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Monopoly Money

Mr. Perfect and I were strolling through the park yesterday and I decided to ask him about money, because I was curious and had nothing else to keep my mind off the hot sun on my back. I’d asked him before but didn’t really get an answer (we got off on some tangent or other and never got back on it).

The specific money matters we were talking about were paying bills as a married couple and how he wanted to handle his bills with his wife. What I got out of his answer was that he would split mortgage/rent 50/50 and maybe each person would pay certain bills. He also said something about taking into consideration how much money the other person makes in comparison to him and etc.

I’ve thought about the money thing often enough. It would be a very big aspect of life. I mean, bills have to be paid. I prefer to pay bills on time in full. Some months are harder than others to stick to that, but that’s how I like it. I have no problem pulling my weight or paying my fair share; wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m asking because I plan on keeping my money in my pocket. Still I like punctuality and practicality above all else when it comes to my money.

Me? I have no problem splitting it all 50/50, no consideration of my income necessary. I’d have less money left than him (considerably, at this point, lol) but that wouldn’t bother me and eventually that will change. I would prefer a household account and individual bank accounts for our personal money. I just think it’s easier for our half of the bill money to go into one account and for checks to be written or bills paid online from one account, most effectively by one person, but with the ability to be handled by either and with both having access to the bills/amounts and the bank statement.

Money is one of those issues that, if people are mismatched, kills marriages. As long as we were dating or whatever and my money was mine to spend how I wanted, things were great, but now here you are all in my financial kool-aid. I’m a saver, you’re a spender. I pay my bills on time, you pay yours whenever you feel like it. Your credit is fantastic and mine is ridiculously battered and bruised. Whether it’s a lack of money or a lack of knowledge of money, the money tension in a relationship can get thick and and choke you out.

And whoever controls the pocketbook controls the family. Money is power. I don’t mind paying my half because that’s an investment in our lives together. It shows that I’m at the table and paying attention in this relationship. I can’t hand over the money completely, blindly trusting that things are getting paid and obligations are being met, but I think I could (if required) hand over the physical act of paying the bills. And I don’t see it as a masculine or feminine thing to keep track of the family finances.

Mr. Perfect’s ideas aren’t too far from mine, so if we ever got to that point, I’m sure we could reach a decision about the money that we both could deal with.

How big a role does money play in the considerations before marriage? Does how much the other person makes matter? Who should be in charge of the money? What about going out to eat as husband and wife with separate bank accounts–who picks up the tab, or is that from household funds? What about groceries? Toothpaste? If I bought it, do I keep it in the divorce? And what about those pre-nuptual agreements?


5 thoughts on “Monopoly Money

  1. How we handle it in my household is putting the money all in one account. It’s not my money and it’s not his money it’s OUR money. So we pay the bills, make a budget, then we talk about it and any changes he or I feel need to be made we talk about, that way we each have equal say in the money. We have categories like restraunts, groceries, cosmetic stuff, and blow money in the budget. Blow money is for exactly that, to just blow on whatever we want. Most of the time it’s for any thing that comes up that wasn’t in the budget. we try to put everything in the budget that we would normally want.

  2. During my marriage, he paid the rent while I paid the other bills since I was still in school and he made more money than I. Eventually, that all fell apart because the amount of money someone makes matters not against poor spending habits. That is something to watch out for during dating. Some ppl don’t like dealing with money, some like it but aren’t good with it, some just know they’d spend it if left in their hands. I say the person of paying bills should be the person more disciplined to do so but both parties should be involved in the overall process.

    I didn’t do separate accounts because I didn’t trust him with the money (hint #1) so I have no opinion on that. I hear it’s something most married couples do. I might be willing to do a % of both incomes toward a household acct but I agree with the budget and setting up what to spend where. Individual accts? That’s just mine. Paying for dates out? Household account. That should involve the budget anyways.

  3. I meant I didn’t do JOINT accounts

    1. whoo hoo I got two answers that are very different! These definitely give me points to consider! 😀

      So, D, I’m curios: what would you do the second time around?

  4. I would pay attention to all the financial signs early on, ask more questions about his financial history & standing (disclosing my own too if he asks), and pay attention to how he spends his money. Someone may say they are a “saver” but as soon as tax/bonus time rolls around you see how they spend that extra money. Thus far, I have asked these questions of Mr. D – we have the same FICO score but mine is weighed down by student loan debt while his is weighed down by credit card debt (open & closed accounts).

    This time around (if it’s this person), I would feel comfortable doing a joint account for bills having my own account to invest/spend as I want. I’d be pissed if he spent his entire portion and needed help though. It’s hard with my kids since he has none of his own but, from his past, he has taken on other kids as some of his financial obligation so we shall see if the past is really a good indicator of the future. Honestly, this time it seems to be a good financial match ONLY because I’ve been carefull to make this a priority from early on. But, I do have suggestions to improve his habits as he prb does with mine.

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