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Friday, June 25, 2010

Buck Stop

I am always fascinated by how different people handle their money.

Before I moved 300 miles away from my husband, I handled all the money in the house. The buck stopped with me and I was responsible for making sure the bills were paid and the bank account was reconciled every month.

Why?

Because Greg had a bad habit of rounding everything in the check register to the highest dollar, so the bank statement always said we had more than what the checkbook reflected. Even today, he'll pay more than what he owes on his bills, knowing they'll just credit him the difference next month.

Drives me crazy.

Despite, his generous record keeping, he's been really good at being frugal even without my help. And even though we have different ways of handling money, I've always trusted him.

Shocking as it was, we even pooled our money together BEFORE we got married and created a joint checking account. I don't think any relationship expert would recommend it, but that's how sure I was about him.

My sister and best friend paled in horror when they learned how cavali
er I had been about my money, sharing it with a man I had barely known more than a couple of years.

They, on the other hand, not only kept separate checking accounts from their mates, but divided the household expenses so that each party is responsible for certain bills every month.

What shocks me is that my friend says she doesn't know how much money her husband has in his account and he doesn't know what's in hers.

Horrors! That would be sacrilege in my house.

She insists that it works for them...most of the time. There was a bit of a hiccup that one time when he bought a motorcycle with his money.

She didn't speak to him for two weeks. Ouch!

If Greg had done that, I can promise you, you would've heard me in the next state.

How about you? Do you share and share alike or do you divide the bills?

And the more important question: Has your mate ever bought an expensive toy without consulting you first?

In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you Greg bought a motorcycle once, but I'm fairly certain I was drugged, sleep deprived, and conned into it. When I came to my senses, he swore up and down I told him it was okay.

He must have asked his other wife.
Evil Dumb Maria.

Exhibit A: Does this look like something a sane woman would let her husband buy?

I rest my case.

***


The Blog Shout-Out Contest is still going on. You have until next week to submit your blog for a grand shout-out. See the sticky above for instructions.


I've come across some great ones so far and I'm looking forward to telling you about them. I'll only post a few a day so I won't drown you in links and it'll give you a chance to visit everyone. I think you'll like the people I've found.

Keep 'em coming.

19 comments:

Joanne said...

Definitely share and share alike here. We've been operating like that for decades now, no problem. It's become a way of life. No unexpected toys, either. And omg, I'd be afraid to ride that fancy bike there. Do you still have it?

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne:

Ref: bike

Nope. A little old lady on a cell phone ran a stop sign and HIT him. Totaled the bike and gave me the worst scare. I drove those 300 miles like a maniac to reach him.

He replaced the bike with the same make. It still makes me shudder.

I think he's trying to drive me to an early grave.

Marianne Arkins said...

Not only do DH and I pool everything now, we had a joint account before we got married AND bought a house together about sic months before our wedding! LOL...

I used to be the primary breadwinner, now he is. But I handle the money -- frugal is NOT his middle name. And, we discuss any purchases more than $50 or so (except for the routine ones, like groceries).

As an aside, he had a motorcycle when we were dating. I told him I wouldn't marry a man with one. He sold it shortly after that pronouncement.

Of course now he has a snowmobile....

*sigh*

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne:

Ref: Of course now he has a snowmobile....

:sigh: They always find something.

After a series of boats, guns and motorcycles, I used to threaten Greg that there is no way he could find another hobby more expensive.

So he took up flying.

I kept my mouth shut after that.

Kait Nolan said...

We keep things separate but like you, the buck stops with me. I'm on his account. He isn't on mine. We pay certain bills out of each account. We will never ever have fully joint funds because HE DOESN'T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN and never balances his checkbook. He just relies on the online balance at the bank being right and his own memory for remembering what he spent and what hasn't cleared.

I, on the other hand, am the child of two bankers and was taught fiscal responsibility at a very early age.

It's been a process...

Maria Zannini said...

Kait:

Talk about opposites attracting. That's wild.

At least he doesn't fight you on it.

PS Thanks for entering the contest. Shout outs coming soon!

Sherri said...

Hubby and I pooled our money before we got married, too...even bought a house together before we were actually engaged, LOL

We have a general rule that any purchases over our set amount must be talked about before bought. That being said, hubby did buy a huge flat screen tv without talking to me. Yep, I'm sure they heard me all the way to Hoover Dam when UPS delivered that box. He pleaded his case and the tv is still here but it's a real good thing his easy chair is so easy to sleep in *g* Think he slept there for about a week.

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri:

Oh, man. TVs are a constant source of acrimony in our house. He had to fight me to get those hi def jobbies.

Sing it, sister! I got your back. LOL.

barbaraannwright said...

My husband once came home with a car. It think it was supposed to be a surprise, but I didn't want it. I was smug when it broke down several months later.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara:

:GULP: A car? Mine would be in the woodshed for sure. LOL.

Wendy Ramer said...

I think Greg slipped you a ruffie on the motorcycle thing.

As for my marital expenses, joint all the way. Not sure how smart it is, but I handle the bills/day-to-day money and he handles the investments. Seems to work for us.

catie james said...

See that's just one more item on my Reasons for Not Getting Married list. Hey, I'm an only child! We're terrible at sharing. :) (I am (partially) kidding.)

Maria Zannini said...

Wendy:

Whatever works in each family is the right thing. While it baffles me to see how my sister and friend can split their accounts, it's worked for them for decades.

...and yeah, I was had. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Catie;

LOL! There are some fringe benefits to marriage. They more than make up for the disadvantages.

Marguerite Butler said...

I honestly don't see the purpose for split accounts. Everything goes in one big money pit, er, money pot around here. It's worked for 18 years.

We've always talked about big purchases. My husband doesn't do those, but he's the worst about frittering money away on little things. He has a cash budget of "walking around" money. When he runs out of that, he must stop buy little packages of gum and such for the week.

Maria Zannini said...

Marguerite:

I do the walking around money for myself. I rarely carry much cash. It keeps me honest. :)

jacabur1 said...

Maria, you stated my motto above when you said that when you rarely carry much cash it keeps you honest! I can say that in the 28 years we have had our joint account that no problem with me being the caretaker of it and all the bill paying. I am lucky in the fact that big purchases for both of us means buying anything over $50 and they get discussed first, always have!!

I cannot imagine not having full responsibility and joint account on our home, our vehicle, our bank, our savings. My parents had everything in both their names and that is just the way it is with us too..

jackie b central texas


BTW there were a few sighs of disbelief on some of the comments above, some chuckles and some outright laughs too. I have been MIA all weekend because the hubs kinda sorta hogs the computer on Sat and Sunday !!!

Maria Zannini said...

Glad you're back, Jackie.

I'm all for share and share alike--unless it's the computer. LOL!

jacabur1 said...

That would not happen if he were home more to "share"! Someday in the later on future of the Universe he will get an IPAD to play with, waaaayyyy later on!!

jackie b central texas