I was inspired by this article: “Separate Money Sane Marriage,” and it leads me to ask a question for those of you that might read this blog post. Separate finances vs. Shared finances? What are the pros and cons? I have resisted from doing a google search for everything the experts say. Partly because I think that the experts will be on both sides, and honestly I think that it is different for each couple or partnership. What works for one might not work for another.
I lean on the side of shared finances. I say that because it has worked for us. Maybe it is because of our communication style to talk about everything, including our finances. Maybe it is because when we got married we were broke, in debt, and we worked together to get out of debt, pay off credit cards, and student loans. It evolved into the idea for every facet of our lives: “What is yours is mine, what is mine is yours.” There are ebbs and flows when things we decide for Chris are more expensive or vice versa. That is part of marriage, part of life.
I can respect those that keep their finances separate, but I want to understand more about why. I know for some they might get married when they are older, and just prefer to continue to live their financial life as they have throughout the years. Why do others make that choice? What are the pros and cons?
I am curious to hear what you think! Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.
Jason and I have had separate finances for the last 15 years. We have never argued about money. Yes, I said never. Just because we don’t have combined finances doesn’t mean we don’t have the same what is mine is yours and vice versa. He pays for some bills, I pay for some bills, when we need to make a big purchase or home repair we discuss it and come up with the money. If I want to get a pedicure I go and get one. If he wants to buy a new music cd or classic guitar he does it. What money is left at the end of the month (we have a percentage invested off the top of each of our paychecks into the market) is ours to use. On the family pumpkin outing, an ice cream treat, whatever. We live once. Save too much and you won’t have the time to spend it all! You gotta live a little each day and allow your family to live a little each day too. Money is not the master in our house. It is just a vehicle to do the things we enjoy. Ask my daughters…”why do mommy and daddy work?” And they will tell you without hesitation….”so we have money to do the things we like to do.” Just the other day out of the blue my oldest daughter said to me: “mom, we are rich! We have a house, a car, toys, a bunny, a kitty, a dog, and a horse.” To me it is not about what we own. Obviously. To me it is about having a healthy relationship with money. Save a lot. Spend a lot on the things that matter most to you and your family. For our family it was a fall outing to the local pumpkin patch this past weekend! $18 worth of pumpkins that will rot in about 3 weeks. Memories forever.
Thank you for sharing, Mindy! Very helpful to see how you have made separate finances work. I agree it is not about the money, but making memories with your family. I so appreciate your perspective!
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