Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Personal Spending

When we got married I'd already been running a home for 3 years. Col had been living with his parents. He moved into my house and we pooled our income. I carried on sorting the finances and worked out what we could afford, he had what money he needed for his expenses and I looked after the rest. We changed our bank account to joint names and put the house in joint names too. That's what marriage was back then - something shared.
It wasn't long before our eldest daughter arrived on the scene and we had one wage. There was no question of it being "his" money just because he was the only one working. We managed on a council road-man's wages because we had to. The only way to manage was to keep close check on spending, do things to earn extra or to save money. The most important things were to pay the mortgage, pay the household bills and have enough to eat. Nothing was left for "personal spending". I don't think the words had been invented!

It worries me now to see young couples arguing over their spending - "his money does this" or "her money pays for that". or "you're not paying your share".  And NOT just young couples, lot's of older people still keep their money completely separate. Sometimes one doesn't know what the other earns.
It sound almost Victorian and wouldn't have worked for us as I didn't earn anything!
 Twenty years on and the campsite was in my name but I never thought of it as my money. I had to keep accounts for the tax man - so I knew what the campsite made, but it wasn't kept separate just for me, that would have been silly. We wanted to pay off the mortgage - the JOINT mortgage so that Col could retire early. Fast forward to 2009 and my Dad left me some money but I didn't think of it as my money it went into joint savings and to build the extension on the house. Now once again all the money coming in is in Colin's name - his County Council pension and his Employment and Support allowance, but it's still our money - going into a joint account and coming out again for whatever we need.

So I've never really had any personal spending money, I've never needed to have any separate money just for me. It's still OUR house and OUR bills. As long as I have a few pounds to take to car boot sales I'm a happy bunny!

Maybe we are odd, but it worked for us. 

Back Soon
Sue

 

56 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've got it sorted :)

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  2. We're both in our late 40s and have been together since school. We had a joint account even before moving in together - and a jointly owned car.
    When we bought our first house all of our accounts were joint - we had to have 2 separate current accounts as we worked for different banks and both required staff to have a current account where they worked. They were still joint though. Savings were joint and we've always known what the other earned - at one point I was earning more than him - but then I had children. Whilst I went back to work full time after the first I only had maternity pay for the first few months (unlike nowadays) so his salary was then supporting all 3 of us (savings had been reduced to clear car loan before maternity leave to reduce monthly outgoings)

    When I was made redundant the money was used the following year to help fund our house move - benefitting all of us (2 children and a 3rd on the way at that time (I was then working very part time, term time only - which stopped after the birth of child number 3, as childcare costs made it unfeasible to return to work)

    When my husband was made redundant a few years later the money went into savings/ reducing the mortgage/ updating a few bits in the house.

    Most of the time my husband doesn't know how much we have/ what things cost - his choice, rather than me hiding anything (he's had serious MH issues and finds money contributes to any stress levels he has). However, on a relatively small income we have become mortgage free, done lots of improvements to the house and kept us and our (now) 4 children fed, clothed and holiday-ed :)

    I don't understand those who keep things totally separate. We are a partnership and assets are joint - and held for the benefit of the family as a whole. Sure, we've had times where savings have been just in my name from a tax point of view (sadly mostly now used during 2 long periods of unemployment for my husband) but I never considered them as just 'mine' - they were always 'ours' despite what it may have said on the bank statement.

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    1. Thank you for the good comment. I looked to see if you had a blog and you did - would be lovely if you started it again as you right so well.

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    2. I agree with Sue...your blog was very well written and it would be lovely if you returned to the fold! x

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    3. Yes I agree Mrs it would be great.

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    4. I totally agree about your blog, I went off to read it because of the three comments above. Thank you!!

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    5. Oh - what lovely comments from you all - thank you! I have thought about resurrecting it or even starting again with a new one (as so much time has passed) - I may give that some more thought in the light of your comments - thank you, again.

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  3. Good on you both - being on the same page re money is utterly important to success. Interestingly I see may women in the relationship far wiser with money than man these days....or was it always like that?

