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Guy Livid After Wife Wants Separate Finances So As Not To Contribute To His Expensive ‘Lifestyle’


Redditor Classic_Contribution is a 26-year-old woman who has been married to her 28-year-old husband and has been the breadwinner in the relationship.

She said they have a joint account for all spending but have “no meaningful savings right now.”

Their diametrically opposed views on strategizing finances came to a head during a recent discussion, which led her to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for asking my husband to separate finances because I don’t want to continue contributing to his lifestyle?”

She continued:

“My husband and I have been married for almost 3 years, together 6, no kids. When we were younger and dumber we pissed a lot of money away.”

“Historically I’ve always been the breadwinner but we both have always had decent 9-5 jobs and our finances have always been 100% joint with one acct for all spending.”

“The past few months I decided to finally get out from under $20k in cc debt in my name. I sold my engagement ring and car (with my husband’s full support) to finally pay off the rest of the debt in my name on personal cards.”

“I got myself a nice little moissanite ring to replace my diamond one and can rely on public transit and uber. It feels amazing and I literally sleep better at night.”

“I’ve recently received my bonus + raise and was able to put it into a separate investment account to save up for a car next year when my next comp review comes. Our bonuses are the only time we get our own money to blow, no questions asked.”

“On my husband’s side, he’s been less willing to make lifestyle changes. His car he bought last summer (an AMG Mercedes, I wasn’t a fan but he went for it) costs over $900/mo with high interest and insurance; he’s poured a ton of money into modding it as well, sometimes behind my back.”

“It’s been in the shop for months and they’ve officially diagnosed a $2900 repair. He has $7k on a card racking up over $100/mo. interest that he hasn’t made a dent in because he keeps using it.”

“Here’s the argument.”

“My husband makes $75k/yr, I now make $116k. He is underwater on the car loan. He wants to trade in for a mustang gt, rolling in negative equity.”

“He doesn’t want to trade in for a cheap beater for a year. We have no meaningful savings right now.”

“Tonight I told him I wanted to separate finances. Not even completely, just 30% of our paychecks now get transferred out into separate accounts for our own discretionary spending.”

“Anything in the joint now goes to bills and saving. I told him we’d revisit in a month or two when the car situation is sorted to explore 100% separate finances, 60/40 bill split.”

“He’s very upset, saying the car is an important hobby for him (he also goes to car meets) and my idea solves nothing, it only creates more stress and division. I’ve read a lot of conflicting information and feel really guilty because I admit 100% joint is optimal for marriage.”

“But to be honest, I’m tired of contributing to things I really don’t care about and getting flack when I make my own purchases, and I hate being a nag whenever he wants the next video game, youtube equipment, car part, etc.”

“We have differing priorities and he can afford his on his own, although it’d be tight until he reduces his debt. If he wants to live a certain lifestyle, I just don’t feel like contributing to it.”


Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.

“NTA. He definitely doesn’t like it because he can no longer float his hobby on the back of your finances. Which is all the more reason to separate them, and keep them separated after the 2 months you mentioned. Nothing is gonna change on his end that fast.” – TheeCombatBaby

“NTA (in the least). Not only should you not be paying for any of his hobbies (nor) he yours, 100% joint is not optimal for marriage; as you are realizing now. I made that mistake once and never again.”

“One account for shared bills, everything else separate- that the other does not have access to. And an agreement on how much each should be saving for the future – in separate accounts.”

“Finances will eat away at your marriage.” – ffsthisisfake

“Oh my! NTA. OP I’m old enough to be your mom if that matters. The fact that that yall don’t have savings with your combined income sounds like yall r living well beyond your means.”

“With what you both make u should get a financial advisor. U need back up from an expert!” – UrCrazyMatchsMyCrazy

“NTA, I’m a car guy. I do not expect my gf (living together many years) to pay into any of my hobbies. That’s ridiculous.”

“Hobbies, you also pay cash for…you budget for those things. He is being highly irresponsible. Those are not cheap cars, but they will be with continued modifications. If he’s underwater with them already…I can’t imagine. You obviously have to be the responsible one.” – 3daycondor

“NTA. You don’t need permission to open new accounts and have HR change your direct deposit.”

“He doesn’t need you to cosign on a new car. I’d make sure his credit cards don’t have you listed either. Yuck. What a dirty feeling having that kind of financial ruin hanging over you.” – Tie-Strange

“NTA. 100% joint IS NOT necessarily optimal for marriage when you and your husband have different financial priorities.”

“My husband and I have different financial priorities, and while we both have access to the others accounts in one way or another (sometimes full access, sometimes as an “if I die” contact or whatever), our accounts are separate.”

