money talks within blended family, step family, blended family, stepmom, step mothers, blended family advice
This time of the year is always hard on any family yet alone a blended family as far as money is concerned.  Yet, it is important to talk about and it’s usually the second thing most blended families argue about the most. The first thing is about the kids, the second is money and how it is spent.  Due to our kids being different ages, mine is: 21, 11 and 10 years old and his are 18 and 15 years old, it makes Christmas hard on us.  Because I have the two younger kids that we still do Santa gifts for, whereas the older ones we don’t do Santa gifts for. So it is hard trying to spend the same amount on all of the kids and split the gifts and say they are from Santa. Just wish the younger ones had a higher amount that way it would be possible to do Santa gifts better.  This year I even thought about telling my girls that Santa isn’t real that way it would make Christmas a lot easier.  Talking about money is a hard thing when it comes to spending money on them and we do get into arguments about it sometimes.  Let’s face it money is always going to be a major issue with blended families whether you decide to keep your money separate or together it is a hard one to agree about. Blended families always have a combination of three money pits: yours, mine and ours.  Some blended families cannot fathom putting all of the money together while other blended families cannot imagine not doing it.  How you handle the money in your marriage is one of the most important things to talk about before you get married.  However it doesn’t stop there, you will always have to discuss money issues throughout your marriage not just before you get married.  For us, we personally decided to put all of our money together except for my girls’ child support that goes into separate savings account for my girls.  I put their child support into a separate account because I always want to use that money for whatever my girls’ needs are. 
There are married couples that want to keep their money in separate accounts because they don’t want to ask permission to one another to buy something or sometimes they are avoiding dependency.  They end up splitting their income equally to pay for household expenses.
Then there are couples that put everything in one big account. Which means each spouse asks permission to spend money. Ultimately there is no wrong or right way to handle the finances in a blended family, it’s whatever you both decide that are comfortable with doing.  Just talk it over and write down the pros and cons about both ways. Here’s an important tip: When the ex-spouses request money to pay for things outside of their child support that they receive always directly pay to whomever the money is owed to. That way you can help ease tension and know that it’s going to the right place and not in the ex-spouses pockets.
Money Discussion Tips (to go over with your spouse):
  • To have an emergency fund set up that is readily available for each spouse.
  • Each spouse should have discretionary money available to meet their personal needs that they may have.
  • Each spouse should have some credit in their own name just as a protection in case of a spousal death.
  • Every budget/expense plan that you create make sure to include money for date nights with each other.
  • Decide on who will pay the bills and manage the bank account. Little tip: Let it be the spouse that is a Saver, not the Spender spouse.
  • What is the limit to which each spouse will need to get permission from one another to spend on something?
  • When should credit be used? And how often?
  • Establish life insurance and make sure the beneficiaries are in each other’s name.
  • Make new Wills up. When dealing with Wills, it’s advised to seek an attorney and a financial planner who specializes in blended families.
  • Prenuptial Agreements should also be discussed.
When or if you decide the money should be separated in two or three accounts:
  • Decide on how much each spouse will contribute to the household expenses
  • What money is to be separated in checking, savings or investment accounts

When or if you decide that the money is going to go in one account:

  • What money is shared
  • How much money is personal
  • What expenses are most important
  • How much money goes into a savings account
  • How much money is put in an emergency fund
  • What yearly budget plans be created and by whom?

Have you had problems talking about money to your spouse? What have you found that worked best when discussing money?

Published by Michelle T

Stepmom for 19 years overall, married for 10 years. I have three of my own children and three stepchildren who are adults now.

12 thoughts on “Money

  1. This is true. Although money is a major issue, I would rather not argue about it and just talk to my spouse about our spending and our budget. It's something we can earn, it doesn't have to be the cause of our fights.


  2. Money is an issue for many families, but I can see that it could get even trickier in blended families. I like the idea of having a few separate accounts, as this is how I'd choose to handle finances with my future partner. A shared account for all the bills that you both contribute to, and your own separate accounts for personal purchases.


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