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  4. That's what its all about its a partnership isn't it, I worked before we had our son and then only worked a few odd casual temporary jobs as I chose to be a stay at home mum, and I always felt family looking down on me as if to say your a lazy cow making your husband do all the work, but it was our choice and we always did mangage perfectly well.

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  5. It does still work for others too Sue, you are not alone!

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  6. Same here as well. Before we married, DB even opened a saving account for us both in my name, using all his savings, how trusting was that! I always tell people I am a kept woman.

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  7. I'm the odd voice here! We have ( gasp ) separate accounts!! I think purely by sheer laziness! He pays the mortgage and the bills and the big stuff as he earns more, I pay for all the shopping and frillies. Say holidays - I look around for bargains, he'll pay the accommodation and I pay for the week's spends, eats and days out. It's worked fine for nigh on 25 years!

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    1. No it's not odd to have separate accounts - I was just saying I hate hearing arguements about who's money does what - if you follow

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  8. My partner and I never discuss our individual earnings and have separate bank accounts. (We have been together 34 years). However, we are both open about money if needs be and have never had a problem. I have always earned more than my partner and that has never been a problem either. He is in a low wage job, self-employed and his income varies from week to week, none of my business. He sees his accountant every three months and I have nothing to do with this. He hands housekeeping money to me every week in cash and it varies according to how much he has received in in his job that week, but always enough to at least cover food. It has always worked for us and neither of us spend a lot on personal possessions both seeing no point in having things you don't really need. I think perhaps that is what you need above everything else, a similar respect for money and outlook on life.

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    1. So true - whatever works without arguements is the right way.

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  9. We are like that too , I agree with everything you have said about seperate money and not living financailly as a couple , Its always our money whatever is comming in or not for that matter xxx

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  10. I am a Debt/Benefits Adviser and see couples all the time who manage their money in a variety of ways - not always for the best.
    I think years ago it was the done thing to have joint accounts but now I think it is more common to have separate accounts.
    My Dh and I have separate accounts, we both pay money into a bill account which covers all the bills (bill account in my name only) and then we pay our own outgoings like car insurance, car tax and phones.
    We do save for things but these savings are all in my name.
    My husband is a spendy and I am a saver. This way of banking saves me a lot of stress.

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    1. I suppose it's not until problems occur that people find out they should have managed a different way.

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  11. I think what works for some people won't work for others. After 24 years of marriage with joint accounts for mortgage, savings and credit cards I was in financial dire straits when my marriage suddenly fell apart. As I didn't have any accounts in my own name I had a ZERO credit rating (not a bad rating, just non existent!)and was unable to open new accounts as I wasn't working outside the home. It took a full year to get me a bank account and a credit card in my name. I survived on cash handouts from family :-(

    I would always advise women especially to have some financial independence because you never know what might happen (illness, accident etc)

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    1. I agree with having something in your own name - we have ISAs.
      It's causing problems with someone we know at the moment who is trying to sort out a problem and has no ID in their name for opening a bank account

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  12. Yes Sue I totally agree...we work for the good of our family...not our own pockets to bulge whilst the other is struggling. I deal with the majority of our finances purely because hubby would rather I did. x

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  13. I don't think it's odd at all, we do just the same (married 34 years), everything's joint. He does have a separate sole account for anything to do with the car, but I administer it online, as I do all our finances.

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  14. We're the same as the majority of the other comments. We have always had a joint bank account and the mortgage (when we had one) was also joint.
    My husband has always earned more than me as for a long time I only worked part-time, but I have never been restricted with what I spend.
    When I inherited a lot of money from an aunt of mine who was also my Godmother my husband asked me what I was going to do with it and I told him that it wasn't a case of what I was going to do with it as it belonged to both of us. It came at a good time for us as we were going through a sticky patch financially.
    I think that this is where trust comes into a marriage.

    Joan (Devon)

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  15. I so agree with you, hubby and I have the same conversation weekly. Our offspring and their partners all have separate monies. It has come to the forefront as Will's mum is coming to the end of her maternity leave, hubby wants he to stay at home, they (he) can afford it, but she is worried not to have her own income. Hubby and I like you managed through good and bad times, and as we are older we too have been left amounts, but they always go into a joint account. neither hubby or I have a sole account, everything is ours. As is the decisions on how we spend any spare monies.

