For richer or poorer—even if one is doing the spending

What do you do if you're thrifty, but your spouse is not?

Admitting is the first step.

Experts also recommend to:

  • Create a budget for both for bills and discretionary.
  • At least once a month, sit down and review your finances for the past month and talk about the next month...spending and saving.
  • Set an limit on how much each person can spend with consulting the other.
  • Learn how each developed money habits.
  • Consider having this meeting in a public space.
  • Consider including a neutral third party, like a certified financial planner or financial therapist.

Houston CPA and tax attorney Mark Klecka said separate accounts can help keep the financial peace, but once a year, everything is going to come out.

“They need to realize that when they come to prepare taxes that they need to combine both accounts and all the information and all the income on one tax return,” said Klecka. “If they want to keep their finances separate that’s fine, but they do need to keep separate bank accounts. They have an agreement as to how they’re going to pay for mortgage or utilities that are beneficial to both of them.”

He reminds us that Texas is a community property state, married couples must file taxes together.

You have two choices: married filing jointly, or married filing separately. The later he said is the worst for taxation rates.

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