My Money vs. His Money vs. Our Money
My husband I knew from the word "go" that we'd never have one bank account for all our needs. Right off the bat, we just knew he'd keep his account and I'd keep my account and somehow we'd work together to pay the bills. We weren't sure how to do it, but we knew that's how we wanted to handle things, regardless of what other people told us to do.
Because we had a lot of people telling us how we needed to do things.
We got told things like "it's not a marriage until you throw your money together in one pot and mix it all up". Or the ever popular "what his is yours and what yours is his". Everyone gave us advice on how to handle our money, and while we were thankful in a way that others cared enough for us to want nothing but our well being, it slightly annoyed us that everyone thought our way of doing things was the wrong way.
Just because something isn't the "norm" doesn't automatically make it the "wrong".
It made us uncertain of our decision, made us second-guess ourselves when we knew all along we should trust what our instincts told us. We'd been in this relationship for six years and although we're still very young, we knew what worked for us.
Keeping seperate bank accounts just made and continues to make sense for us. We come together to pay the bills and provide for our family, but what's left over after that belongs to the individual, not the couple. We pick each other up when times get tight and we buy things for each other whenever we feel like it. We don't sweat who spends more on what or who's lagging behind on keeping things balanced.
For us, having the seperation is the balance. I know it may sound odd, but it just works. We don't talk about money a lot. I know that's something that most marriage counselors will tell you on your second day of therapy.
TALK. Talk often. Talk about money. Don't try and hide things.
I agree with that, I really do. It's just that we have no need to talk about money. If he wants to go buy $1,500 worth of Cheez-Whiz, I have no problem with it. As long as the bills that he is responsible for are paid and he's helped stock up on items for the house, I don't care what he does with his extra money. Save it, spend it. It's none of my business.
The same works for me. He doesn't care if I spend all my extra money on shoes and purses and Edward Cullen posters. It's my money.
On the other hand, we do try and save our money together. We put back what we can, when we can - building our nest egg. But it's not a "have-to" we zone in on. We do it when we can, so we'll have something there when it's needed.
I think this carefree and laidback approach isn't for everyong, for sure. Some, probably most, people would go crazy. But for us, it just works. I don't know how and I don't know why, but it just does.
I try and tell new couples or individuals or whoever (when they ask me) just "relax a little" with their money. Stop focusing in on the dollar signs like they're life or death. Life is too short to spend all your time wrapped up in money. Sure, it's nice to have nice things. But it's not everything. You have to find the balance in your relationship and in your life. You have to figure out what works best for you. There is no "right" or "wrong" for everyone. Just do what works for you.
That's it. Plain and simple. Easy money.