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    1. we do have some money in seperate accounts as we have ISAs but it's still our money!

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  16. We share your view Sue - what's mine is his, and what's his is mine, because it's OURS. We share. When we have been left money, it has been invested into doing up this house. We share bills, outgoings, even germs!!!

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  17. In France, joint accounts are frozen when someone dies - I have seen that cause dreadful problems for couples who didn't realise. We do have a joint French account for day to day stuff eg shopping - and not a lot in it - but the big stuff is in our joint account in UK, with two separate savings accounts for the above reason. Complicated isn't the word for it!

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  18. I agree totally with everything you wrote, Sue. Through good and bad we have always had joint bank accounts except for ISAs. My DH and her husband pay money into a joint account to cover all their hosehold bills including mortgage. She manages all their outgoing as he has no concept of money-champagne taste lemonade wages! We went into marriage nearly 46 years ago and ahve been happy to share all our resources during that time. Horses for courses as my late mother would have said! Catriona

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  19. This was an interesting topic, Sue, which apparently generated a lot of feedback. Like many others, we have personal accounts but the bulk of our financials are joint, including house deed, apt lease, savings accounts. When my late father passed away years ago, my now late mother did not have any personal accounts. But over the years she became quite adept at managing her finances with the aid of an advisor. When she passed away 2 years ago, my brother and I were amazed to learn how well she did on her own as she never shared information with us beforehand.

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  20. Seems like many of us are in agreement with you Sue. But I realise that patterns of income/spending have changed down the years, and my daughters budget in different ways from me. But at least they DO budget properly. I would not dream of insisting our way was the only, right way - it is simply the one that works for me and my spouse. Thanks for your post- and also thanks for all the interesting comments above

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  21. "They" say that money is the #1 reason why couple's fight. We're mostly joint account, but some separate investments. That was mostly because my husband is more of a risk taker with his investments than I am, so we each did our own thing. -Jenn

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  22. It's a really interesting discussion, thanks.

    I was really surprised to find out my FIL and his wife buy separate groceries. Just goes to show how people organise things so differently!

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  23. It's worked for us too.
    xx

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  24. I very much agree with you views on the joint moneys. My husband and I have been married for 41 years and from the beginning the income and expenses were Ours and we still operate that way. Anything different is difficult for me to understand.

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  25. Agree with you entirely. Just celebrated our 45th Wedding Anniversary last week and have always been joint with everything. At times dh was the sole earner whilst children were small then I became the sole earner. Now we are at retirement age + dh's pensions are more than mine, I am still working to get some work done on the house but we still treat everything as joint.

    I think most of the problems today come from the "me" syndrome.

    Pat

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. We have individual accounts that our salaries are paid into, we then have standing orders into a joint account from which all bills, food and mortgage are paid from. Anything left in our own accounts is ours to spend or save in an ISA. Anything left in the joint account also gets saved into an ISA. Works for us and we've been together 17 years. x

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  28. What you have said, Sue, could've been written by myself! This is exactly how we've managed our money since we married in 1964. A joint account, none of this "my money" or "his money" about it. You are right, marriage meant sharing and we also did this when it came to the housework. We were both out at work then so when we got home we shared what jobs there were to do, my husband didn't go and sit down while I made the supper and cleared up. We would do what jobs there were together. And this has continued throughout our almost-53 years of marriage. What money we have is ours, even when we've been left money through the demise of parents. We wouldn't have it any other way.
    Margaret P

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  29. Same goes for us too - have always had joint savings accounts, etc. If we inherit in the future it will be "ours" regardless of which side of the family it may comes from.

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  30. We have always been joint account holders, and wouldn't have it any other way. I see, from your last post, that the little barn owls have found their way inside...on your cleverly crafted little cards. I love them!

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  31. Married for 52 years. Have seperate accounts and also a joint account.plus seperate ISAs. We bumble along and are not "organised" as such, but both careful with money. Some bills paid from his account, some from mine and some from the joint. Just developed over the years I guess with us being paid differently in the past.
    Good post Sue and lots of interesting comments
    Gill

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  32. Replies
    1. So I can delete the rubbish comments that keep popping up from foreign parts. Some have links to porn sites!

