Different Spending Styles
It might seem strange that Jason has bought his own home yet also has huge credit card debt, but it isn't that unusual. He says his habit has been to make a budget using only what he brings in. In the past, though, he has had to cover unexpected expenses with his credit card. This is one reason he is afraid that he can't control his spending—and that his spending will end up controlling him.

Veronica's style is different. When she wants or needs something—a new coat, an expensive handbag, even to pay off a credit card—she goes out and earns the money for it. This worries Jason. Deep down, he admits, he feels a little guilty about buying the things he does. He also feels pressure to take extra work.

Veronica, who has paid off a huge amount of debt, would like to see him plan to buy things rather than just get them. And his joking objections to Veronica's way of dealing with money set her teeth on edge and remind her of the way her father used to talk to her mother.

The Solution
I advised them to set up three accounts: two individual checking accounts, to use for private needs and wants, and one account for joint expenses, in which both partners deposit equal percentages of their income, not equal amounts of money. And when Veronica earns extra money for the things she wants, a percentage of that money should be treated as income for joint purposes and go into their joint account; Jason needs to use his extra refinancing money to pay his credit card debt. In this way they are never taking from each other but always adding to what they have together.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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