Jump to content
i.r3beka

Should couples control each other’s money?

Recommended Posts

i.r3beka

Do you think couples should control each other’s money?

 

I heard a conversation at work that got me kind of peeved. Coworker was complaining that his gf “is wasting our money,” and needs to “be more careful with our money.” This coworker’s girlfriend works, and I casually quipped to someone that I wouldn’t tolerate that, because money that I earn isn’t “our money,” but my money, and I additionally find it rude that this person complains about their gf so much behind her back. Someone replied that “it’s good that you’re single, stay single.” 

 

Wtf. I don’t see how pointing out that money a person earns at work is theirs to spend as they please means I should be single. I look at it like this...I don’t believe in non-voluntary obligations. I’m not obligated, for example, to feed my niece breakfast everyday. If I SAY I will drive over and feed her breakfast everyday, I THEN have an obligation to her, not because she is my niece, but because I said I would incur the obligation. Similarly, I don’t think being in a relationship with someone means you’re obligated to spend your money how they think you should. 

 

People SHOULD be careful with money, but ultimately what they do with their money earned from gainful employment is their business. Average Joe can go spend his whole paycheck on a diamond that he buries in his backyard and never looks at again. Wouldn’t be my choice, but that doesn’t mean Average Joe should be ridiculed behind his back by his wife for doing what he wants with his money.

 

Or is this just my opinion? Do you guys think couples should control each other’s money? How would you feel if someone, an SO or even a sibling or friend, called money you earned at work “our money?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alejandrogynous

I think there's a difference between taking each other into account financially and "controlling" each others money.

 

I've been in relationships where my partner wasn't smart about his money. He bought a lot of nonessential things, which would have been fine if he made enough money to support that AND his responsibilities, but he didn't and the financial burden fell on me a lot of the time. We both worked but while he was buying games, I was paying the bills for the house we lived in together. So in a situation like that, yes, I had the right to complain about what he was doing with "his own" money.

 

Or if a couple is trying to plan a future together, to save for a house or kids or retirement, but only one of them is actually setting money aside, then there's a problem. A couple is a team, and if you have goals as a team, you need to work together.

 

None of that is controlling each other's money, in my opinion. Actual controlling or micromanaging each other's funds, like getting mad over any little thing bought that doesn't have a significant impact or isn't part of a problematic pattern (like buying another "just this one thing!" when bills aren't being paid), on the other hand, is unacceptable. I wouldn't tolerate that in a relationship now.

 

But of course, everyone's relationships are going to be different. Some couples will go all-in with each other financially, sharing bank accounts and viewing any money that they earn as "our money" instead of individually. Some couples won't share funds at all, and some are in the middle ground somewhere. The important thing is that both people are on the same page with how money is going to be treated between them and that both respect the rules they establish.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Acing It

It's up to them. If you lump your (life)lot in with that of someone else, through marriage, if the other partner 'wastes' all the money and gets in debt, it would affect you as well in a big way. Some couples agree to keep separate accounts and one joint one for day to day living costs, others split it up completely and others still lump it all together into one household pot. It's up to them, to repeat my point.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cyane-len

I agree. Obviously it's up to people what they want to do, together or not, but I really firmly believe that EVERYONE in the relationship should be able to be financially independent. Being financially dependent on someone you're in a relationship with sounds like it could easily EASILY lead to toxic behavior, abuse, manipulation, etc. Obviously this is not always the case, but as long as each partner is aware of their financial situation, joint or separate, that's totally fine.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nineGardens
2 hours ago, i.r3beka said:

Or is this just my opinion? Do you guys think couples should control each other’s money? How would you feel if someone, an SO or even a sibling or friend, called money you earned at work “our money?” 

It depends how seperate you keep things.

 

If each person has their own bank account, and both people pay $200 for rent, etc, then what you do with your stuff is your stuff.

 

But... imagine if you had a joined account with someone and both of you were putting in $600 per month (needing $400 total for rent)... but you knew your partner was spending tonnes of money on alcohol... or gambling... or whatever. Technically its money they earn, but suddenly, because you have a shared responsibility for food and rent, them spending money on luxuries and relying on you to deal with necessities becomes a problem.

