The leading cause of stress in relationships is money, according to a poll by Money Magazine. The poll results showed that a whopping 70% of marital disputes were about money, outranking household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring, and what’s for dinner.
It can be frustrating trying to balance the books when you and your spouse have different spending habits. The top financial complaint from the Money Magazine poll was spouses complaining that their partner had too many frivolous purchases. But what one considers to be a “frivolous” purchase is different than another. Based off of money magazines poll, women’s top secret purchases where clothes, shoes, and gifts while men’s secret spending was on hobbies and electronics. So it does seem that frivolous spending depends on the opinion of the beholder.
Everyone has different spending habits, which become highly scrutinized, when a couple makes the transition to joint accounts. My husband and I went through the same financial struggles most young adults do when they make the decision to merge their finances. However we were able to solve most of our growing pains with a “fun account”.
While my husband and I have a joint checking and savings accounts, we both keep individual “fun accounts” for our discretionary spending. Each month an equal predetermined percentage of our income would go into our “fun accounts” to be used toward things that could be considered as “frivolous” spending by the other. For example I like to spend my “fun money” on clothes, pedicures, or other luxury items, while going out to lunch is more important to my husband.
By having a “fun account” it allows us the freedom to spend money on the things that are individually important to us, while staying within our budget, and eliminating the bickering about who spends how much on what. All in all this saves us from the bulk of money related martial disputes, and makes us a happier couple.
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