In most partnerships, money is one of the most sensitive issues. Who makes what, how to split the bills, and is there a way to get more?
But as this story shows, answering some of these difficult questions can actually add to the tension in a relationship, not lessen it.
After the death of his grandfather, a Reddit user throw_709236 inherited a significant amount of money from his estate. She took the opportunity to quit the job that made her miserable and go to work that gave her the most joy.
Things got more complicated, however, because the boyfriend of the woman she was living with expressed a desire for her to pay their bills and use part of her fortune to cover their rent.
Refusing, the woman thought for a moment and turned to the platform. “Am I the one?” [Jerk]? communities for advice.
This woman’s life was turned upside down after she inherited much of her grandfather’s estate.
Image credits: Ketut Subyanto (photo not real)
But her boyfriend thought she also needed to activate her accounts.
Image credits: cotton bro (not real photo)
It’s not entirely obvious what the correct course of action is for this couple. For example, experts from the National Bank of Canada. to tell that a 50/50 split works when both people earn more or less the same. But if there is a significant wage gap between them, then the distribution of expenses will be more balanced if each contributes proportionally to his income.
The equation is also very simple: all you need to do is calculate what percentage of the total household income each person earns, and then apply that percentage to the total monthly budget.
Take for example this hypothetical situation: one spouse earns $75,000 a year and the other $25,000. The family’s monthly budget is $5,000. How do they allocate costs? The $75,000 earning spouse transfers $3,750 to the joint account (or 75% of $5,000) and the other spouse transfers the remaining $1,250 (25% of $5,000). Thus, each partner contributes to the total costs in accordance with their financial capabilities.
But since it’s an inheritance and the woman is no longer working, determining her yearly base can be a bit tricky.
The opinions of the people were divided; one group sided with the woman
When you are in a serious relationship, these things are important. 48% of Americans who are married or live with a partner say they argue with them about money according to The Cashlorette poll. Most of the controversy has to do with spending habits, with 60% saying one person spends too much and another spends too little.
Such conflicts can have serious consequences. In many cases, they are the number one harbinger of whether you get divorced or not. over 4500 couples surveyed. “Financial disagreements do predict divorce more strongly than other common problem areas, such as disagreements about household chores or spending time together,” the study authors concluded.
While the other thought she was wrong
Which often makes things worse, according to 2021 data. study out of 1713 couples held Loyaltyis that approximately 40% of people in a serious relationship do not know how much their partner earns.
These results were obtained despite the fact that 71% of respondents said that they communicate “very well” with their loved ones, and 25% said that they “extremely well” communicate about money.
Many couples are simply too hesitant to have a full and honest conversation about money. “Life is busy and people don’t necessarily take the time to talk about their finances” – Stacey Watson, senior vice president of life event planning at Loyalty, said CNBC Do it. “Money can be an uncomfortable topic.”
Yes, you can ask random strangers on the internet for advice, but they don’t have the full picture like you do. Instead of running away from making an important decision, it’s probably best to stop treating Reddit like a Magic 8 Ball and instead sit down with your partner alone.
When it comes to a couple’s finances, there is no one answer for everyone. As cliche as it sounds, you have to find what works for you.
There were also those who thought the couple was being unreasonable.
To help pave the way for better family finances and relationships, experts Investopedia collect some of the most common problems and issues to look out for are:
1. What is mine, yours, ours. Sometimes, when each spouse is working and cannot agree on financial details or find time to talk about them, they decide to split the bills in half or distribute them in some other fair and equitable way. When the bills are paid, each spouse can spend what they have left as they see fit. This sounds like a reasonable plan, but it can cause dissatisfaction with individual purchases. It also splits up purchasing power, removing much of the financial value of a marriage, as well as the ability to plan for long-term goals like buying a house or securing retirement. It can also lead to relationship-damaging behavior such as financial infidelity where one spouse hides money from the other.
Separation of accounts also overshadows any planning and consensus on how the financial burden will be handled if one spouse loses a job; decides to cut hours or pay to try a new career; leaving work to raise children, return to school, or take care of parents; or if there is any other situation in which one partner may need the financial support of another. It is the responsibility of couples to discuss such contingencies long before they occur.
2. Debt. From school and auto loans to credit cards and even gambling, most people walk down the aisle with financial baggage. If one partner has more debt than the other, or if one partner is out of debt, sparks can fly when discussions arise about income, expenses, and debt servicing.
People in such situations can find some comfort in knowing that debts incurred in marriage stay with the person who incurred them, and do not extend to the spouse. It won’t hurt your credit score, which is linked to social security numbers and tracked individually. However, in most states (those that operate under the so-called common law), debts incurred after marriage belong to both spouses.
Note that there are nine states where all property (and debt) is divided after marriage, regardless of the status of the individual or joint account. These are Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Wisconsin. In these co-ownership states, you are not responsible for most of your spouse’s debt that was incurred before marriage, but any debt incurred after marriage is automatically shared, even if an individual application is filed.
3. Personality. Personality can play a big role in discussions and habits about money. Even if both partners are debt-free, the age-old conflict between spenders and savers can play out in different ways. It’s important to know what your money personality is, as well as your partner’s personality, and openly discuss those differences.
In short, some people are natural savers who can be seen as tight-fisted and risk-averse, some are spenders and like to make themselves known, while others enjoy shopping and shopping. Others accumulate debt—often mindlessly—while some are natural investors who put off gratification for future self-sufficiency. Many of us may exhibit more than one of these characteristics at the same time, but usually revert to one basic type. Whichever profile you and your spouse fit best, it’s best to recognize bad habits, fight them, and moderate them.
4. Power games. Power games often occur in the following scenarios:
- One partner has a paid job and the other does not;
- Both partners would like to work, but one is unemployed;
- One spouse earns significantly more than the other;
- One partner comes from a family that has money, and the other does not.
When one or more of these situations is present, the money earner (or the one who earns or has the most money) often wants to dictate spending priorities to the couple. While there may be some rationale behind this idea, it is still important that both partners work together as a team. Keep in mind that while a joint account provides greater transparency and access, it is not in itself a solution to the imbalanced power and money dynamics in a marriage.
5. Children. To have or not to have? Usually this is the first question. Food, clothing, housing, the Little League, ballet, designer jeans, prom dresses, minivans, and college are all part of a long list of child-related expenses. This does not include expenses for offspring that have already left the nest. This is provided that your children leave the nest. Some never do.
Of course, having children is not only a cost. If one partner cuts their work hours, works from home, or quits their career to raise children, couples should find out how this changes marriage dynamics, ideas about retirement, lifestyle, and more.
6. Extended family. Co-managing finances and meeting each spouse’s goals, needs, and expectations for their extended family can be especially challenging.
Take, for example, her mother – she wants to spend a vacation in Vegas. His parents need a new car. Her brother can’t pay the rent. His sister’s husband lost his job. Now one spouse writes a check and the other wants to know why the money wasn’t used to meet household needs or fund vacations for “us.” When a major crisis arises—an illness, a violent storm, an unexpected death—the pressure can rise.
The dynamics of family money also works in the opposite direction. His mom will pay to take him home for the holidays. Her mom will buy a new car because she drives a Honda, not a Lexus. Her mother buys extravagant gifts for her grandchildren, and his mother cannot afford such expenses. The joys of family often stretch right into your wallet (sorry for the sarcasm).
Of course, two people cannot agree on everything. But by talking to each other, they can at least set boundaries, find compromise, and find a lesser evil than collapse.
And a few people who said it was nobody’s fault and the couple should work things out.