 

It also gets more complicated when one person works more and the other does more of the house maintenance/childcare/etc. As in the "traditional" family unit, where only the husbands labour "earns money", but it is the wife who does the majority of childcare, and is expected to spend this money wisely so as to keep everyone fed. Both partners contribute to the maintenence of the household, but in very different ways. In this case the line gets blurry as to whose money is whose. (Note, I make no claims this "traditional" breakdown is good or useful I'm just illustrating where the line gets blurry)

 

 

To be clear, I'm not claiming your co-worker ISN'T being a jackass, just trying to picture how it can be less clear cut.

also: Complaining about people behind there back is bad... but at the same time, Venting about something to friends can make it easier to actually deal with the person, so long as said venting actually reduces your frustration levels, as opposed to just giving you a chance to convince yourself that your right.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
59 minutes ago, cyane-len said:

I agree. Obviously it's up to people what they want to do, together or not, but I really firmly believe that EVERYONE in the relationship should be able to be financially independent. Being financially dependent on someone you're in a relationship with sounds like it could easily EASILY lead to toxic behavior, abuse, manipulation, etc. Obviously this is not always the case, but as long as each partner is aware of their financial situation, joint or separate, that's totally fine.

If they want to live together, there is always going to be some dependence. If you need someone to have $700 a month for their share of bills, or be able to go out with you to dinner occasionally and they blow their whole paycheck on clothes it is going to make it impossible to not be annoyed. 

 

It is kind of impossible to keep the my money mindset once married and sharing expenses. Every decision can hurt or help your spouse, even if you keep separate accounts and stuff. 

 

But, my wife and I keep our own accounts and besides joint expenses I dont care what she buys herself. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoseGoesToYale

I personally like the idea of a joint "our money" account, and then both people having a smaller "their money" account. The "our money" account is for normal everyday expenses, like groceries and bills, or larger investments decided on by the couple. The "their money" accounts are smaller, for fun, frivolous things, made up of personal savings, birthday and holiday money, etc. That way neither party can overspend on the family finances, and if one starts dipping into the "our money" for non-essential things... then you know something's wrong. Of course, it's where the trust in a relationship should come. It would also act as a safety net, in the event two accounts are compromised, one person in the household still has access to money so no one gets screwed.

 

In a healthy, responsible relationship both parties can certainly handle the same finances without screwing each other over, as long as they budget and communicate. If they want separate finances, they can do that too. Personal preference. But in the situation described above, that's... not how a healthy relationship works. Something is wrong there. Either she's using him for money, or she's developed some sort of addictive money problem... shopping, gambling, whatever, and it requires intervention.

 

(As a side note, a lot of hetero guys have been raised to see their value to women solely based on what material objects they bring to the relationship, e.g. money, jewelry, gifts. The dude in the above scenario may not know how to address the problem because he's afraid confronting his girlfriend will upset her or make her leave. Even worse is when they start looking down on themselves for not being able to provide enough to keep their gf/wife happy. It comes back to the idea that each gender has to fulfill certain roles or else they won't receive love. It royally sucks.)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mysticus Insanus

Hell no, they shouldn't.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
2 hours ago, Acing It said:

It's up to them. If you lump your (life)lot in with that of someone else, through marriage, if the other partner 'wastes' all the money and gets in debt, it would affect you as well in a big way. Some couples agree to keep separate accounts and one joint one for day to day living costs, others split it up completely and others still lump it all together into one household pot. It's up to them, to repeat my point.

Yeah that is another thing. Marriage makes you half responsible for the other person legally... I cant even apply for a car loan or have car insurance without adding my spouse to either hurt or help me. So, financial responsibility is big in marriage. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cyane-len
9 hours ago, Serran said:

If they want to live together, there is always going to be some dependence. If you need someone to have $700 a month for their share of bills, or be able to go out with you to dinner occasionally and they blow their whole paycheck on clothes it is going to make it impossible to not be annoyed. 

 

It is kind of impossible to keep the my money mindset once married and sharing expenses. Every decision can hurt or help your spouse, even if you keep separate accounts and stuff. 

 

But, my wife and I keep our own accounts and besides joint expenses I dont care what she buys herself. 