“For joint spending (groceries, house stuff, going out to eat) we either trade off (I got Denny’s last week, so you get Steak ‘n Shake tomorrow) or split it evenly (he pays, I Venmo him my share or vice versa). We also tackled some debt jointly (balance transfers to cards with lower interest rates etc…).”

“So long as we pay our share of the bills roughly on time (occasionally my husband has spotted me when the mortgage is due on the first and my check comes in on the 3rd etc), and we hit our personal retirement and savings goals (he was VERY adamant about the need for me to contribute to my 401k) the rest of the money is ours to spend however we want.”

“I want to buy a bunch of weed and fancy lotion? Cool. He wants to buy ANOTHER damn cat tree? Sure.”

“It works really really well for us, and is optimal for our marriage, we get the important things covered, and I don’t feel like my personal spending is policed on money I earn (I’m from a family with financial abuse, control of my own money is VERY important to me).”

“The biggest most concerning thing about your situation is that he is spending money IN SECRET from your joint account.” – joibu


“Don’t remember where I read it, but I saw it suggested that YOUR MONEY should go into YOUR ACCOUNT, and then transfer whatever amount you’ve agreed upon with the spouse into the joint account. Wish I could remember where I saw it, so I could point you there.”

“I distinctly remember this fact because it’s what we do. My first marriage, my wife’s second.”

“Towards the end of his first marriage, her husband took her name off all the accounts (yes, yes, hard to do today; this was Texas in the late 80’s). When we got married, one of her deal breakers was that we would EACH have our own accounts and a joint account to pay expenses out of.”

“So I have my paycheck direct deposited into my account, and a directive with the bank to transfer $X dollars into our joint account.”

“I like your idea of not subsidizing his lifestyle, but you may want to reverse things, and change your paycheck to be deposited into your personal account, then see if you bank/credit union can automatically transfer 70% of your check into the joint account.”

“My credit union has where I can do a member-to-member transfer & set it up to be recurring. I’d suggest urging him to do the same, but I fear he would ‘forget’ to transfer money to the joint account…” – ABQJohn

“NTA – but from your post it sounds like you had a similar lifestyle just a couple months ago. I think it’d be best to work through this together with a professional.”

“Maybe a therapist if you’ve both had spending problems together. It’s really not acceptable to have no savings with your joint income. He can find fulfillment in cars but if it’s hurting your finances it’s more of an addiction at this point.”

“It’d be best if you can get to a point where you have a set budget for each month, and it needs to be strict. And no more cars that cost more than his yearly salary it’s a waste of money and tacky.”

“It’s cool if he wants to get into cars, but to be financially responsible it’d need to be a small fraction of the current price.” – Ok-Albatross6794

In response, the OP admitted her spending habits were different up until recently.

“Yes, thanks for mentioning this. The character limit sucks out a lot of context but yes, I was very irresponsible with money up until 2020. Digging myself out was a very slow process and we didn’t adhere strictly to a budget.”

“I’ve been in therapy since about a year ago today. My spending issue has been long resolved, but getting rid of the luxury was the only way to rip to bandaid off fully in recent months. Budgeting with him is very stressful and at this rate it would be easier for me to budget just for myself.”

“I’ll probably set up an appt with a marriage counselor we’ve used in the past. Really appreciate you calling this stuff out, thank you for the comment.”

The OP also added an edit to her post with the following:

“Woke up to this getting a ton of attention. I want to address a few points.”

“I’m not financially illiterate. Never have been as a full-time working adult. It’s a cop out for people like me who have struggled with impulse control, lifestyle inflation, impressing people and other deeper issues.”

“It’s easier to say ‘Well, they just don’t understand what an APR is I guess’ but all the understanding in the world won’t help these types of people.”

“Therapy helped me. I know giving unsolicited advice is part of the reddit effect, but just want to gently say some of you are off base.”

“The raise was recent. As in a few weeks ago recent. But my journey to clean up finances has been occurring seriously for a little over a year. Liquidating the bullsh*t was turbo mode. I was tired.”

“I asked my husband if he wanted to get rid of stuff too, the answer every time was no but I’m free to do so. So I did.”

“Opinions on what he contributed financially to the ring and car are irrelevant. They’re gone now and he’s cool with that.”

“For everyone adding advice on how to effectively split finances, thanks a ton. It’s actually helpful and helps me stand my ground at home. My husband will indeed get over it in time.”

“Lastly, I’m fully aware in the event of a divorce the legal impact on finances, and transferring money to a different account isn’t ‘protecting it’ in the event of a divorce. I just need a break from 100% joint until we figure out our long-term stride.”

Overall, Redditors agreed the husband was being irresponsible with his expensive hobby, and many suggested the couple should consult an advisor so they can work together towards a financially secure and responsible future.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo