Scenarios: My husband keeps spending all our money; now he’s mad when I won’t pay for dinner
On The Gee and Ursula Show, hosts Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin take listeners’ advice questions and discuss what they think you should do.
Scenario: I’ve been married for four years, and we agreed to separate our money. That was fine because he spends everything he gets and has no long-term plan, but now I am worried about him. I suggested a joint account. He said, ‘okay,’ but now he spends everything he makes … and all that I make.
He just keeps buying crap that we don’t even need. He says that since his money’s in that account, he doesn’t have to tell or ask about where he spends the money, because technically, it’s his money. It’s both of our money.
We worked out a compromise, and we agree that each of us has our own account. But we both equally pay for everything he agreed, as long as he could buy whatever he wants with his money in the account. So last night, we went out to eat. I assumed 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, ‘you’re not going to pay for my meal, too?’ I told him, ‘it’s his decision that each of us pay for everything individually and that this is what separate finances mean.’ He got upset because he didn’t have enough money in his account, to pay for his own dinner, and only has a debit card, no credit cards, and he assumed I was paying. This is a problem in our house. I need help.
Ursula Reutin: Boy, that sounds like a mess that goes way beyond the finances. But I will say this, yeah, he cannot spend everything. 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 into trouble, okay, that’s fine. But that joint account, that’s not for him to spend every cent of that as well. Those are for the expenses of the household. I can just say what works in our household is that we have separate accounts, and we have a joint account, and we pay all our bills with the joint account. And we can do what it is that we want with that separate account, and that can be for trips, or that can be for automatic savings. Now, I guess I get it that, not everybody is in a position to do that. But it sounds like they are in a position to do something like that. He just needs to be put on a budget. And they need to talk about that. And they maybe probably need to bring in a financial advisor.
Gee Scott: Good point. Chef, what do you got, bro?
Andrew “Chef” Lanier: I’ll keep it quick. If you are not saving together, you’re in for financial difficulty. The only way I think 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 down 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 that toy?’ And you’re only paying the bills? I think you got to save together.
UR: Yeah saving is huge.
GS: I don’t know. Here’s the problem that 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 this is I see a bit of selfishness. No matter how you decide to do the account, don’t be selfish. Lilian and I we have our way of doing things. I’m not saying it’s the perfect way, everybody has their way of doing things. And fellas, here’s a tip. Just just pay for it. Just go out to eat, food, for some reason, ladies love food. Lilian loves food.
UR: Okay, but they went out to eat and he was mad that she didn’t pay because he didn’t have money, but they’re very much thinking of ‘this is my money, this is your money.’ They’re not acting like they’re a couple.
AL: I think you would do the same thing if your husbands has been draining your bank account.
UR: If my husband’s draining my bank account I’m probably not going out to eat
GS: I ain’t gonna lie Chef you really nailed it. No matter what the accounts situation is, you better be saving.
Listener Nick: This dude needs to watch his back, spending too much at the restaurant, his hands are going to be tied without that safety net if she just decides to walk out. He’s gonna be in the back washing dishes in the restaurant if he doesn’t have his wife with him.
GS: Ursula, I’m with you though. That’s how Lillian and I do it. We each have our own account, and then there is the bills, let’s go pay.