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Handling Money as a Couple

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There is a good chance that my boyfriend will be moving to Georgia this fall. We met on a dating app almost three years ago and have had very limited in person interaction. But we are in a committed relationship and have talked long term, even marriage.

But now reality is here…he may be here and accessible and an even bigger part of my/our life. I am thrilled, beyond thrilled. But also a bit scared if I am completely honest.

The kids are all aware of the situation and know how serious our relationship is. They are all very open to it and understand what it means to me. But it is different…we have had no men in our lives for what 13 years. I didn’t even date until 3 years ago. And those dates did not meet my kids…at all!

So this post is all about a question…or questions.

Couples and Money

We have talked extensively about our money goals. While he has no debt, he knows that I do. On the flip side, he is very used to spending his money how he wants to, on him. While I am pretty frugal, and becoming even more so.

Name Brand Gifts

It was pretty funny, earlier in our relationship, he wanted to buy me a really expensive, name brand purse…I was shocked. And made it clear to him that if that was what he thought I would want as a gift, he didn’t know me at all. (He was inspired by watching what his friends did for their significant others.) We’ve come along way since then, but there are definitely still money things that come up. And I guess I’m a little gun shy because of my marriage. I’ve recently sent him a Dave Ramsey book just to try to make sure we are on the same page. (No, I’m not a Dave Ramsey addict, but I think the concepts are pretty on point for me.)

Share Your Wisdom & Experiences

I want to hear from you. I want the BAD Community guidance as I think and we talk about really becoming a true couple.

  1. He does have kids but they are grown and will not live near us. And he is very excited about being involved with my kids lives as much as they will allow him. Any tips for easing into a relationship/blended family type situation?
  2. Mixing money? I’m against this at this point. My marriage had tremendous money issues. And I still have 3 kids to get grown…for lack of a better way to put that. How does it look when you get involved with a single parent?
  3. As we get more serious, how do you head off money issues? It is super important to me that we get on the same page, sit down and speak regularly about our goals and such.

I don’t know. I am super thrilled about him coming. But I am also really scared. This will be a big change for me, for us.

I’d love any tips from people who have started serious relationships as single parents.

 


8 Comments

  • Reply Alice |

    When my now husband and I started dating in 2009, I had two teenagers. A 16 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. Money was one of the top reasons for my divorce and in a way, his, too.

    He had no debt and is/was actually pretty well off. I had debt and let him know it. We dated for two years and while we discussed married very early on, we wanted to make sure we were both in agreement about money. No new debt was a biggie. I had no intentions of adding new debt, and since I didn’t have someone spending all the money I made, it wasn’t a problem.

    We didn’t put our money together. I pay my portion of the household bills and the rest of my money is spent or saved as I see fit. He pays his portion and buys what he wants and saves the rest. It works for us. We’re celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary next week.

  • Reply Piegirl |

    “Very limited in-person interaction” means you need to take time to get to know this man in real life before considering legally entangling your finances with his in any way. I’m not sure why you haven’t spent time together but that is really crucial.

    • Reply Ellen |

      I agree. People can be anybody on the phone and Internet. Get to know him before entangling anything. I would even be cautious about having him move in; but that’s just me.

  • Reply Deb |

    Hi Hope,

    I am not single but my husband has a spending problem. We have seperate bank accounts (checking and savings). Every month I get a portion of what is in his checking account and a portion of his savings account. His portions go towards any and all house expenses. He is free to do what he wants with the rest of his money. I am free to do what I want with mine after the hosehold expenses are paid for. I don’t take my husband’s money to pay on my student loan. I figure since that is my debt I will pay it.

    I would think hard about keeping the accounts seperate. You still have a family to provide for and need to be able to support them as much as they need you too. I have always felt that women should have their own finances because life happens when we least expect it.

  • Reply Shanna |

    I think it is very exciting you have such a great significant other! My thought is that due to not spending a tremendous amount of time in person together, having him move into the same town is a good start. And once your kids are all off to college/moved out, which is quite soon really, then move in together. Having all those people in a small house would be a lot of stress on a relationship trying to get used to being together in person as well as get used to a large family. And I would NEVER mix money. If I were to find myself in the position that I was no longer married and had another relationship, I would never combine funds as an adult. Maybe one account that both deposit to and can use for house hold/shared things. But no way combining it all. Im so glad you have someone special to share your life with!!

  • Reply vicky |

    I’ve never mixed finances with my spouse (hubby #2) and we’ve been together for 11 years and have 2 children. I was strict about that after hubby #1 stole $7k I had saved up by myself while he contributed nothing but his name on the joint account. With hubby #2 we each have our own personal accounts and do what we want with our own money. We had student loans and we dealt with it individually. No discussion necessary even for big purchases like a car if it’s something that isn’t shared (we each have our own). We have a joint account for shared expenses and those expenses are split 50/50 since we both make around the same amount of money. Each month we sit down and go over what the shared expenses are so we know what we need to put in the joint account. If a new shared expense comes up we discuss it and both need to be in agreement and if we don’t then the person who’s interested in it will put it into their personal expenses. If one of us can’t afford to pay our share of something, like a vacation, then we wait until that person saves up enough or we go on vacation and the next vacation they pay more while the other one pays less to balance things out. It works for us and helps us avoid fighting over money like a lot of couples do plus it gives a strong sense of independence and safety.

  • Reply Cheryl |

    I’m not sure if he would move in as soon as he moved to your area but with two young girls living with you and you hardly knowing him well I would wait. Just date for awhile and definitely don’t put your money together.

So, what do you think ?