Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2Ms= Money and Your Marriage

The other day at a workshop, I mentioned to a colleague that my husband and I generally don't make big purchases without consulting each other. This comment stemmed from a conversation I was having about wanting a new cell phone and I was particularly digging on my friend's new Droid Razor. She said, "Well, I wouldn't ask. I would just go and open up my own account."

Say what!? I was a bit flabbergasted by her comment, but I politely said we really don't make big money decisions like that. I thought to myself I can't be the only one who deals with household money like this? No way. Now, when I am saying spending money, I am NOT referring to everyday/weekly purchases of gas, groceries or paying bills. I am talking about more "wants than needs" over a certain dollar amount.

That's not say if I want to order a book from amazon or buy for myself a new shirt, I have to check with the hubby first. No, that's not how we do things. I'll get my shirt and book because we have a general rule of thumb that anything over $50 you check with the other person or at least mention it ahead of time. It's all about communication and respect. I will note that these little purchases here and there can add up if you do them all the time. However, it's nice to do something for yourself every now and again. Enjoy the fruits of your labors as they say.

At our house, there is no one person controlling the money and there is no reference to who makes more money. Our goal as a couple is to be financially responsible and live below our means and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! I grew up in a household where my parents were financially irresponsible and it is not something I plan to revisit ever again. There is a comfort in knowing that we are both concerned and diligent about paying off what debt we do have. "Rainy days" and emergencies (God forbid) will happen and if they do I know we are prepared and can handle it. For example, when we found out we were pregnant, we knew we had to penny up and get a newer, safer family car. We didn't like spend the money (i.e. we did not take out a loan), but we were able to quickly (in less than a year) pay it off together.

Is there a one-size-fits all way to handle the money in your marriage? No. But don't let money control your marriage. You should control your money. It's a simple and significant mindset!

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