Friday, June 4, 2010

Mine, His, and Ours-Finances.

Shelle Edit: Jaime is another Guest Contributor and we are so thankful she asked to write here.  She is a lawyer by day and a Mom by night, or so her profile says, "just call me wonder woman".  Seriously, a few posts in and there is no doubt in my mind she is just that.  She's articulate and intellectual, yet she writes her posts in such a relate-able way.  You should definitely take some time to go over and read her at her personal blog-- Red Red Whine.  Witty...isn't it? :)

Hubby and I met in law school because our roommates were interested in each other. They refused to go out without all hours of the day and night. Through this forced interaction, a deep, shared resentment of our roommates and fondness of each other flourished. In the end, we wound up together - they didn't.

One of our biggest challenges when we finally moved in together was paying bills. His way was to let bills sit until right before they were due. This drove me nuts because, inevitably, we'd get busy or he'd lose the bill and we'd get hit with late charges. I like to pay my bills as soon as I get them. That way I know they're paid, they're off my mind and I don't have to worry about getting busy or losing the bill. (This drives hubby crazy because he doesn't want utility companies earning interest off his money.)

We resolved our dispute by allowing him to have his way on any bills that were in his name and my way on the ones which were in mine. Each month, we would each write a check for half of each bill. My mother thinks we're insane, but we continue on this way over a decade later...

Between the two of us, we have six bank accounts: the joint accounts, his and mine. Yes, all the money is "ours" but I like having my own money. I tend to hoard it while hubby tends to invest his. He hates having to remind me to fund my retirement account and that I don't want to write big checks to pay down our line of credit. I can't help it, I hate doing it! I like to see a good sized balance in my savings account. Sure, it's earning virtually no interest but I can see it there so it's more tangible for me.

We're very lucky that our spending habits are similar. We work really hard for our money and don't spend it freely on a lot of things. That being said, hubby is a pilot and is going for his instrument rating. If I knew how much he spent on lessons, I'd go ballistic. Similarly, if he knew how much I spent on my personal trainer, I don't think he'd be too happy with me.

But when it's "my" money, if I want to shell out a little of it on a new pair of shoes each month or go a little crazy at the Victoria Secret semi-annual sale, I should be entitled to... And he should have the same kind of freedom with his flying, as long as it comes out of "his" money.

It's a strange system, but it works for us. I look at our friends and all the fights they have over money and one person spending too much. We really don't have those fights. (Of course, when I got home tonight hubby snidely pointed out all of my packages which arrived in the mail today... I may have gone a little crazy shopping while he was on vacation last week.)

Even so, if that's the worst we deal with, maybe having mine, yours and ours accounts is the way to go...



Genevieve said...

Seems like the solution you decided on was the right one in your relationship. Glad to hear it's working so well.
For the most part, I've been a SAHM so we've only had one salary to cover everything. Many years ago, I was in charge of the checkbook and paying the bills but tended to wait until right when they were due and sometimes would only pay the minimum. At some point, hubby didn't feel comfortable with that system and wanted to get certain accounts paid as soon as possible. There may not be much left afterwards but he feels more in control this way. So he handles the bills and check writing again and that's working fine for us.
When I started my small craft business I had to open up an account. It's not much but he'd never touch that. It's just for me.

DCHY said...

THAT was the solution I wanted, separate accounts. My wife would hear none of that. We did have a big fight about that, but I decided to let her handle all the bill payments in exchange for letting her have her way. She has let a few become late...even gone into collections. Grr.

Becky Andrews said...

we have a his/her/ours relationship, too. Has worked well for 26 years.

SciFi Dad said...

I actually covered this in a post of my own: Short version: we have two accounts, and everything is common.

kyooty said...

I bury my head in the sand completely. money? there's money? bills? what bills... just pay for the food dear. :P

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

We have two accounts, both OURS. We pay bills out of one and spending money out of another.

Oh I guess three accounts because we have a third that we don't have as easy access to that is our savings-emergency fund and travel fund. All seperate in the one account! :)

But I've admitted on here before that we don't have it all together when it comes to money, well we didn't, Dave Ramsey has helped us get control of it for the last year or so.


Great post!

Momma Sunshine said...

My ex and I used to share EVERYTHING. Money wasn't a huge issue in our relationship, however, I eventually came to resent having to talk to him every time I wanted to buy more than a pack of gum.

My current relationship is a long distance relationship, so it's kind of a moot point....we each do our own things. BUT when we reach the point that we're living together, I am going to advocate for having a mine, his and ours. For me it's important to retain a sense of independence and ownership over my own finances. And dammit, if I want to go out and buy a pair of shoes because I've got the savings to do it, then I should. ;-)

The Bare Essentials Today said...

I don't have to share at the moment, but I completely agree that there should be a joint account and then each have their own. I wouldn't want to justify a pair of shoes, a new coach bag or buying anything. I'm a bit of a shopping whore, so I would just feel better knowing I was doing it with my own money!

heelsnstocking said...

i have my seperate account that i hold some money back for me each month, keeps me happy and the wardrobe full!