Money in Marriage
I handle all the finances in my marriage. I pay every bill, open up all bank accounts, take the lead in long term investing, and do all the purchasing. I do it all, and I like it that way.* So does Mike. I think a part of him kind of wishes he knew where the money went, but a much bigger part of him is relieved to not have to deal with it.
It’s not that Mike has absolutely no idea of what’s going on. If there’s something electronic we need to buy, or something car related, or something really big, like over a couple hundred dollars, we talk about it.
This is fascinating. If I were a full time stay at home mom, would he be more critical of what I do with the money? Does my part time job earn me space and freedom to purchase and give as I see fit?
I remember my mom once telling me her ideal way of handling money in a marriage. The majority of money should go towards the common expenses and necessities– mortgage, utilities, food, etc., but that each person also should get a few hundred dollars (or less, depending on financial circumstances) of personal money every month to spend however he or she wished. And each person would not be at all accountable to the other for it.
I love the egalitarian quality of this idea, so recently I offered Mike (and myself) a monthly amount that we could do whatever we wished with. At the time, guilt was overcoming me since I have so much more fun with money than Mike does, who never wants to buy anything except books. He wasn’t as impressed with the idea.
“What am I going to do with _____ a month? “ said Mike.’
I said, “You could save it and someday buy something big you really want.”
“Nah, sounds like a hassle,” was Mike’s reply.
Gotta admire the man’s desire for simplicity.
How do you handle money in your marriage? Or if you are single, how do you envision handling it? Does one person have more say than the other on discretionary spending? Do money disagreements lead to tension in your relationship?
*Mike does do the taxes and sometimes fiddles with how much he puts into retirement every month.