Dear Dave: I have a question about budgeting. I give myself and my husband $150 a month each for blow money to be used on whatever we want. I’m upset because he spends all his eating out, then he buys other things he wants that he has no money for. Am I being too stingy?
Dear Cheryl: I think you guys are handling your money poorly. You’re acting like his mother instead of his wife, and he’s acting like a little boy instead of a man. You don’t want to give your husband an allowance and then not be happy when he spends money “he didn’t have” because he went over what you dictated to him. That’s a bad budget process.
The budget process, if you’re the nerd in the family, should start with you writing it all out. Then he sits down with you, has an equal say in the decisions and you two okay it together. He needs to understand that this is you asking him to man-up and be part of the decision-making process, so that you can both be in agreement as to what’s best for the family. In one sense, you may not like it at first, because right now you’ve got control of things. But in another sense, I’ll bet you’re pretty tired of carrying the weight of all the financial decision making and being the only adult in the household.
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He doesn’t even have to work on all that much. I want you to lay it out, but I expect him to sit down and go over it all with you. You’re not asking him to be an accountant with a pocket protector, but you have every right to expect him to be in on the decisions that are made about your family and your finances!
Dear Dave: My wife and I are debt-free except for our home, and we’re currently putting money aside for our fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months of expenses. Currently, we have our emergency fund account in the same bank as our checking and savings accounts. Do you think we should move it to a different bank?
Dear Steve: I wouldn’t worry too much about that if I were you. The only exception to that might be if you had loans that you owed to that same bank. Then, I would probably move my emergency fund out of there just in case something went wrong with the loans.
Some commercial loan documents now give the bank the right to take money out of your account to pay the loan — without your permission. If you had a car loan, for instance, with that particular bank, I wouldn’t keep a bunch of money in that bank. They normally don’t do that unless you’re way behind on the bill — and then it gets pretty adversarial.
Sometimes there can be things like a simple clerical error, and there’s no chance of that happening if the money’s in another bank. But in your situation, I don’t see any harm in you being there.
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