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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21447
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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I recently got engaged in March and Im not sure how to handle

Customer Question

I recently got engaged in March and I'm not sure how to handle our finances. He has a medical practice and I'm an executive for a telecommunications company and he makes significantly more money than I do. Because this is his second marriage, he is reluctantly to put our money together however, I find myself paying for a significant portion of our expenses and find it difficult to ask him for money. Can you please recommend a solution on how to discuss this with him and how to sort out our finances given our situation?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi, and congratulations on your engagement.

If this is his second marriage, he probably got 'burned' re: finances in his first marriage, and that would explain his reluctance.

The first thing you should do is let him know that this is on your mind, and you feel you need to sort it out now, so everything can be paid on time, and you can also both start putting money aside for savings. Make a 'date' with him for one night after dinner, and sit down together, then write a list of all your monthly expenses/bills that need to be paid. Write the name of the bill, the date due, and the amount. Then write down the amount of each of your paychecks and the dates you receive them. Add up all your monthly bills, and each of you can 'contribute' half that amount from your pay, and deposit it into your joint checking account. The rest can be put into your joint savings account; also include an amount of 'living' money you will each need to draw out every week. If you're able to transfer from your savings to your checking online, that would be useful.

Once you're married, and settle into a routine re: the money, I think things should improve; but, if you ever feel uncomfortable about the situation, be up front and honest with him, and say you'd like to work it out together. While you don't want him to think you want more than your share to pay the bills, just because he makes more than you, there's no reason for you to be paying most of the bills from your paycheck, at this time. I think he'd feel badly about this, if he knew.

You can each continue to maintain separate bank accounts, in addition to the joint checking and savings you will (or have already) set up, if this will help you both feel better about the situation, at the beginning. Many couples do that, and then they feel more comfortable about combining their monies once they're married for a little while.

I wish you much good luck!