Oh yeah, of course. I just meant that  I don't think it's a good idea for one spouse or the other to be entirely financially dependent on the other. And even if they aren't working or something like that, at least have a really good understanding of their joint financial situation and stuff. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
griffinej5

I agree with most people that one person shouldn’t have control over the other person’s finances, but if there are joint financial decisions and goals , then I can see the complaint as valid. If she is covering her financial obligations, I think it’s fine. Like if they are living together and they agree to splitting the bills a certain way, or if they agree they will both contribute an amount to a vacation fund, emergency fund, etc. If each person is meeting the agreed upon obligations, that’s okay. I could also understand perhaps if she has a lot of debt, and they want to get married. If she is bringing a ton of debt to the relationship, and spending a ton on junk rather than paying that down, I can understand the frustration. I’m not saying she should not have any fun, but I can understand the reluctance to marry this person, as you might risk becoming responsible for that debt if anything happens to the other person. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Touchofinsight

Perhaps i am too rational but this is why you never joint account your money.... You can still split up the bills etc and people can be responsible for their own budgeting. Yes even if your married. If say someone makes significantly more money then the other/works more yea they should have the right to spend the excess how they wish. This also makes it so someone can't just buy stuff outside their means you still have to earn what you buy. If you have a joint goal then open up a new joint account. You both make an agreement for an amount etc etc its really simple. I feel like people get way too complacent and willing to spend money they didn't earn.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sallimae76

I am bad with money. I would actually like a partner to handle all of the finances. Only if we co-mingled funds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

I think that if one person has a known/visible issue with compulsive/irresponsible spending habits, gambling addiction, or the like... the other person certainly shouldn't just be like "well, whatever; you do you!"  One person in a couple getting themselves in financial debt or wrecking their credit score or whatever will have ramifications on the other person too, so it's the responsibility of both people to watch out for things like that.

 

But other than things like that, no, there shouldn't be any financial strong-arming.

 

That all being said, it's still pretty crappy for someone to bust their butt trying to provide for two people when the other person spends the money they make on frivolous things (even if it is "their" money and technically they are "allowed" to do whatever they want with it), and it typically builds resentment over time, which can and has eroded relationships.  That's just how things are.  And let's be honest here; you'd probably feel the same way in a similar situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
b_kenobi

Lol no, the ideology of modern relationships has several obvious flaws and that includes entitlement.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zagadka

Depends on the relationship.

 

If you're in a "traditional" relationship where one person works (obviously the husband) and the other stays home with the kids (obviously the wife), it makes sense to share the accounts. But we're moving on from that, and I don't think it works the same way anymore. Ideally, the couple should communicate and share the responsibilities... go over all of the finances, know what each other are spending on, etc, but in reality most couples are nowhere near that level of together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sea horse

There's a thing that social workers use called the Duluth Power and Control wheel, and one of the items on there is 'economic abuse' - which includes 'making her ask for money' 'giving her an allowance' and 'not letting her know about or have access to family income'. 

 

I was learning about this at the same time as being in a relationship that looked a bit like the wheel (you can download it http://www.socialworkerstoolbox.com/the-power-and-control-wheel-the-duluth-model/), and I REALLY REALLY didn't want it to be true that there were warning signs of abuse. 

 

Soon afterwards I had left my job as a social worker on the encouragement of my husband who said he could support me, and sure enough I was soon on an allowance (to spend on the food shop) and I never knew anything about the finances, apart from when he complained that we were spending too much (and I would point out that I had no access to any money, so I wasn't the one doing the spending...). And the relationship went from bad to worse. 

 

So anyway, apologies for the long rambling story, but I'd say that this kind of situation is part of a negative pathway in a relationship, where both partners are not equal. 

 

I did work with someone whose husband controlled both their wages, and she got an allowance to spend on lunch, which I thought was pretty bad (it was a bit more justifiable in my case because I wasn't earning money, although I was doing work in the house). She didn't seem like a happy woman. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Darth Plagueis the Wise

Up to the couple, it’s their business and not really anyone else’s. I personally think that both parties should still have their own belongings and money, but I can understand a mindset of “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours” in a sense.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Purple Wanderer

Always had a joint account for bills/rent. Both put in a set amount to cover it and whatever is left in our own accounts is ours to spend on whatever

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
banana monkey

It kinda makes sense to have a joint account for some things like bills/rent so otherwise it would have to be paid from one person's account anyway which seems a bit odd. In the case of a joint account in my opinion that would be "our money" as it is shared and induvidual accounts my money. If you think about it plenty of housesharing groups who are not related have a shared account for rent and bills because practically it works better. I wouldnt see doing that with my partner any different from doing it with a house sharer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...