Author Topic: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses  (Read 4649 times)

tesla

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Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« on: November 08, 2014, 06:41:37 AM »
Wife and I are now separating our spending and its working out well for the most part.  We split our income 50/50 and split the mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc that go into a joint account, the rest we keep and goes into our individual accounts to spend or save as we see fit. Our grocery bill is out of control and need some advice on this. How do you all handle vitamins and supplements? Especially when the vitamin aspect of it blurs into being a medical expense that we also split 50/50.  For example, she feels like she "needs" a very expensive fish oil supplement called Mega Red.  It is a very good supplement but we eat way too much fish to need this. I'd like to compromise and just take a generic muliti vitamin/mineral and be done with it. Better still is to improve diet and get 100% absorption from food.  The other issue is buying food that is organic, gluten free, gmo free, etc that really adds up. I'm sure its healthier but the benefits are dubious.  I don't want to spend the extra money for this stuff but my chef/grocery shopper says we do. I would gladly take over chef and grocery shopper duties if I could buy the cheap stuff but it wouldn't make a difference.

Thanks for any help.

KMMK

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2014, 07:39:04 AM »
We have a similar arrangement - joint stuff 50/50, with some individual purchases.

First, in general, it can take some time to work all this stuff out, so you both feel okay with the plan. Also I like to look at the big picture - savings rate, and increased saving/spending within marriage. So for us, we're at around a 50% savings rate, so I don't really care about budget tweaking. And although if I was unmarried I might be able to spend less on food, among other things, I'd spend more for housing, so it probably all balances out. I'm also willing to pay a certain amount to keep my partner happy. I don't want to nitpit his choices.


But for the specifics of your questions:
Grocery food - generally all split 50/50. He has some expensive things, I have some expensive things. We generally agree on organic food choices. He knows my gluten-free is medical, not just fad. I know that convenience is more important to him than cost, as he works a lot. It's definitely not worth it to try to figure out exactly what portion the other person eats. However, if it was widely one-sided with expensive food you have the option of negotiating a different percentage in that category. Maybe that's an option for you. Some food is individual - if i buy snacks just to eat at work, and his daily coffee - that's all individual.

For individual meals out, he was eating out a lot for a while, so we decided to consider half that cost as "grocery", as otherwise he'd be eating food we bought together, and half personal spending.

For supplements, we consider these individual. The only thing I know 100% works is my glucosamine, which is kind of pricey. But then we both get on vitamin kicks as well, so any non-shared vitamins/supplements are individual. I'm just used to splitting these out of the receipts.

For prescription drugs, however, we consider those joint, as you can't completely control your health. I thought this showed a supportive environment just in case one of us became seriously ill. I wanted to set the precedent of splitting this.

So that's my thoughts on trying to figure out if this battle is worth it, and what we do in my marriage.

Calvawt

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 01:44:44 PM »
I would consider those supplements as individual spending as its not really food. I would expect that she pays for it out of her discretionary fund.  Good luck!

Zikoris

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 02:18:25 PM »
We separate out any individual snack foods and pay for our own. We don't take supplements, but if we did we would pay for them separately, same as we do for medicine.

Can you compromise on the organic issue with the Dirty Dozen / Clean 15 lists, and try to plan meals around the Clean 15 more? How about growing some of the dirty dozen yourself, if you have space?

If she insists on buying more expensive stuff than you want, maybe it would make more sense to divide it in a way that isn't 50/50 - maybe 60/40? My boyfriend and I used to do 1/3, 2/3 split with him paying the bigger portion, due to me doing the vast majority of the cooking, shopping, cleaning, and planning - now we do 50/50 and also have balanced out the workload. We both felt both options were fair.

FarmFam

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 04:28:07 PM »
We decided to go with splitting the expenses as well and it is working out great.  We both feel that we have more control over our own money. 

However, I wouldn't suggest you doing 50/50.  The reason is because it is not fair to the person who makes the least.  If the bills are 4000 and the income is 1500/3000, one person will be left with no money at all and the person making more money can still feel like he/she is paying the other person's share causing resentment.

I feel that splitting by percentage of income is more fair.  It is calculated by His/His+Her and Her/His+Her.  Then you end up with His%/Her%.

As for the vitamins, woman do need more vitamins for their bodies especially as they get older.  Two important ones are iron and B12.  This doesn't happen for men.  If you split the health costs, then I feel this should also be considered a health cost.  Although, I would admit that in our situation I pay for it out of my money because I don't want to overwhelm our budget with it.

As for organic food, this is good for both men and woman.  Organic food can actually (and is proven in my case) reduce the amount of cramps during that time of the month.  It also prevents vaginal infections and other reproductive organ health issues.  In men, eating processed meats (hot dogs, ground beef, sausage, deli meats) can increase the chances of heart disease and this has been proven with studies (look it up).  Just something to think about.  It can help prevent health costs and costs/side effects of otc meds.

Bikeguy

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 06:23:58 PM »
Tell her if this is important to her,  she should buy it.   WAY cheaper than a divorce.   Or, retire 3 months later and is fully paid for.  Not worth poisoning the relationship IMHO

FarmFam

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2014, 09:42:43 AM »
Tell her if this is important to her,  she should buy it.   WAY cheaper than a divorce.   Or, retire 3 months later and is fully paid for.  Not worth poisoning the relationship IMHO

This is an excellent point.  I have been working the numbers the last couple weeks and small items like this only means a couples months difference.  So, as Bikeguy says, is it really worth worrying about it if it damages your relationship.

Great point Bikeguy!  I will keep this in mind on my own situation as well.

Bikeguy

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 11:57:24 AM »
So, as Bikeguy says, is it really worth worrying about it if it damages your relationship.

Great point Bikeguy!  I will keep this in mind on my own situation as well.
Thanks.   Wish I would have realized this when I was younger.   My wife and I are happily married now,   but a few issues like this got us close to a divorce.   Wasn't worth making my wife upset over.
Tell her if this is important to her,  she should buy it.   WAY cheaper than a divorce.   Or, retire 3 months later and is fully paid for.  Not worth poisoning the relationship IMHO

This is an excellent point.  I have been working the numbers the last couple weeks and small items like this only means a couples months difference.  So, as Bikeguy says, is it really worth worrying about it if it damages your relationship.

Great point Bikeguy!  I will keep this in mind on my own situation as well.

tesla

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 02:26:20 PM »
Thanks for the input. Fortunately my wife and I are on the same page and agree on the basic fundamental plan. Some of the details of the plan are still evolving as you can see by my questions. I just need to remember to look at the big picture and not sweat the small stuff as some of you mentioned. However, sometimes I still find myself fixated on the trees at the expense of the forest.

deborah

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Re: Tweaking Seperate Finance Expenses
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2014, 06:25:18 PM »
However, sometimes I still find myself fixated on the trees at the expense of the forest.
Sometimes you need to work out how big a tree it is - tablets tend to come in big lots. I know that when my doctor wanted me to take more iron (my iron levels were way down) only one of the iron supplements available had enough iron in it - and the chemist had an enormous range of things that said they were iron supplements.