I had an interesting conversation recently about finances in a relationship.
Do you and your spouse (significant other) have separate or joint accounts?
What makes this work for the relationship?
Husband and I have separate accounts. I’m listed on his account, but he’s not on mine. There’s no other reason except I’m (we’re) too lazy to make the change, or close the account altogether. Plus, I like having my own. That’s good enough reason right there.
Let’s face it, disagreements about finances in a relationship (married or not) are wicked. So, I’ll be CRYSTAL CLEAR about this…
We are completely transparent about our finances. Husband and I live comfortably, but well below our means. We don’t live in a fancy home, drive expensive cars, or have extravagant “things.” Our lifestyle is comfortable, yet affordable.
Imagine for a moment……..you’re in line at a gas station or convenience store and the person at the counter uses their debit/credit card for a pack of gum or other small purchase.
It drives Husband CRAZY. I will purchase an 89-cent pack of gum with a debit card. Granted, there’s at least $5 in loose change in the cup holder of my car, but I won’t think to take it in the store with me.
This is another EXCELLENT reason for me to have a separate account. Husband is one of those people who checks his account 20938429 times per day. Me….not so much.
I made the mistake of using “his” card for a small purchase once, and before I drove off the lot my phone rang.
“Did you put 93-cents on the card?”
“Why on earth would you do that?”
“I didn’t have cash.”
<heavy sigh> “Woman, you drive me crazy.”
<big smile> “I know.”
This is a really interesting topic to me because it’s something Husband and I don’t give much attention to. The “system” we implement in our relationship is easy. He takes care of certain things and I handle others. It works well for us.
At one point in our relationship, right after we got married and moved into our home, I made a comment to Husband about financial responsibilities and how much I appreciate everything he does for me. I added that I wish there was something more I could offer. His response meant a LOT to me,
“You keep me going, that’s enough.”
At the end of the day, there’s no specific reason for having separate bank accounts. We don’t conform to society’s role as husband and wife because we want to be “normal.” We have a mutual understanding that we’ll each fulfill our responsibilities, financial or not.
I’m not trying to trivialize our marriage, but there are things in our relationship that we understand the other person will do without us asking,
- Husband will pay the mortgage.
- I’ll cook our meals.
- He will change the oil in our vehicles.
- I’ll make sure we have clean clothes to wear.
- Husband will enjoy team-roping.
- I will enjoy my new fancy-schmancy camera and blog.
- He will dabble with auctions and eat Chick-Fil-A.
- I will volunteer at church, travel with friends and family, eat sushi, and spend excessive amounts at Hallmark to send greeting cards to every possible person on every possible holiday or special event.
It’s what we do……..THIS WORKS FOR US!
Which reminds me, I have Father’s Day cards to mail.