When two people come together and marry there are many decisions to be made. Kids or no kids? City life or suburbia? Work or stay home? And then there are about a bjillion more decisions that you make that are completely unconscious. I have to say that the best decision that we ever made, or didn’t as it were as it’s just the way we’ve always done it, is to have separate bank accounts.
While this makes complete sense to me, I definitely think that we are in the minority.
When Zain was little and we did endless play dates (mommy dates really), outside of umpteen conversations about how you mix your baby cereal and what fruits should you start on first, were money woes. With moms making the decision to stay home, cut back hours or take a hiatus, money became a hot topic and with that came a lot of angst and resentment.
Ten years later, things haven’t changed much. My friends (working in and out of the home) continue to lament about scrutiny over their purchases, receiving allowances, ways to “sneak” funds without detection–can you say, cash back at the grocery store? And as I listen to all of the stories and accounts, I think to myself, “Oy vey, I’m glad we have separate accounts!”
Don’t get me wrong, we still have lots of money “discussions” as we manage money very differently. One of us has faith it will always be there…the other is sure that funds will be depleted any day. I’ll let you imagine which of us is which. But in the end, I work very hard, as does my husband and we work to manage our own expenses. Our accounts are linked, so at any time we can see what the other one is spending, but I’ve never checked on his account. Everything for our lives is split–he pays for things like the mortgage and utilities, while I pay for anything kid related, tuitions and groceries. On vacation, one will pay for the hotels and the other all of the meals. Back and forth, back and forth.
And when I come back from a day at the salon and he asks how much that costs, I respond, “About 10 bucks.” And when a new quad copter shows up and I ask how much that was, he responds, “About 10 bucks.” That is code our for, “Not your problem…I’ve got it covered.”
I realize that not everyone has a two income family where splitting is easiest, but I would encourage you to create your own account…for you.
There are enough really hard conversations and things to work through in the life of a marriage. How much one spent on self care doesn’t need to be one of them.