Monday, May 3, 2010


I wanted to pause my recaps and hash something out that's been on my mind.

As far as any big changes that came along with getting married, there were not many for us--we live together, have two dogs together, we are each keeping our last names, etc. Of course it's been a trip getting to call him my "husband," but otherwise it's been low-key.

So I am weirdly excited about deciding what to do with our finances. (Freudian blip: I first typed that as "my finances" and had to go back and edit to "our finances." So telling.)  Anyway, there's the whole question of whether to do completely joint, completely separate, or a combination where you have a joint account as well as individual accounts.

I had always assumed that we would do the combo--joint account as well as separate accounts.  But now I don't know.  Here are the reasons I can think of for the combo route:

1.  Maintaining financial independence.  Hm, I may have lost this race before it started.  I'm not financially independent from Kevin.  We already share expenses and I could not afford to do many important things without him--like, um, live in our apartment.

2.  Making spending decisions without accountability to spouse.  It would be nice to buy gifts for Kevin on the sly, but this alone doesn't seem a sufficient reason to maintain a separate account.  Plus, Kevin and I do not tend to disapprove of each other's spending habits because neither of us buy a lot of personal items.  The items we do purchase are usually big ticket (i.e. laptop, furniture) and for the home, so they are a joint decision anyway.

3.  If we get divorced, having my own money (related to #1).  This is practical, but for obvious reasons, depressing.  Still, depressing is not a reason to avoid something that could make sense.

I know I'm missing other issues, and would like to hear your reasons about why you are going to go joint, separate or combo.  This is a very personal decision, unique to every couple, so don't worry, I'm not looking for "the answer," but rather just your thoughts.

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