she makes to run the house?
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:14 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

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Originally Posted by wanttolove View Post
I don't know what she makes because I never see her paycheck, but my guess is that she makes about two thirds of what I make.
You keep saying you are no afraid of your wife but you do not even know how much she makes? Why don't you ask her?

Do you file your taxes jointly? You should be able to see it soon.

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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:17 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

Here is my recommendation. You open up a separate account and you have you automatic deposit into that account. Once that is complete you then to sit down with her and tell that you both need to come to the table and put money in the joint account, if she refuses tell her that delinquent bills will her both your credit score. If she still refuses then start selling items you purchased with your money starting with her car....it may be harsh but she will get the point.
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:20 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

Didn't you start a thread on 12/28 in the General Discussion Forum under "Struggling with Temptation?"
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

I do like the idea about opening an account for myself and depositing a fair amount from each of our paychecks for the bills. Sounds amicable.

Money has always been tight. Budgeting has always been an issue and my wife resists it like the plague. I have always found a way for us to survive on my pay, but it has been a real challenge. At one point, I had to use our one credit card to catch up on three months of delinquent mortgage payments. That was five years ago and the balance on that card is astronomical. For three years after that, her father gave us $2000 every three months to help pay the mortgage and bills.

So, I guess that the answer is that we do need her to work to pay the bills!
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:25 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

I agree that you should open an account in your name only and have your check deposited there.

Then sit down with her and each of you put the amount from your pay that is required to pay your bills ... in a ratio according to each of your's percentage of gross income.

You need to find out what she is earning. It's ridiculous that she has not told you.

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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:29 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

You need to know how much she is making. I can't even fathom not knowing how much your own spouse makes. How could this have gone on for over a year? At this point it's on you too, maybe some conflict avoiding?

Ask to see her online banking, like tonight, you need to know what comes in and out for at least the last 6 months.
After that,
Figure out what your bills are each month, take whatever % of the household income she makes and that's the % of the bills she has to pay for. (so if she makes 25% of the income, she pays 25% of the bills) that money goes into the joint account, you put in the other 75% and the rest you keep in your own account and she keeps hers in hers.

If she refuses then cut down whatever you can in bills (tv, memberships, etc) and put your money in your own account and pay the bills through it.
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

[QUOTE=Duguesclin;14544929]

When I file taxes in a few weeks, I will know the answer to that question.
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

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Originally Posted by SlowlyGoingCrazy View Post
You need to know how much she is making. I can't even fathom not knowing how much your own spouse makes. How could this have gone on for over a year? At this point it's on you too, maybe some conflict avoiding?

Ask to see her online banking, like tonight, you need to know what comes in and out for at least the last 6 months.
After that,
Figure out what your bills are each month, take whatever % of the household income she makes and that's the % of the bills she has to pay for. (so if she makes 25% of the income, she pays 25% of the bills) that money goes into the joint account, you put in the other 75% and the rest you keep in your own account and she keeps hers in hers.

If she refuses then cut down whatever you can in bills (tv, memberships, etc) and put your money in your own account and pay the bills through it.
Good suggestions and much appreciated. Thanks!

And yes, definitely some conflict avoiding. Discussing anything with my wife is frustrating. Had a fight with her today because she got upset with me for telling her that we had new health insurance cards (seriously, it's true).
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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:46 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

i have a different opinion than most

My wife and I have separate accounts now.

We did not used to but she discussed separating at one point about 15 months ago and I took the steps needed to protect myself including separating finances, cell phone accounts etc.

I pay the bills I would have to pay if i was single and she does the same.

We share the rest equally and pay for those we individually agree to.

I don't care what she makes and she does not ask what I make.

I am not willing to put money in a joint account now that I am well aware that separation is a solution she would ever consider.

As for conflict avoidance, I don't avoid conflict. I address it head on. I state my position and its done when its not a negotiable.

When it is negotiable, I ask her preferences.

I lead. It works for us.
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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:48 PM
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Re: Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay

I can't imagine how you could accept not knowing what she makes.

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