Real Wedding Inspiration

Pep Talk Tuesday {Merging Your Finances}May 3, 2011
I have a slight disclaimer before I dive into this post. I’m not really the most frugal person and I have rather expensive taste (or as I like to say, I enjoy things that happen to ironically be expensive). I’m not the greatest with saving money and thankfully have a husband who can often talk me out of buying things or making unnecessary purchases should I be about to make an irrational choice. However, regardless of the dollas in my bank account I do have some strong feelings on whether or not married couples should share their finances. Like we’ve made pretty obvious on this blog, money sucks and it’s awkward and sticky and uncomfortable so here we go.
My somewhat traditional husband always told me before we were married that we would be joining forces (aka joining funds) once we were married. Which to him meant me dumping my money and he dumping his into the same lone piggy bank and should either one of us need something, we would both understand that the money would come straight out of said piggy bank. The independent-stubborn (what a combo huh? Apb you are a brave man) woman in me thought husband to be was crazy. There was no way in h e double hockey sticks that this girl would be sharing her money, of all things! with someone who surely had enough of his own. Especially when there always seems to be a shortage of it in my own life. But that sounds mean when I word it that way. So lemme break it down.

{Listen To Your Mom} My mom, and my sweet late Nan, used to always tell me the same thing when it came to cash. “You save this little bit o’ money so when you need it it’s there. And no one has to know about it so shush!” I used to feel sneaky when they’d slip a twenty into my palm or leave me a bit of cash under the lamp base in my childhood bedroom. Except now I feel so grateful for this itty bitty piece of advice or rather this lesson in money because heaven forbid husband suddenly didn’t exist where would I be and who would I then need to depend on for financial support? This is all sort of a metaphor for a point I am trying to make which is having your own money, whether it be a couple hundred or thousands, is beneficial for you and you only. And is crucial to helping you maintain a sense of independence, importance, self worth and happiness. Nan, Mom you ladies were both right. So very very right.

{This is 2011} And this is totally my crazy thinking but I like to think these days that men and women share responsibilities in a household and a relationship so why should finances (when applicable and where possible, not always do both parties work or rather, make equal salaries/money) be any different? Meaning if chores in your home are divided up why not divvy up bill payments? Or grocery bills? Or those nights out for dinner and a movie? Or even better, one person can handle the finances and another can make sure the house is clean, the meals are ready, the laundry done, etc. Sometimes we look at things in our home like husband buys the next home item purchase like the new dining room table and I’ll buy the next dinner out. The dining room table surely cost more than the dinner night out, but it’s not about keeping track dollar for dollar. It’s about contributing as best you can and realizing that one day the tables may be turned and you may be the one making the bigger purchase. That right there friends is called a thriving relationship.

{Sharing is Caring} Or in most cases necessary to a strong relationship. Which is why I highly suggest that every relationship have at least three account: his, hers and a joint. Without telling you what should be done because I’m not saying my way is the only way to do things, here’s what should go in each: in his, his money obviously, in hers, her money of course and in the joint, a sum that is TBD by the couple. Perhaps x amount of each paycheck go into the account. Perhaps the account stays stagnant except for once a month both parties deposit a determined amount into the account. Joint account can be used for things like vacations together, home repairs, groceries, gifts for family holidays, gas and so forth. The reason for the separation? I know that if I were to swipe a new shoe purchase using a card from the joint account, I’d feel sleazy and like I was being unfair to husband. Likewise if he were to use money from the joint account for a day out of beers and golfing with the guys, I’d be a little disappointed. Which is why personal accounts are a benefit. 
Thoughts? Are you for splitting up accounts or do you only use one shared account between you and your significant other?



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