If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that, after books, one of my all-time favorite topics is money.
The other day, I was reading a book that said married couples should absolutely have separate bank accounts.
I have a friend who does that – one of them pays the mortgage, one pays for the vacation house they own. She gives him a bill for groceries. They switch off years paying for their daughter’s extra-curricular activities.
We, on the other hand, have never really even talked about having separate bank accounts. It didn’t even occur to either of us, I think. I did, for a brief while when we moved to Texas, have a checking account that I deposited all my checks into, but other than that it’s pretty much always been a single account that we pay all our bills and do all our spending from, together.
I think it’s hard to be completely even with money because the chances that you’ll ever make exactly the same amount of money seem VERY slim to me. In our case, I will never make as much as Bart will just by virtue of our different career fields, which have vastly different pay scales.
And, of course, I’ve been the sole breadwinner in our family for the better part of two years now, so that would have made things tricky (although the idea of writing Bart a bill for his half of the expenses for the last two years is not without its appeal).
I think it’s maybe easier for us than some other couples since we are both pretty frugal and have pretty aligned priorities money-wise. I definitely think it would be difficult if one of us was a major spender and one of us was a complete tightwad.
On the other hand, I can see how much easier it would be to each have your own checking account with your allotted money deposited there after the household bills were paid. It would definitely make me feel that I had more flexibility to spend however I wanted.
It seems like some people absolutely feel that if you don’t share your money, you might as well hire a divorce lawyer straight after the honeymoon, while other people think you’re an absolute idiot to not be in complete control of your own finances.
I guess I can see both sides. For now, sharing works pretty well for us. But in the future, it might work better to have more separate accounts. I do draw the line at writing invoices for Bart; I hate paperwork.