On The Gee and Ursula Show, hosts Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin answer listeners’ questions and discuss what they think you should do.
More scenarios: Should I let my estranged father back into my life for the sake of my children?
Script: I’ve been married for four years, and we’ve agreed to separate our money. It was good because he spends everything he gets and doesn’t have a long term plan, but now I’m worried about him. I offered a joint account. He said ‘okay’, but now he spends everything he earns…and everything I earn.
He keeps buying shit we don’t even need. He says that since his money is in that account, he doesn’t have to say or ask where he spends the money, because technically it’s his money. It’s both our money.
We have found a compromise, and we agree that each of us has our own account. But we both pay equally for whatever he agreed, as long as he can buy whatever he wants with his money in the account. So last night we went out to eat. I assumed that each of us would pay for our own meals. He ordered more dishes than me and two desserts. I asked the waitress for separate bills and my husband looked confused. He said, ‘Aren’t you going to pay for my meal too?’ I told him, ‘It’s his decision that each of us pays for everything individually and that’s what separate finances mean.’ He got mad because he didn’t have enough money in his account to pay for his own dinner, and only has a debit card, no credit card, and he assumed I was paying . This is a problem with us. I need help.
Ursula Reutin: Boy, this looks like a mess that goes far beyond finances. But I will say this, yes, he can’t spend it all. If he has a separate account and a joint account, I mean, whatever he does with the separate account, as long as he doesn’t get in trouble, fine, that’s fine. But this joint account, it’s not up to him to spend every penny too. These are for household expenses. I can just say that what works in our household is that we have separate accounts, and we have a joint account, and we pay all of our bills with the joint account. And we can do whatever we want with this separate account, and it can be for trips, or it can be for automatic savings. Now, I guess I understand that not everyone is able to do that. But it looks like they are able to do something like that. It just needs to be put on a budget. And they need to talk about it. And they may need to hire a financial advisor.
Gee Scott: Good point. Chief, what’s the matter, brother?
Andrew “Chief” Lanier: I’ll be quick. If you don’t save together, you put yourself in financial trouble. I think the only way it works is if you decide together how much each is allowed to spend, and you have separate accounts for that. But otherwise, what happens is you end up spending on your own accounts and you end up having competitive spending battles to see ‘oh, who can spend how much on this toy? How much on this toy? And you only pay the bills? I think you have to save together.
UR: Yes, the saving is huge.
GS: I do not know. Here is the problem I see. You want to have your own account, you want to have a joint account, every couple or marriage is different. But the problem I see in that is that I see a bit of selfishness. No matter how you decide to make the count, don’t be selfish. Lilian and I have our way of doing things. I’m not saying it’s the perfect way, everyone has their own way of doing things. And guys, here’s a tip. Just pay for it. Just go out to eat, food, for some reason women love food. Lilian loves food.
UR: Okay, but they went out to eat and he was mad that she didn’t pay because he had no money, but they think a lot about “it’s my money, it’s your money “. They don’t act like they’re a couple.
AL: I think you would do the same if your husband had emptied your bank account.
UR: If my husband empties my bank account, I probably don’t go out to eat.
GS: I’m not going to lie Chief, you really succeeded. Whatever the situation of the accounts, it is better to save.
Nick the listener: This guy has to watch his back, spend too much at restaurants, his hands are going to be tied without that safety net if she just decides to go out. He’ll be in the back doing the dishes at the restaurant if he doesn’t have his wife with him.
GS: Ursula, I am with you. That’s how Lillian and I do it. We each have our account, and then there are the bills, let’s pay.