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    It's not supposed to be proper to speak of finances and religion. Well, I can't remember the last time anyone referred to me as proper...

    A few weeks ago, there was a post on the Seattle Nest Message Board asking the ladies (aka: Nesties) whether they keep their money in a joint account with the spouse or in separate accounts. I was completely taken back when the majority of the ladies said they keep their money separate from their spouses and split bills.

    I've spoken about this topic at length with friends of mine that keep their finances separate from their significant others but I still just can't seem to wrap my mind around it. From what I can tell, this is how people handle it: Each person's salary goes in to their own personal account (this assumes, I suppose, that both individuals work). Bills are divided evenly between wife and husband and then each person is free to spend their remaining money as they see fit?

    My first question is, what happens when one of the spouses stops working (i.e. gets knocked up)? Okay, I suppose I have way more than just one question. How do you handle savings? What if you are saving for a down payment on a house and then your spouse uses $1K to unexpectedly buy season tickets to the {fill in random local sports team here}?

    I've heard that one reason people like this style of financing is because then no one person feels like they have to get "approval" from the other to purchase something they want. It seems so foreign to me because Mr. Bee and I handle finances completely different. Obviously he is the main bread winner (especially since I was a student until I was 25!) so all the earnings just go in to one joint account. I have a separate account for my biz, but that's more for legal/tax reasons. We have always been very open about our financial standing and future and talk about finances at great length. GREAT length. Probably almost too often. We create budgets all the time and while I handle paying the bills, I pay them from our joint account. If we need a little extra, we'll skim some from my business account. And we discuss big purchases, too. I guess I've just always figured that if there is a big ticket item that I want, I should have to talk it over with Mr. Bee before spending our money on it.

    But I suppose that's the operative work: our. We never look at our money as anything other than the result of a team effort. Sure, Mr. Bee would have a lot more money if it weren't for Mama and Baby Bee, but then again, he wouldn't have Baby Bee and a hot meal to come home to if it weren't for me! (Mac & Cheese is still considered a hot meal, dammit!).

    They say that money and finances are the #1 cause for divorce. If the trends are moving towards this individual/bill splitting financial handling, I suppose we'll see in the next decade or so if there is a change in divorce rates?

    PS: Sorry to be all Debbie Downer and writing on a serious-ish topic! I promise tomorrow will be all about Stripper 101 class and whichever random television show I watch tonight!


    the mama bird diaries said...

    My husband and I have all our finances together. It took some getting use to but if we were going to bond in holy matrimony for the rest of our lives... it seemed like the thing to do. And yes, it's OUR money that we spend how we want unless it's a BIG ticket item.

    Very interesting post.

    J said...

    meow meow debbie downer. :) Yea, for me as a long-time cohabitating and newly(ish) married person, Mr. J and I keep our money separate. We were going to combine at least some of it way back when, when we first moved in together and decided against it for other reasons...so we worked out a system and for now it's kind of a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" thing. We actually both feel that it is all collectively still OUR money...just kept in separate places. We still do all the discussion about big ticket items, are free to swipe cash from each others wallets if needed, and have an understanding that we will each contribute what we can to long term savings, and regardless of the level of contribution from each of us, anything contributed during our marriage belongs to both of us equally. So it's kind of the same deal...but just with two accounts. All the other stuff is the same! It's always interesting to hear how others manage this stuff. I will keep you updated as we go through changes...ie: me getting a respectable income and poppin out the babes. :P