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jimdahl

What's a reimbursable expense?

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My ex and I still struggle a bit with what to count as splittable extraordinary expenses (as some of you readers know, we don't have any sort of legal agreement in place). The back story is that my ex was beginning to find tracking things in a Google Doc cumbersome, so wanted to move to real time settlement (we use Apple Pay, but it would be the same things with Venmo or PayPal or other). What's been weird for me is that settling up in real time makes me less likely to want to split small expenses. Sending many requests per month back-and-forth for $20 here and there feels kind of petty to me. Plus, when we were tracking extraordinary expenses in a spreadsheet, other than summer camps (which are thousands of dollars), the net difference over 6 months ended up being small enough that I wondered whether it was worth the trouble and angst of tracking at all.  

There's no question that a big extracurricular (e.g. soccer fees) should be split and reimbursed. We just send those requests in real time and cheerfully pay them. But all the school lunches, for example, go to my credit card. When we just pay for kids' day-to-day living expenses (e.g. clothes) respectively when we incur them, I feel cheap sending a request for $20 every week or two to cover school lunches, even though I pay for them including her days.

 

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What is your current custody arrangement? That would make a big difference on paying for stuff. I know you don't have any legal paperwork, but is there a reason you haven't started that process yet? I spent a few weeks on a Facebook group called The father's rights movement and after being on there and reading some of the mess those dads deal with, I would highly advised you to seek some sort of custody and financial agreement. Way to may times I've heard of people who thought their ex was going to be cooperative and civil, and then get hit with something nasty. 

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Real-time, Apple Pay. If you're both on iPhones, you just text "you owe me $25 for Jane's doctor visit" and one of the one-touch auto-replies is to send the payment. It doesn't feel as weird if you don't let it linger.

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We're still having troubles with the little stuff. Did you order the kids' yearbooks at schools? Do I send in the field trip money, or just pass the note on to the ex? 

We don't want to be constantly sending bills back and forth for 50% of minor expenses, but I don't want to hesitate to send in a payment for something because I feel like I've been overpaying lately.

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