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  33. And that is the way it truly should be !!

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  34. We've always had the 'ours' joint account, we see ourselves as one unit and everything is shared, I can't imagine it any other way for us, but my son and partner have their separate accounts xx

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  35. I agree with you, Sue, whatever the system is that people have for their money (when in a relationship) needs to be one that doesn't cause conflict. We have joint accounts here and we make financial decisions together. That works for us. Meg:)

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  36. Hi Sue.. I've just returned to blog land and found you on your new blog. We have a joint account where all bills etc are paid. We also have an account each which we had before we met and they just have a little money in each for ourselves but the main spends come from our joint one. We know a couple (in their 50's) who do the 'his money pays for this, her money pays for that' which we find bizarre.. we also find it strange that for their kids (even now they are all grown up) his money pays for the main presents and her money pays for all the little extra gifts.. WHY? Strange! But each to their own :o)

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  37. You echo the way my DH and I have lived throughout our 50 married years together Sue, and it has worked well for us too.
    When we married my Mother was horrified when we combined our finances and trusted each other implicitly. We talk through any big purchase and always agree. After so many years one of us opens our mouth to say something and the same words come out of the other ones mouth. Soul mates.

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  38. Great post. Very interesting to read all the comments. Dh is self employed and his income comes in peaks and troughs. I have a steady job and am a saver so all the bills comes out of my account including savings and his account is used for day to day living including food and petrol. This works well as we know we will always cover the bills from my account and when dh gets an invoice paid we know we can stock up, buy essentials and maybe get a little treat, and if there's a while between payments, we tighten our belts a bit. It sounds funny to write it down but it works really well for us and we see our accounts as joint, even though they are in separate names. We always know how much is in each others accounts. They are separate in name only :)

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  39. Over 54 years ago we married. I said "With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods, I thee endow." We have had a single joint bank account since then. We share everything. One reason why we are still in love and content. R

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  40. We are exactly the same. Everything is 'ours' and has been right from the start. But there are people who if I talk to and say things like 'I bought this ..' will chime in and say 'you mean Bill bought it'. Nope. we are married, and our money is just that. Always has been, always will be. But people like to nitpick and never even contemplate that firstly, it's not any of their business and it's rude to say such stupid things, but also, what does it say about their relationships if it has to be so clearly separated. No sharing, just his and hers and that's that.
    Before we got married, before we had Violet, Bill and I discussed how we wanted our lives to be. There was never any question of it being separate money, our home is ours, our money is ours, and our daughter is ours! unless she's being a pain, then she's Bill's child and he can deal with her! xx

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  41. We have, to coin a phrase always 'peed in the same pot' at Number 38. I can't see how it would work any other way for us. Even when Mark worked a job that brought in a fair amount of money on overtime it was always ours, never his. I don't know if it's a generation thing or not though. Mark's mum didn't have a clue how much Tom earned and I think from what's been said Matthew & Sophie have their own money. As long as it works for everybody involved I suppose that's the main thing. xx

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  42. My situation is a tiny bit different as we're in a second marriage and my husband has three children from his first marriage and I have no children. That being said, all of our money is titled jointly, however, we did have tiny little separate checking accounts for our allowance, which is $200 per month per person. This allowance is used for gifting to our respective families, dining out, whisky (my husband), clothing, shoes, etc. In essence, all money that is personal in nature (and not living expenses). We found this works better especially in the realm of dining out/drinks out. I would have one drink, my husband would have three and all of our weekly entertainment money would be gone! This system has completely eliminated arguments about money. Mind you, the separate checking accounts are still jointly titled, though....

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  43. That's how we do it, too. I remember when I found out that a good friend of mine and her hubby divided things up also, as in, I pay for certain things and he pays for others. I have watched her go through her credit card bills totting up which were her expenses and which were his. And they're in their eighties!! I am retired. Every once in a while I tell hubby I need some "walking around money." He usually hands me two twenty dollar bills. A month or two later I still have them in my wallet! I could get money myself but I'm too lazy to go to the joint banking account!

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