Here’s an excellent question from a Get Rich Slowly reader.

While I try my best to “get rich slowly” I have one huge issue: a husband. My husband likes to spend money. I’m referred to as the “Thrifty One Who Won’t Allow Me To Buy Stuff” and he’s referred to as “That Jerk Who Buys Stuff”. Do you have any advice for couples that need to have the other half put on a strict budget without making them feel like a child?

The number one topic couples fight about is sex. But the number two topic is money. Kris and I rarely fight about money, and I believe it’s because we keep separate finances. Many people find this strange because they feel that it fundamentally undermines the nature of marriage, but it’s one of the best choices we’ve ever made. This system works for us because:

  • We have no children,
  • Our salaries have always been roughly equivalent, and
  • We’ve found a way to split household bills evenly.

I’ve always been “that jerk who buys stuff” in our marriage. (Though that has changed dramatically in the last two years.) My wife has always made smart financial decisions. Because my money was my money, and her money was her money, my poor choices did not drain her savings. Now that I’m making smart choices, we do have a joint account for use solely as an emergency fund.

What advice do you have for a couple where one person is a poor money manager?

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