My mother always said, “If you can’t trust a man with your money, why would you trust him with your heart?” I kept that in mind when I was dating, so when my boyfriend and I married, we didn’t have serious underlying issues like addiction, compulsive spending, etc.
Mom of two
In my second marriage, my money is my money and his money is his. If I earn 60 percent of the income, I pay 60 percent of the shared bills. Whatever is left is up to my own discretion to spend, and the same goes for his paycheck.
Learned my lesson
I believe the separation of incomes starts with young women embracing messages of empowerment they heard growing up and applying them not only to the workplace, but home, as well — plus a healthy dose of entitlement that seems common to their generation.
I now believe both parties in a relationship have financial responsibilities to the other. In my first marriage, most of financial responsibilities fell on me. The financial obligations in my second marriage are different. We have a separate maintenance agreement. I pay only part of our living expenses. I can spend whatever I want, when I want, on whatever I want. This has prevented many disagreements.
I think the way to handle finances in a relationship is a rock-solid legal agreement and a lot of premarital counseling. Then there are no surprises.
We plan to set up a joint account for household expenses, joint vacations, etc., and maintain individual accounts for whatever money is left. That way, we have a certain amount of independence and freedom.
We don’t consider our relationship to be disposable. But when you grow up like we did and don’t marry until your 30s, you live a considerable amount of your life independently. We are happy with this arrangement.